2016 Muskox Health Ecology Symposium
From November 7th to 10th CWHC staff and affiliates participated in the first Muskox Health Ecology Symposium hosted at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary. The event was chaired by CWHC Alberta director Dr. Susan Kutz and brought together a diverse array of experts and stakeholders in muskox health and ecology from around the globe. Dr. Kutz’s research group and CWHC Alberta hosted over 70 attendees who came from across Canada, the USA’s lower 48 states as well as Alaska, Denmark, Norway, Greenland and Russia. Alongside CWHC Alberta’s director, Collin Letain, the region’s coordinating technician and CWHC Quebec’s director Dr. Stephane Lair took part in the scientific track and week’s affairs. The scientific program took place at the University of Calgary’s campus but guests were treated to an afternoon at the world renowned Cave and Basin National Historic site, Banff National Park. This was followed by an evening of food, laughs and collaboration at the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel situated in the famous town site of Banff, AB. Feedback on this inaugural event was tremendous with many individuals commenting on how beneficial it was to bring together all types of people who advocate for the wellbeing of this species. The symposium brought together not only muskox researchers but government biologists and veterinarians, wildlife officers, indigenous hunters and co-management groups, outfitters, artists and qiviut producers and marketers. The diversity of attendees resulted in sharing of thoughts and ideas from all backgrounds. Such a strategy provided great value to the meeting, offering solutions that will likely work to preserve the health and sustainability of this species, their environment, and the culture built around it.