Reptile Medicine & Conservation


June 28th – July 9th



Course Description
Reptile MedicineReptile Medicine and Conservation is an intensive introduction to key topics in reptile diseases and medicine, and includes relevant topics in reptile conservation issues and approaches. The course setting allows students unique opportunities to observe neo-tropical species, and better understand threats to their wild populations. Students visit reptile conservation projects including Green Iguana Project, the Belize Herpetarium, the Belize Zoo,  Crocodile Research Coalition, and Sea Turtle Projects in the region. Field excursions include reptile and amphibian survey and monitoring in natural habitats. This course uniquely combines the expertise of Dr. Adolf Maas, board certified Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarian and Certified Aquatics Veterinarian; and Dr. Paquet-Durand, Founder of the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic and Wildlife (BWRC) Veterinarian. This course is held in part at the BWRC’s teaching facility, and field sites across Belize and Guatemala. Course modalities include lecture and theory, labs, and on-site practical activities. Labs include: distance immobilization, necropsy, comparative anatomy, radiography, parasitology and blood analysis. Additional recreational and cultural activities enrich student’s experience.

Learning Objectives
This course is designed to improve student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas:

  • Introduction to herptile medicine and conservation
  • Reptile and amphibian wildlife medical issues
  • Comparative reptile and amphibian anatomy
  • Reptile and amphibian restraint, physical exams
  • Herptile husbandry, nutrition & resources
  • Herptile diagnostics, sample collection, necropsy
  • Reptile & amphibian diseases & zoonosis
  • Reptile and Amphibian nursing and therapy
  • Reptile and Amphibian anesthesia and surgery
  • Herptile Pharmacotherapy
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography
  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife medicine and conservation
  • Critical herptile conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges and conservation approaches

*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 the occasions arise, BWRC and our partner projects will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

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