WILDLIFE MEDICINE & CONSERVATION
Taught by Dr. Isabelle, the award-winning and world-renowned Wildlife Veterinarian and Director of the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic. This course has been taught for over a decade to hundreds of aspiring veterinarians and animal science professionals. 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. The majority of this course is held at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic’s (BWRC) teaching facility with BWRC’s veterinary team and staff. 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.
Summer Session I: May 29 – June 9 (Full)
Summer Session II: June 25 – July 6
Summer Session III: July 11 – 22
Winter Session I: December 27 – January 7
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 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 immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
- Wildlife medical approaches.
- Stressors and risk evaluation.
- Clinical procedures for mammal, birds and reptiles.
- Distance immobilization & restraint for mammals, birds and reptiles.
- 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 & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
- International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation.
- International Veterinary Medicine perspectives.
- 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