Tracey McNamara

Veterinary pathologists are important partners in wildlife and enviromental conservation and are an essential component of the medical management of animal collections around the world. For example, zoos have become centers of conservation, science, and education and veterinary pathologists are widely used by the zoo community to aid in disease diagnosis, control, surveillance, and management in both captive and wild animal populations.

Diseases diagnosed by the pathologist could have implications for a single species at a zoo, for a zoo population as a whole, for wild populations, and even for humans. Examples of these various situations include diagnoses of Johnes diseases in a population of antelope, West Nile virus in a variety of wildlife and zoo animals, and tuberculosis in elephants or primates. It is because of their understanding of disease, diagnostics, and medical science that pathologists often get invited to help with field conservation projects and wild animal populations around the world.

If you are interested in the challenges associated with diagnostics and management of diverse captive and wildlife populations, a career in wildlife and environmental conservation may be for you.