IUCN shares guidelines for working with free-ranging wild mammals to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission from people to animals
There is a possibility that SARS-CoV-2 will become endemic in the human population and thus, presents a risk of a potential reverse zoonosis to wildlife as with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza.
Currently the risk of human-to-animal transmission to non-captive wildlife species warrants concern. A number of cases have demonstrated natural human-to-animal transmission of SARSCoV-2 in felids, canids and mustelids, the majority due to close and prolonged contact with infected households or people, and none has involved free-ranging wildlife.
The identification of close phylogenetically-related viruses (e.g. in bats and pangolins), the presence of important cell receptor proteins (ACE2 receptors) and infection following natural exposure or experimental inoculation suggest that a wide range of mammalian species may be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Knowledge and experience with human-to-animal transmission with other human respiratory pathogens (e.g. metapneumovirus, measles, other human coronaviruses and tuberculosis) indicate that some species taxonomically closely related to humans (e.g. non-human primates) would likely be susceptible to infection and/or clinical disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.