Wildlife Field Investigation and Health Sampling Workshop
After the success of the 2018 edition, we organized again a new Wildlife Field Investigation and Health Sampling Workshop at the University of Calgary. This year we received five participants from the Inuit communities of Cambridge Bay (Nunavut) and Ulukhaktok (Northwest Territories), as well as the First-Nation community of Wabasca (Alberta).
During this workshop, the participants learned about important diseases found in free-ranging ungulates in Northern Canada, how to collect appropriate samples in carcasses with abnormalities, as well as how to protect themselves from infection. The workshop participants were introduced to some of the lab techniques we frequently use such as examining samples to detect and identify parasites. Finally, the workshop participants also had the opportunity to practice what they learned on wildlife diseases in the necropsy room of the Veterinary Faculty where we had carcasses from wild animals for them to dissect and examine!
An important focus of the workshop was how communities can initiate and lead their own wildlife monitoring program. Drawing on our experience, we discussed with the participants which samples to collect depending on the research questions they might have, how to create and maintain databases and to archive samples.
Many thanks to Dr. Janelle Baker from the Athabasca University for initiating this workshop and putting us in touch with the Wabasca First-Nation community and to Dr. Dayna Goldsmith, the wildlife pathologist at the Veterinary Faculty for sharing her immense knowledge on wildlife health investigation.