World Environment Day
June 5th is World Environment Day, and the theme is titled “connecting people to nature”. The goal of World Environment Day is to remind us of the vital importance of nature and the active role we all must take to preserve it.
One way for individuals to become active in environmental health and conservation is through citizen science. Citizen science allows people to participate and report information that can be used to inform research and management strategies.
Canada is home to a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that support a diverse array of wildlife. Not only are wildlife part of our national heritage, but wild animals also contribute to economic growth, food-security, and our physical and mental well-being.
Unfortunately, rapid population growth and urbanization, as well as climate change, all threaten the health of Canada’s wildlife. These factors can affect wildlife health by reducing available habitat, changing the interactions between humans, domestic animals and wildlife, and by altering pathogen and host distributions.
To collect information about wildlife health we rely on surveillance to inform policy, public health, and research. Surveillance allows us to detect emerging health threats, diagnose the problem, analyze the situation, and act accordingly. However, surveillance is a large task that requires collaboration between many individuals and organizations.
We need your help to detect dead and diseased wildlife!
Go to http://wildlifehealthtracker.com and create an account to take part in this citizen science project. By reporting your observations, you are helping us increase Canada’s ability to detect emerging wildlife health issues.