69th WDA / 14th EWDA - Joint Conference - Cuenca, Spain

Welcome Letter

WELCOME to Spain, WELCOME to La Mancha, WELCOME to Cuenca & MOST WELCOME to the 69th WDA / 14th EWDA 2021 Joint Conference.

This is the 2nd time in history that the “mother” International Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) liaises with the European section (EWDA) to organize a joint Conference that provides members and non-members with the opportunity of exchanging science, expertise, mentoring and good conversations on wildlife health with a coffee, a beer or a wine in hand and with the final goal of better Managing Wildlife Diseases for Sustainable Ecosystems.

The 69th annual WDA - 14th biennial EWDA Joint Conference will take place in the beautiful medieval city of Cuenca (Spain) on August 30 - September 3, 2021. The Conference will also host the meeting of the EWDA Wildlife Health Surveillance Network (August 29, 2021) and a series of pre-conference workshops/symposiums (August 30, 2021) in parallel, and different activities to achieve greening and decreasing the carbon footprint of the Conference as well as to show you the beautiful landscape where ‘Don Quixote’ rode ‘Rocinante’ through multiple adventures.

In the Anthropocene epoch the impact of human activities is evident even on the Earth’s geology. We, humans, have influenced almost every single ecosystem on the planet and nowadays these cannot be understood and protected without taking into consideration the unstoppable influence of humans over the millennia. This Conference seeks to provide the scientific and technical bases for the future strategies to protect and preserve our naturally inherited wildlife richness by ‘Managing Wildlife Diseases for Sustainable Ecosystems’. Advances in all aspects of wildlife diseases are within the scope of the topic, and those with a special focus on advances in wildlife disease management are most welcome.

The Conference is hosted by the University of Castilla – La Mancha (UCLM) in the facilities of the Campus of Cuenca, a modern university campus at walking distance from the city and its historic center, with a complete array of facilities in a quiet academic environment. Leading wildlife disease research institutions in Spain - UCLM, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Córdoba - joined together in the Organizing Committee.

The origins of Cuenca can be traced back to the Islamic conquest of Iberia (Al-Andalus) by the troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad by 711 AD. Cuenca went through the medieval age as a small walled city on the top of a high unconquerable hill encircled by the rivers Júcar and Huécar. The 12th century Cathedral was the first religious building in Gothic style of Spain. The 16th century brought the city an important growth period, but it retained the medieval charm of the city with narrow steep streets full of monuments on each corner, the craftsmen neighborhoods, the walls and castle, as well as the Cathedral or the Monastery of San Pablo. Nowadays, Cuenca is two cities in one, the Monumental Cuenca in the high quarter and the Modern Cuenca on the foothill. Cuenca’s extensive history is reflected in its artistic treasures which represent a wide stylistic variety, from the early Gothic by the end of the 12th century to the Avant-Garde of the 20th century. Cuenca was declared World Heritage City in 1996. The city is located in an extraordinarily well preserved Mediterranean mountainous forest that constitutes an excellent framework for any topic related to wildlife and for the Wildlife Disease Conference. Cuenca is also excellently communicated with the major Spanish cities by high-speed trains and buses, but we also invite you to enjoy the landscape while driving along the fantastic network of highways that communicate the diverse regions of Spain.   

There is no doubt that you cannot miss this event, you cannot miss visiting us and enjoying the hospitality, modernity and diversity of the people of Spain. We look forward to welcoming you and encourage you to enrich us with your outstanding scientific results to improve the sustainability of the planet's ecosystems.


The Organizing Committee