REPTILE MEDICINE & CONSERVATION
Perfect for vet, pre-vet and animal science students interested in reptile medicine, research and conservation. This internship combines work at 4 different centers in Belize. Interns hone their technical and clinical skills with the veterinary team at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC). Interns then conduct hands-on work at the Green Iguana Project and BFree’s Central American River Turtle Project (Dermatemys mawii). Interns study Crocodile population health and ecology at the Crocodile Research Coalition. Participants travel from the jungle covered mountains of the Cayo district to the the warm turquoise Caribbean waters and Belize Barrier Reef while meeting and learning from veterinary, research and conservation professionals. This internship is offered once annually and enrollment is limited.
The Wildlife Institute arranges housing at local hotels and guest houses for interns and students. Standard accomodations include multiple occupany, AC, free WiFi, private bath and kitchenette. Upgrades and private accomodations are available upon request. Students and interns have free access to BWRC kayaks for wildlife spotting and recreation.
This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas
- Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians and conservation professionals in reptile medicine and conservation.
- Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
- Wildlife/reptile immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
- Reptile medical approaches.
- Reptile stressors and risk evaluation.
- Clinical procedures for reptiles.
- Immobilization & restraint for specific reptiles, including crocodiles.
- Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
- Zoo and preventative medicine.
- Reptile transport.
- Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
- Reptilian parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
- Field data collection methods.
- Develop field observation skills.
- Practice all aspects of reptile husbandry.
- Reptile rehabilitation methods and approaches.
- The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.
- Guatemala may be included in some itineraries
*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.
- Lab fees
- Hotel accommodations with free wifi, all breakfasts
- Excursions, field trips, entrance fees
- Field medical supplies
- Daily transportation
- Airport transfers
- Payments & donations to the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic
- Program T-shirt