Interventions in Wild Animal Health

Field Course: An Integral Component of MVetSci The University of Edinburgh Background

Tiger, India, National Park

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), University of Melbourne (UoM), the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) 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, RVC, UoM and UoE 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, a field course in interventions in wildlife health was created 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.

Learning outcomes

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.                                      


If you are interested in applying for the MVetSci Conservation Medicine at University of Edinburgh please visit the course webpage

If you are interested in attending the Interventions in Wild Animal Health field course please use the forms found under the contact tab on the website. The course runs in January-February of each year and you will need to register your interest by the October before to be considered for a place. Details of upcoming course dates can be found on the IWAH webpage. Priority for the Interventions Course in Wild Animal Health will be given to South Asian students. 


Experienced wildlife veterinarians and ecologists from The Wildlife Institute of India, ZSL, Royal Veterinary College, University of Melbourne and The University of Edinburgh.


CPD: £2999

Tuition, board and lodging, and travel within India will be included. Students are responsible for travel to and from New Delhi, India and for any associated travel costs, such as visas.


Interventions in Wild Animal Health Blogs

PDF icon IWAH Brochure (3.85 MB)

Timing: Three weeks, 20-credit, course running from Saturday 3rd to Thursday 22nd February 2018.

  • Animal Population Monitoring
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation
  • Wildlife Health and Field Disease Investigation
  • Wild Animal Restraint and Anaesthesia





"Most enjoyable part was meeting other students and teachers and interacting with them." - Barbara, Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Zurich

“I’m going to go back more focused and motivated to focus on research in my field so I can contribute to the scientific community.” Luca, Wildilfe Vet, Easten Cape Province

“Course has brought me closer to evidence based approaches.” - Naveen, Deputy Director, Corbett Foundation, Kaziranga

sariska, tiger reserve, national park

Sariska Tiger Reserve

The bulk of your field exercises and teaching will occur in Sariska Tiger Reserve, an area 866km2 in size, located in Rajasthan. The Park was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955 and then a tiger reserve in 1978. 

Sariska is part of India's project tiger and in recent years carried out a tiger relocation scheme due to the dessimation of tiger numbers in the park, making it an excellent base to learn about conservation management.

The Park also benefits from a wide range of ungulate, avian and predator species which allow a wide range of field techniques and opportunities for observations to be made during the course. You will also have the opportunity to witness human-wildlife interactions first hand, due to the many villages and temples located within the park.