Biodiversity Research Institute
Biodiversity Research Institute
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Wildlife Health Program
Wildlife Health Program

Globally, emergent wildlife diseases, human-wildlife disease interactions, ecosystem health, and environmental contamination are increasingly significant issues of concern. Through applied research and collaboration with wildlife health professionals, BRI’s Wildlife Health Program will enhance science-based conservation strategies and policy implementation. Our research will help improve the health and integrity of wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend, and in turn, improve environmental conditions for human communities.

Program Director: Michelle Kneeland, D.V.M.
Program Staff: Ginger Stout, D.V.M.

BRI’s Research on the Issue

The main research goals of the Wildlife Health Program include:
  • Collaboration with BRI’s research programs to address critical wildlife and ecosystem health issues
  • Identification of nonlethal biomarkers for evaluating impacts of environmental contaminants to wildlife
  • Mitigating and addressing concerns related to ecotoxicological impacts and One Health
  • Providing timely response to emerging wildlife disease outbreaks and environmental contaminant exposures to assess the resulting wildlife population and health impacts
  • Development and implementation of wildlife sampling, sample processing, laboratory submission protocols, and in-house laboratory analysis
  • Providing veterinary oversight of BRI’s scientific field research to ensure quality animal welfare in the capture and sample processing of animals
  • Addressing gaps in longitudinal baseline physiology information of wildlife species
Building on extensive field research and lab experience, BRI’s innovative wildlife health program provides ecotoxicological and conservation medicine expertise, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the biotic response to environmental pollutants and expanding awareness of the interconnections of human, wildlife, and ecosystem health.
Wildlife Health Monitoring

Wildlife Health Monitoring

BRI’s veterinarians collect comprehensive baseline health data on the many species we study. This vital information will help wildlife professionals better evaluate the health of free-ranging and captive species. In addition, BRI’s Wildlife Health Program conducts infectious disease surveillance, including viral, fungal, and parasitic infections, to monitor pathogens of conservation and zoonotic concern among wild populations.
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Toxicology and Wildlife Health

Toxicology and Wildlife Health

BRI’s wildlife health program investigates the complex linkages between exposure to environmental contaminants and health. By investigating ongoing and emerging sources of pollutants, BRI is working to preserve the health of ecosystems upon which humans and wildlife depend.
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Mobile Surgical Capabilities

Mobile Surgical Capabilities

Fully equipped for mobile anesthesia and surgery, BRI’s wildlife veterinarians can offer technical veterinary expertise for wildlife research projects such as satellite transmitter implantations. By providing the highest standard of veterinary care, BRI promotes both ethical treatment of individuals as well as successful research outcomes.

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Pathology

Pathology

By conducting comprehensive post-mortem examinations, BRI’s veterinarians gather vital data on causes of mortality, disease, toxicology, and overall health status of many wildlife species.  This information helps guide conservation priorities and policy.
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Lab Capabilities

Lab Capabilities

The Wildlife Health Program utilizes in house diagnostic capabilities through BRI’s wildlife pathology and analytical labs.

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Program Director
Michelle Kneeland, D.V.M.
michelle.kneeland@briloon.org
207-839-7600 x206

Program Staff
Ginger Stout, D.V.M.

Contributing BRI Staff
Nina Schoch, D.V.M.

Senior Veterinary Advisor
Mark Pokras, D.V.M.
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
mark.pokras@tufts.edu

 
Photo Credits: Header photo © BRI-Michelle Kneeland; Study Subjects: Moose and Mule Deer © Ken Archer; Common Loon and Surf Scoter © Daniel Poleschook; Ferruginous Hawk © Al Hinde; Yellow Warbler © BRI-Ian Johnson. Banded Ferruginous Hawk © BRI-Michelle Kneeland; Toxicology-test tubes © BRI-Rick Gray; Mobile surgical unit © BRI; Pathology necropsy © BRI-Vincent Spagnuolo; Lab © BRI
Biodiversity Research Institute