2017 Course Dates
Summer Section I: June 14th – June 25th
Summer Section II: July 26th – August 6th
Winter Section I: Dec. 27th – January 7th
Take as a Companion Course to Small Animal Veterinary Experience (SAVE)
The companion course to Small Animal Veterinary Experience (SAVE), Wildlife Medicine & Conservation (WMC) is the Wildlife Institute’s signature course. Taught by Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) founder Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand PhD, Wildlife Medicine & Conservation is a unique opportunity for pre-veterinary and veterinary students to gain practical experience on the front lines of wildlife medicine & conservation in Belize. This course is also valuable veterinarians and other professionals seeking to broaden and strengthen their knowledge of wildlife medicine and conservation. Students join the veterinary team at BWRC for lectures, labs and daily care of BWRC patients. Students also travel to partner wildlife projects around the region. Read More
Private and custom groups available. Contact educational program manager Justin Ford at email@example.com for more details.
Read a University of Illinois vet school student’s account of Wildlife Medicine & Conservation.
The Wildlife Medicine & Conservation course is an intensive introduction to key topics in wildlife medicine and conservation issues in the neo-tropics. Students learn about wildlife medical issues and approaches, the role of the veterinarian in wildlife conservation, zoo medicine, and wildlife rescue & rehabilitation. Students are introduced to preventative medicine and common diseases for various wildlife species. Students visit a number of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and conservation projects and centers around Belize and the region. Much of this course is held at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic’s (BWRC) teaching facility with BWRC’s founder and wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand. Labs include distance immobilization, suture, necropsy, comparative anatomy, radiography, parasitology, and blood analysis. Students also have the opportunity to observe, and when possible, assist the BWRC and other facility veterinary staff with daily treatments and husbandry.
Students are likewise introduced to critical conservation issues in the region, focusing on strategies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Guest speakers enrich the course content with perspectives drawn from the front lines of wildlife conservation. In between visiting field sites and classroom sessions, students enjoy recreational activities and are introduced to Belize’s rich and diverse culture(s) through excursions, guest speakers and culinary exploration.
This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas
- Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife 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 examination
- Wildlife medical issues and approaches
- Stressors and risk evaluation
- Basic clinical procedures in different species
- Distance immobilization & restraint
- Emergency medicine and triage protocol
- Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases
- Zoo and preventative medicine
- Wildlife Transport
- Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography
- Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize
- Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species
- Basic suturing
- Basics of avian fracture repair
- Tropical parasitology & Zoonotic diseases
- International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation
- International veterinary medicine
- The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation
Visit to 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.
Services and Fees
WMC Course Fee $2,700 USD | WMC & SAVE Course Fee $4,600 USD
Included in the cost of your program
- Airport transfers (pick-up/drop off) & all ground transportation
- Accommodations with breakfast
- Some lunches and dinners
- Payments to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic
- Payments and donations to partner wildlife conservation projects
- Labs and field activities
- BWRC or WI t-shirt
While in San Ignacio, standard accommodations include multiple occupancy, A/C, free wifi, Cable, private bath, kitchenette and breakfast. Situated on the river, standard accommodations offer students the opportunity to utilize our kayaks and canoes for wildlife spotting and recreation. We also offer upgraded accommodations with private room, A/C, swimming pool and restaurant for an additional fee. Accommodations at field sites vary and may include home-stays. Transportation is provided to and from each accommodation location.
Filming and Photography
Interns and students are routinely filmed and photographed during BWRC wildlife rescue events. If you are not willing to be on film or in photographs, please inform the photographer on site.
Before You Apply
Before you apply, feel free to Educational Program Director Justin Ford firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the SAVE and Wildlife Medicine and Conservation courses. Apply as early as possible to secure your seat. Sections are limited to 12 participants.