Students in the Holland College Wildlife Conservation Technology Program Receive Necropsy Training


An interest in wildlife health is a natural fit for many involved in veterinary medicine but it is also very relevant for those working or studying in the field of biological sciences. As a result, the Regional Director and staff of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC), Atlantic Region, are often asked to provide educational opportunities for students, technicians and professionals on a variety of topics related to wildlife health. The Learning Managers and students of the Holland College Wildlife Conservation Technology Program have developed a close relationship with the CWHC and often engage members of the CWHC to instruct in various aspects of their Program.

A recent white-tailed deer necropsy wet lab on February 27, 2015 given by Drs. Pierre-Yves Daoust and Scott McBurney and wildlife technician Darlene Weeks is an example of such an activity. Ben Hoteling and Jennifer Roma brought eleven of their Wildlife Conservation Technology students 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 and sexed 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.

In addition to this wet lab, Dr. Scott McBurney provided 3 hours of lecture to the students in both years of the Wildlife Conservation Technology Program earlier in the week on February 25, 2015. Topics included an “Introduction to the CWHC”, “Wildlife Health Surveillance – A Collaboration Between Disciplines” and “Current Topics in Wildlife Health in Atlantic Canada”. The ongoing relationship between the CWHC and Holland College provides an excellent opportunity to reach out and engage wildlife professionals early in their careers so that they are well aware of wildlife health and more specifically, its significance to the work they will do.

A special thanks to the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources for their contribution of road-kill white-tailed deer carcasses for ongoing teaching purposes.


Standing on the floor: Instructors, Ben Hoteling and Jennifer Roma. Students, Alex Seyforth, Kyle Doucette, Layton McAndrew, Josh Young, Trevor Coffin. Behind on stairs: Students, Kristy Hutchinson, Shaylyn Wallace, Brittany MacLean, Janelle MacLeod, Emma Billings, and Brittany Jay


 Submitted by Darlene Weeks, CWHC Atlantic

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