young California mountain lion


Workshop 1: Leadership for Wildlife Health Professionals

Instructors: Jonathan Sleeman (USGS National Wildlife Health Center); Craig Stephen (Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative)

When/Where: Sunday August 4, 2019 from  8:30 am to 5:00 pm at Granlibakken, Tahoe City, California. Lunch will be included for those staying at the Granlibakken.

Workshop Outline

Today’s wildlife health challenges result from complex and interacting environmental and socio-economic factors. Finding solutions will require novel ways of thinking, innovative and creative ideas, and the skills to foster support for these new approaches.  Studies have also shown that key factors for success for multi-stakeholder outcomes are a shared and acknowledged common purpose, focus on science-based outcomes, clear mandates, good governance, organization level support, rotational leadership, defined roles and responsibilities, and a foundation of trust; all of which require good individual and team leadership skills.

This workshop, using didactic lectures and practical exercises, will explore strategies and practices to help wildlife health professionals break through gridlocks, accomplish deep, lasting change and develop the adaptability to thrive in complex, competitive, and challenging environments.  With a focus on topics such as concepts of leadership and developing a vision, leading and managing change, working in teams, communication and negotiation, and forming networks the goal of this workshop is to provide exposure to leaderships skills that will support wildlife health professionals in successfully navigating the changing political, social, and environmental climates they currently face and will continue to address in the future.


The workshop will be limited to 20 participants, with a minimum of 10 participants.  Participation is limited to allow for meaningful interactions among the participants and instructors. Participants will be provided with the course materials electronically.

Registration Fee: $100/person

Workshop 2: AAWV Free-ranging Wildlife Health, Disease and Mortality Investigations — from Outbreaks to Surveillance

Instructors: Peregrine Wolff (Nevada Dept of Wildlife), Anne Justice Allen (Arizona Game & Fish), Kevin Keel (UC Davis), and others.

When/Where: Sunday August 4, 2019, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at NDOW Offices, Reno, Nevada. Lunch will be included.

Workshop Outline

Diseases know no political or cultural boundaries. Understanding the role that wild birds played in the HPAIV outbreak in 2014-15, how pneumonia has limited the comeback of bighorn sheep, the impact that screwworm myasis has recently had on Key deer, the uncertainties about the precipitating factors that result in Snake Fungal dermatitis cases, etc all have highlighted the impact of health and disease as a significant component of wildlife management and—for those situations where disease has shown to cause population declines—to conservation. These events also highlight the significance of a prompt and efficient response

Wildlife disease investigations are often initiated by an epizootic. They test various hypotheses regarding the etiology and precipitation factors of a disease event, while providing the potential to gain knowledge of wildlife pathogens and their impacts on the health of wildlife populations, domestic animals, and humans.  Maximizing the quality, usefulness, and application of wildlife pathogen data requires a clear understanding of appropriate sample collection, handling, and processing.  As new diseases are described, and new technologies evolve, the techniques utilized to collect and process biological samples change and must be updated.

This workshop will utilize lectures, real-life scenarios and hands-on practical experience to elucidate the salient points of disease investigation, including how to approach cases with legal implications, how to collect environmental data, appropriate and safe biological sample collection and storage, and advances in diagnostic assays. The objective will be to provide training for safe and systematic wildlife health investigations. 

The first half of the day will utilize didactic techniques to outline the skeleton of an investigation and common surveillance plans, followed with group exercises to practice some of the methods commonly applied through real-life cases. The cases will also elucidate some of the salient points of disease investigation—some examples would include their legal implications, appropriate biological sample collection and storage, new diagnostic assays and their influence on sample collection, how to collect environmental information, etc. We will include the most up-to-date techniques for collecting and processing biological samples for any species as well as specific techniques used for surveillance in current and emerging wildlife diseases.

During the second half of the day, instructors and laboratory diagnosticians experienced in wildlife will provide specific information and hands-on demonstrations on how to conduct a health assessment, a thorough gross necropsy and appropriate, efficient and safe biological sample collection. There will be an emphasis on the types of tissues/fluids needed from animal carcasses. Questions that will be addressed include what samples to collect, what information these samples may provide (and do not provide), how to document, preserve and transport the samples, and how to obtain appropriate diagnostic testing.  To help ensure human health when collecting samples, guidance and demonstrations on safe work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided and their proper use emphasized.  Finally, we will provide information and examples of diagnostic data interpretation and associated scientific analysis and reporting.  Case studies will be presented to allow participants an opportunity to practice implementing techniques discussed and demonstrated during lectures.

Participants: The workshop will be limited to 30 participants, with a minimum of 10 participants.  Participation is limited to allow for meaningful interactions among the participants and instructors.

Registration fee: $100 for professionals, $50 for students