Oh Deer! Wildlife Conservation Students get their Hands Dirty During CWHC Atlantic’s Annual Necropsy Course
On February 28, 2017, CWHC Atlantic hosted its annual white-tailed deer necropsy wet lab, for students enrolled in the Wildlife Conservation Technology program at Holland College, Prince Edward Island. CWHC members conducting this lab were wildlife pathologists, Drs. Pierre-Yves Daoust (Regional Director) and Scott McBurney and wildlife technician Darlene Weeks.
The focus of such necropsy wet labs are to learn proper necropsy techniques and indicators of health in white-tailed deer. The students determined the age, sex and body condition of white-tailed deer that had died as a result of vehicular collision in New Brunswick. In the female specimens, they also determined reproductive status and aged the fetuses of the pregnant individuals. Lastly, they examined all of the deer for Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, the “brainworm” parasite that commonly infects white-tailed deer.
Special thanks to the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources for the provision of the white-tailed deer carcasses for teaching purposes. Also thanks to the staff and students of the Holland College Wildlife Conservation Technology program for their continued enthusiasm and collaboration.
Article and photo contributed by Darlene Weeks, Wildlife Technician CWHC Atlantic Region