Field Course: An Integral Component of MVetSci The University of Edinburgh Background
The Zoological Society of London, The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and The University of Edinburgh have been motivated to run this course in recognition of the need to conserve globally important biodiversity and enormous natural values in South Asia and other biodiverse areas, which are nevertheless a hotspot for wildlife diseases and conflict. These wildlife diseases are relatively unstudied and unchecked, and ZSL, WII and The University of Edinburgh, with the support of the Thriplow Trust, recognise an important need for greater expertise in, and greater numbers of, wildlife health professionals to tackle them. Such wildlife health professionals are needed to undertake interventions in the health, welfare and conservation of wild animals, to investigate emerging infectious diseases and to ensure human well-being.
Therefore, ZSL and WII have planned a field course in interventions in wildlife health as an integral component of the MVetSci Conservation Medicine to provide, particularly South Asian veterinarians and others, with an important practical element when they enrol for the online programme.
Optional year 2 (Diploma) Course: Interventions in Wild Animal Health
Course Content. The Interventions Course will provide practical knowledge to complement the theoretical understanding gained from other courses of the online Conservation Medicine Cert/Dip MVetSci programme. Interventions are required to address human-wildlife conflict issues, to carry out effective metapopulation management through translocation, to reduce the risk from disease in reintroduction and translocation programmes, to carry out investigations in disease outbreaks in free-living wildlife and to understand the role of disease in the decline of species. Tuition will be carried out in the field to develop skills in human-wildlife conflict management, disease risk analysis and translocation techniques, disease outbreak investigation and the monitoring of the health of declining species and will include techniques for field monitoring of wildlife (using a range of techniques including animal tracks and signs, dung/pellet identification and quantification, census techniques, camera trapping, and radio telemetry), biological management, visual health monitoring of free-living animals, best practice in wild animal anaesthesia techniques, demonstration and hands-on practice, clinical examination in the field, sampling techniques for infectious disease screening, pathological examination in the field, and scanning disease surveillance scenarios.
1. To gain a critical awareness of the effects of interventions at the human-wildlife interface.
2. To develop a systematic understanding of the planning of, and field methods in, wildlife monitoring, biological management, and disease outbreak investigation
3. To gain a comprehensive understanding including new insights into disease risk management in translocation programmes
4. To gain a critical awareness of field methods to investigate the role of disease in the decline of species
5. A comprehensive understanding of ex-situ medicine and management in the context of field interventions
Location: Sariska Tiger Reserve and Ranthambore National Park, northern India
Timing: Three weeks, 20-credit, course running in February each year.
Assessment: Written assignment, Field skill evaluation.
Enrolment: In order to be eligible for the course running in 2018, a candidate will need to have enrolled in the Conservation Medicine Programme by the application deadline of 22nd August 2016. Priority for the Interventions Course in Wild Animal Health will be given to South Asian students. See : www.ed.ac.uk/vet/conservation-medicine
Tutors: Experienced wildlife veterinarians and ecologists from The Wildlife Institute of India, ZSL and The University of Edinburgh.
Costs: Tuition, board and lodging, and travel to and within the National Parks (Sariska Tiger Reserve and Ranthambore National Park) will be included. Students are responsible for travel to and from New Delhi, India and for any associated travel costs such as visas.