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One Health Newsletter Veterinary Public Health (VPH) Special PRIMARY Interest Group (SPIG) Of The American Public Health Association (APHA)

In This Issue

Spring 2020 Newsletter

  • Help Us Celebrate 25 Years of National Public Health Week!
  • The Use of Vector-Borne Disease Testing in Animals for Human Health
  • Coral Reefs and One Health
  • One Health in Action: On the Frontline with UMN
  • VPH Member Spotlight: Meet Our New Membership Chair!
  • COVID-19 Resources for Human and Animal Health
  • Upcoming Events
  • Get Involved with the VPH SPIG

Editor: Jessica S. Schwind, VPH Communication Chair

Help us celebrate 25 years of National Public Health Week!

By Jessica Schwind, Communications Chair

Can you believe the American Public Health Association has been celebrating National Public Health Week for 25 years now? With COVID-19, it is obvious National Public Health Week (NPHW) could not come at a more crucial time. Each day of NPHW will focus on a single topic related to health. As the Veterinary Public Health SPIG, we will take to social media to highlight current challenges around each issue and how we can specifically make an impact. Be sure to follow us on social media throughout the week!

Daily Themes

  • Monday: Mental Health — advocate for and promote emotional well-being
  • Tuesday: Maternal and Child Health — ensure the health of mother and babies throughout the lifespan
  • Wednesday: Violence Prevention — reduce personal and community violence to improve health
  • Thursday: Environmental Health — help protect and maintain a healthy planet
  • Friday: Education — advocate for quality education and schools
  • Saturday: Healthy Housing — ensure access to affordable and safe housing
  • Sunday: Economics — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

In line with the American Public Health Association, this week we will celebrate the power of prevention, advocate for healthy and fair policies, share strategies for increasing equity, and champion the health of all species. We hope you are able to observe NPHW 2020 in your own unique way during this unprecedented time in our history. Tag us @APHAVPH to show us how you are celebrating! Within our networks, both personal and professional, let's start new conversations and become advocates for positive change. We hope all of our Veterinary Public Health SPIG members contribute to the growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation!

How will you be celebrating National Public Health Week?

"Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart."

― Roy T. Bennett

The Use of Vector-Borne Disease Testing in Animals for Human Health: Data in Veterinary Medicine for the Benefit of All

By Holly Richmond, VPH Membership Chair

Veterinary medicine has undergone a shift over the past 30 years. There has been a change in ownership demographics from a combination of privately-owned practices and large multi-specialty centers at veterinary schools to an enlarging market share of corporately-owned general and large multi-specialty practices (Nolen, 2018). The result has been not only a centralization of both veterinary practices and laboratories (Henry & Treanor, 2012), but also the development of large databases for veterinary medical records and laboratory results. This change in the structure of veterinary medical practices and the creation of searchable centralized databases may have a direct impact on those working in public health surveillance.

The consolidation of millions of animal medical records into a handful of companies with centralized electronic systems has allowed veterinary medicine to begin to leverage the data in studies on everything from dental disease (Trevejo et al., 2018, Urfer et al., 2019) to obesity (Angliss et al., 2019) and anesthetic deaths (Matthews et al., 2017) in dogs and cats. It has also made available a few searchable databases with annual serologic testing for vector-borne diseases performed on millions of dogs (Day et al., 2012). While these diseases may not be directly transmissible from canines to humans, understanding seroprevalence in dogs allows us to track vector-borne diseases in a population whose habits and activities closely follow those of their human counterparts (Duncan et al., 2005; Smith et al., 2012).

Veterinary practice databases may be a good source of information for public health surveillance.

As climate change causes the movement of vectors, particularly ticks and mosquitos, we are observing an increased prevalence of vector-borne diseases in previously non-endemic areas (Otranto et al., 2009). Not surprisingly, some of these changes were first noted in animal populations (Buchholz, 2015; Liu, 2019). Lyme disease, for instance, is establishing itself in areas traditionally seen as non-endemic (Buchholz et al., 2015), a move that with correct surveillance can be noted and addressed from canine serology prior to its recognition in tick and human populations (Hendricks et al., 2017).

The concept of One Health, the combination of human medicine, veterinary medicine, and environmental science working toward a common goal of health for all (Lerner & Berg, 2015), may be applied to vector-borne diseases where human health risks can be directly impacted by climate change and animal carriers. A diagnosis of a serologic positivity for Lyme Disease in a dog that has never left the state may not have an individual health impact (Littman et al., 2018); however, it may carry implications for the health of the human residents of Georgia.

As climate change impacts the movement of vectors, we are observing an increased prevalence of diseases in non-endemic areas.

One Health goes beyond biology and medicine. At the core of the One Health strategy is multiple disciplines working together equally for a common goal. Therefore, changes in data structures in veterinary medicine can inform human health when recognized and used effectively. Public health professionals can help in analyzing and understanding these veterinary databases (Vanderwaal et al., 2017). Epidemiologists have the opportunity to help One Health researchers address issues such as overinterpretation (Millen et al., 2013) and model complexity (Moustakas, 2017), especially when dealing with large datasets. We encourage public health practitioners and researchers to look beyond their disciplines to collaborate and access potential data sources outside their normal sphere of interest.

References:

  • Angliss, G., Ebers, K. L., Landis-Hanna, A., Vale, A., Stomack, K., Niino, T., … Lyle, L. T. (2019). Taking on pet obesity. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 255(4), 421–422. doi: 10.2460/javma.255.4.421
  • Buchholz, M. J., Davis, C., Rowland, N. S., & Dick, C. W. (2018). Borrelia burgdorferi in small mammal reservoirs in Kentucky, a traditionally non-endemic state for Lyme disease. Parasitology Research, 117(4), 1159–1167. doi: 10.1007/s00436-018-5794-x
  • Day, M. J., Breitschwerdt, E., Cleaveland, S., Karkare, U., Khanna, C., Kirpensteijn, J., … Thiermann, A. (2012). Surveillance of Zoonotic Infectious Disease Transmitted by Small Companion Animals. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 18(12). doi: 10.3201/eid1812.120664
  • Duncan, A. W., Correa, M. T., Levine, J. F., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2005). The Dog as a Sentinel for Human Infection: Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi C6 Antibodies in Dogs from Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 5(2), 101–109. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2005.5.101
  • Hendricks, B., Mark-Carew, M., & Conley, J. (2017). Evaluating the utility of companion animal tick surveillance practices for monitoring spread and occurrence of human Lyme disease in West Virginia, 2014-2016. Geospatial Health, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2017.582
  • Henry, C., & Treanor, L. (2012). The Veterinary Business Landscape: Contemporary Issues and Emerging Trends. A Birds-Eye View of Veterinary Medicine. doi: 10.5772/31960
  • Lerner, H., & Berg, C. (2015). The concept of health in One Health and some practical implications for research and education: what is One Health? Infection Ecology & Epidemiology, 5(1), 25300. doi: 10.3402/iee.v5.25300
  • Littman, M. P., Gerber, B., Goldstein, R. E., Labato, M. A., Lappin, M. R., & Moore, G. E. (2018). ACVIM consensus update on Lyme borreliosis in dogs and cats. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 32(3), 887–903. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15085
  • Liu, Y., Nordone, S. K., Yabsley, M. J., Lund, R. B., Mcmahan, C. S., & Gettings, J. R. (2019). Quantifying the relationship between human Lyme disease and Borrelia burgdorferi exposure in domestic dogs. Geospatial Health, 14(1). doi: 10.4081/gh.2019.750
  • Matthews, N. S., Mohn, T. J., Yang, M., Spofford, N., Marsh, A., Faunt, K., … Lefebvre, S. L. (2017). Factors associated with anesthetic-related death in dogs and cats in primary care veterinary hospitals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 250(6), 655–665. doi: 10.2460/javma.250.6.655
  • Millen, K., Kugeler, K. J., Hinckley, A. F., Lawaczeck, E. W., & Mead, P. S. (2013). Elevated Lyme Disease Seroprevalence Among Dogs in a Nonendemic County: Harbinger or Artifact? Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 13(5), 340–341. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2012.1025
  • Moustakas, A. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment (2017) 31: 829. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-016-1374-8
  • Nolen, R. S. (2018, November 14). The corporatization of veterinary medicine. Retrieved from https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/181201a.aspx
  • Otranto, D., Dantas-Torres, F., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2009). Managing canine vector-borne diseases of zoonotic concern: part one. Trends in Parasitology, 25(4), 157-163.
  • Smith, F. D., Ballantyne, R., Morgan, E. R., & Wall, R. (2012). Estimating Lyme disease risk using pet dogs as sentinels. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 35(2), 163–167. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2011.12.009
  • Trevejo, R. T., Lefebvre, S. L., Yang, M., Rhoads, C., Goldstein, G., & Lund, E. M. (2018). Survival analysis to evaluate associations between periodontal disease and the risk of development of chronic azotemic kidney disease in cats evaluated at primary care veterinary hospitals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 252(6), 710–720. doi: 10.2460/javma.252.6.710
  • Urfer, S. R., Wang, M., Yang, M., Lund, E. M., & Lefebvre, S. L. (2019). Risk Factors Associated with Lifespan in Pet Dogs Evaluated in Primary Care Veterinary Hospitals. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 55(3), 130–137. doi: 10.5326/jaaha-ms-6763
  • Vanderwaal, K., Morrison, R. B., Neuhauser, C., Vilalta, C., & Perez, A. M. (2017). Translating Big Data into Smart Data for Veterinary Epidemiology. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 4. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00110

"Hold fast to dreams,

For if dreams die,

Life is a broken-winged bird,

That cannot fly."

— Langston Hughes

Coral Reefs and One Health

By Meghan Melnick, VPH Supporter

Coral reefs are breathtaking and biodiverse environments. Although they cover only 0.1% of the ocean floor, approximately 25% of marine life live in coral reefs (WWF, 2020). Humans rely on this biodiverse environment for food, economic stability, and identity. Despite their importance, nearly half of the world’s shallow water reefs have disappeared, largely from anthropogenic reasons (WWF, 2020). Warming ocean waters, pollution from land run-off, plastics, and oil spills, overfishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and physical trauma from untrained swimmers have all led to the devastation of coral reefs (NOS, 2020).

Nearly half of the world’s shallow water reefs have disappeared, largely from anthropogenic reasons.

The effects of climate change have not escaped coral reefs, as they disappear at a rapid rate with rising sea temperatures. Mass bleaching events, like those of 2014 and 2015, are expected to continue and not only kill a large portion of living coral, but also stunt the reproduction rate of the colony. Bleaching occurs as a protective measure, like a fever would for humans. As coral becomes stressed, it expels the colorful, symbiotic algae within its tissues, leading to the bleached look. Just like with a fever, losing algae for an extended period of time severely damages the coral, and often leads to death. These massive events are a direct result of human influence, and without mitigating our climate impact, the reefs will disappear completely in our lifetime (WWF, 2020).

Additionally, coral reefs provide a plethora of uses and heavily impact human health. For many tropical islands, damage to these coral reefs and the fish they protect can lead to a loss of cultural tradition and identity (NOS, 2020). This missing cultural identity can adversely affect an individual’s mental health. Further, it leads to a loss of livelihoods reliant on corals, and adjusting to new patterns of life is a difficult task (Fields, 2010). Many individuals rely on coral reefs for their economic livelihood, whether through ecotourism or fishing activities. Beyond the socioeconomic connections between humans and reefs, healthy coral environments indicate a prosperous fishing source. Fish provide key micronutrients for the local diet, including iron, zinc, and vitamins A and B12, which are difficult to obtain from other sources, especially in low-income countries. The loss of reefs can cause loss of fish, impacting the traditional diet and new dependency on artificial foods which can increase risk of obesity (Golden, 2019). Additionally, ongoing medical research is being conducted on the potential use of coral components for treatments for infectious (e.g. bacterial and viral infections) and chronic diseases (e.g. arthritis, cancer, neurological diseases) (NOS, 2020).

The effects of climate change have not escaped coral reefs, as they disappear at a rapid rate with rising sea temperatures.

Climate change impacts human health in every possible way, and its effects on coral reefs are no different. Together, we can work to combat the effects of climate change, including ocean acidification, pollution, and repopulation of coral reef communities. Further research is needed among the One Health community to strengthen protection and conservation measures for coral reefs.

References:

  • Fields H. 2010. Changing oceans: viewing coral reefs through a cultural lens. Science. Available from: https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2010/06/changing-oceans-viewing-coral-reefs-through-cultural-lens
  • Golden C. 2019. The connection between coral reefs and human health. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/multimedia-article/coral-reefs-health-nutrition/
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (n.d.) Protecting coral reefs. Available from: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/tutorial_corals/coral11_protecting.html
  • World Wildlife Fund. 2020. Coral reefs. Available from: https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/oceans/coasts/coral_reefs/

"You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

— William Faulkner

One Health in Action: On the Frontline with UMN

By Michael Mahero, VPH Policy Committee Member

The current COVID-19 global pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of One Health approaches to the protection and promotion of human, animal and environmental health. Indeed, the complex nature of grand challenges that straddle this interface demand robust responses that can only be achieved through interdisciplinary collaboration that allows for global thinking and local action; action across academic, private and public sectors. Current estimates place this pandemic’s cost to the global economy at 1-2 trillion dollars (UN News, 2020); simply stated, the cost of not getting it right is high. At the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s One Health division, we are translating this ethos into action through globally and locally engaged multidisciplinary teams. Two scholars who capture this spirit in exemplary ways are Dr. Lauren Bernstein, a small animal clinician and senior veterinary public health resident and Ms. Jessica Deere, a public health professional and PhD candidate in Veterinary Medicine. Here are their stories from the frontline of One Health in Action:

Ms. Jessica Deere

Despite the undeniable importance of water to human, animal, and environmental health, freshwater ecosystems are affected by anthropogenic activities including the use of chemicals in industrial and household products. Our team is investigating contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), which are chemicals that were previously unknown, unrecognized, or unregulated, in aquatic ecosystems in Minnesota, within the Grand Portage Reservation and 1854 Ceded Territory and along the shores of Lake Superior. The chemicals we tested for include pharmaceuticals and personal care products, so everything from the antibiotics prescribed to humans and animals to the insect repellant we use when we’re out fishing in and exploring near these lakes. We are assessing whether there are differences in the occurrence and concentration of contaminants in fish, water and sediment across environments that are exposed to varying levels of human impact.

Field researcher(s) performing fish health assessments on the shores of lakes in Minnesota. Photo Credit: Jessica Deere

We also performed health assessments on fish collected from these lakes so we can determine the association between fish health and contaminants. Understanding the threats of CECs on fish health will not only inform the management of aquatic systems but will also reveal pressing environmental contaminants for remediation and potential food safety and security threats to the tribal communities in northeastern Minnesota. We detected 117 of the 158 chemicals tested, including in remote, undeveloped locations where subsistence fish are harvested, which reveals the important connection we (humans) have with the ecosystems around us and the need to protect these ecosystems.

Dr. Lauren Bernstein

Public engagement is a core element of veterinary public health, whether through community-engaged research and advocacy, delivering community medicine, evaluating health literacy, or developing One Health policy. A multidisciplinary team of veterinarians, epidemiologists, and social scientists at the University of Minnesota collaborated with northern Minnesota Native American communities to study the spillover of Echinococcus from its endemic wildlife life cycle into domestic dogs. Echinococcus is zoonotic and dogs are important host species who traverse both wild environments and shared domestic environments with people. The team utilized both qualitative and quantitative research methods to engage participants in transparent public health conversations for a community-based understanding of disease risk and protective factors. In addition to evaluating the prevalence of Echinococcus in domestic dogs and wildlife, we also facilitated community focus groups to learn about the historical and cultural contexts of dog ownership and wildlife interaction. The qualitative approach fostered an important relationship-building process essential for a foundation of trust and potential long term research collaborations.

Another example of community engagement at the University of Minnesota is the College of Veterinary Medicine’s growing Community Medicine program, which aims to promote and preserve the human-animal bond for underserved pets and their families. Human social and health disparities directly impact animal health and well-being outcomes. The Community Medicine program aims to identify barriers to veterinary care in local urban and outstate Minnesota resource-limited communities. The program also utilizes an epidemiological approach to assess and enhance the quality and capacity of services provided in student-led outreach clinics.

Dr. Bernstein (right) mentors a veterinary student through a spay procedure during a MASH-style, student-run veterinary free clinic, called SIRVS- Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services. Photo credit: Lauren Bernstein

Whether addressing terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, these stories remind us of the inextricable nature of human animal and environment health and the importance of One Health in preserving these ecosystems.

References:

  • UN News Coronavirus update: COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UN trade agency. Available at https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059011

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming."

—Pablo Neruda

VPH Member Spotlight: Meet our new Membership Chair!

Special Guest: Holly Richmond, VPH Membership Chair

Dr. Holly Richmond. Photo Credit: Holly Richmond

Dr. Holly Richmond, originally from Portland, Oregon, obtained an undergraduate degree in equine sciences, followed by a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Colorado State University where she focused on small animals. In veterinary school, she was interested in infectious diseases, especially vector-borne disease, and had the opportunity to work with Dr. Michael Lappin in his infectious disease laboratory as a student. Following graduation in 2007, she went into small animal practice in Florida and North Carolina. In 2013, Dr. Richmond and Dr. Woods opened Savannah Veterinary Internal Medicine & Intensive Care (Dr. Woods is a internal medicine specialist) in Savannah, GA. Dr. Richmond continues to be very involved in the practice, but in 2018, she began to work in general practice again and as a student working toward an MPH degree at Georgia Southern University. Both of these moves were to pursue her dual passions of preventive medicine and One Health.

Question 1) How did you first get interested in One Health/Veterinary Public Health as a concept?

I can actually pinpoint the moment I became aware and interested in One Health. I was a first year veterinary student at Colorado State, not sure what to focus on, so I joined every single club possible. I went to the first meeting of the student chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). It was in a room upstairs in the teaching hospital and it’s one of those moments frozen in your memory. Dr. Lappin gave a talk on people with AIDS and cats, and his work in the 90’s making sure people with AIDS knew they could keep their cats. He worked with MDs, veterinarians, and through outreach, to make sure people knew they didn’t have to give up their cats and talk about what they needed to do to make sure the cats were free of zoonotic disease. I was hooked. I signed up for everything in AAFP, became an officer in the club, and sent an email to Dr. Lappin begging him to take me on as a student. He agreed and that evening changed the course of my career. Also, there was pizza.

Question 2) What is your favorite part about working in One Health/Veterinary Public Health?

Of course I love research, and field work, that goes without saying, but I think one thing I really love to do is promote One Health. I believe in the concept so strongly that I can talk about it for hours trying to 'convert' people and bring awareness to the field. This is something I can do when I am seeing patients, with staff, with other veterinarians, with my family and friends (they say “alright already!”) - I pretty much take it with me everywhere I go. The things that my collegues are doing are amazing and I want everyone to know it.

Dr. Richmond taking care of a patient. Photo Credit: Holly Richmond

Question 3) You have been super involved with the Veterinary Public Health SPIG over the last couple of months and we have seen tremendous growth! As the new membership chair of VPH, what are some of your goals for this coming year?

I have an entire buffet of goals. Currently, I am working on obtaining funding to help grow the group, as well as increasing our membership to become a full APHA section. I also really want to work more with veterinary schools. Veterinary students all believe in One Health fundamentally, even if they don’t know it. Because the VPH group is a part of APHA, a primarily human health organization, we have a unique opportunity to talk to the medical and public health community and promote partnership. I believe involving students in this endeavor, especially those pursing a combined DVM/MPH, could have a great impact on the APHA community - they can be great advocates for a collaborative approach. A hard part of One Health is we have to work outside our immediate sphere of influence. Veterinarians who only talk about One Health to other veterinarians limit their own impact. In this vein, my ultimate goal is to bring medical students and veterinary students together as part of our group so they can form connections that will serve them long into the future.

Dr. Richmond at her practice. Photo Credit: Holly Richmond

Question 4) Do you have any words of advice for members wanting to be more active in the group or in One Health, in general?

This has been such a welcoming group. I have nowhere near the experience in public health and research that the rest of the leadership does, but they have welcomed me and my ideas with open arms. It is a very easy group to get involved in, because everyone believes in the work. With COVID-19, I think this is an opportunity for those who have been working in One Health to educate people and combat the misinformation out there. It is also an opportunity for those who have not been involved to understand what we do and help. We have to get to the root of these issues, to prepare and prevent, not panic and palliate. The root of most emerging infectious diseases in humans is zoonotic spillover. One Health works on solutions to “wicked problems” meaning they are multifactorial and seemingly impossible to solve, but yet it is completely accessible because every person can participate and contribute to the solution.

Holly enjoying a hike at Arches National Park. Photo Credit: Holly Richmond

The VPH SPIG is appreciative of your time and service to the VPH SPIG, Dr. Richmond! Thank you!

"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you."

Elbert Hubbard

COVID-19: Resources for Human and Animal Health

Every day there is new information about COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2. Because it is important we pass on the most reliable, up-to-date information, we would like to direct you to the following resources:

World Organisation for Animal Health

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Veterinary Medical Association

American Public Health Association

"That is one good thing about this world... there are always sure to be more springs. "

– LM Montgomery

Upcoming Events

April

National Public Health Week, April 6-12

NPHW Forum, April 6 at 1pm

NPHW Twitter Chat, April 8 at 2pm

U.S. Call to Action on Climate, Health and Equity: A Policy Action Agenda, April 7 at 1pm

Cross-Sector Collaboration: Making Partnerships Work for Your Community, April 14th at 2pm

COVID-19 Conversations, Webinars from APHA and National Academy of Medicine

Many events globally have been cancelled or rescheduled due to COVID-19. We will provide the latest rescheduled dates in a future newsletter.

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is let people know they are not alone."

 Shannon L. Alder

Get Involved with the VPH SPIG!

Join us.

We would love for you to get involved! Please consider becoming a member of the largest public health association in the U.S. to contribute expertise and help guide practice and policy change. Select the 'Veterinary Public Health Special Primary Interest Group' as one of your sections when signing up at the link below.

Make a Donation.

The APHA VPH group accepts donations to support our outreach programs at the Annual Meeting to help amplify our positive impact. Thank you in advance for donating!

Stay Connected.

The Veterinary Public Health One Health Newsletter is a quarterly publication for APHA's Veterinary Public Health Special Primary Interest Group. Are you involved in a One Health-related program or activity at home or abroad? Does it complement our focus to bring awareness to the human-animal-environment connection and advance the One Health concept? If so, we want to share your story via our newsletter and social media sites! Please contact us at aphavph(at)gmail(dot)com for more information. Thank you for reading!

Credits:

Created with images by Anisur Rahman - "scenic-dirt-road-in-spring" • Anton Darius - "untitled image" • Sam Carter - "untitled image" • Lydia Torrey - "untitled image" • Егор Камелев - "untitled image" • Ray Hennessy - "My goal was Pine and Yellow-throated warblers and neither of them dissapointed. I had purposefully been hiking trails deeper into the woods so I didn’t have other people around. When I got back to my car I noticed this blossoming tree nearby and set up near it. The tree was very thick with branches when this Pine Warbler was hoping around in it so it took some time to get it in the clear. I really liked the curious pose on this shot. I did remove a couple branches that were right behind its head in post to clean up the shot." • James Thornton - "Where I’m based in Thailand, Pink anemone fish are common. They’re plucky little creatures that will defend their homes from even the biggest of creatures, (including the very overwhelming reflective glass and bubbles from a divers mask and regulator) this bravery makes them one of my favourite creatures to see whilst under the surface. Especially during a safety stop at 5m, when the sunlight shows the colours in all their glory." • Isa W - "untitled image" • Irina Iriser - "medusa" • Boris Smokrovic - "Butterfly on pink flowers" • Alain Pichot - "This is Tofu, my 9 week old west highland white terrier, or westie for short. I took her out on my kayak and had to use my wide lens and take about 100 photos for each good one that I got. She was just too full of energy! She kept wiggling around and looking at things and sniffing my camera and trying to bite me, and it was a real handful, but it was so cute! She’s just so wiggly!" • Aaron Burden - "untitled image" • Elina Buzurtanova - "Gold cow."