New Approaches to Describe and Measure Wildlife Health in Ontario

Bayley, Daniel
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University of Guelph

As emerging issues such as climate change and human population growth result in new health threats, it is important we learn how to build healthy, more resilient communities. To achieve this goal, a better understanding of the connections between wildlife and human health is needed. The objective of this project was to develop indicators capable of describing how wildlife health varies across Ontario. Data sources were identified, and indicators developed for 9 wildlife species. Developed indicators included the coefficient of variation and slope of the number of harvests per active hunter, the number of wildlife observations/100,00 people, and the percentage of dead or diseased wildlife observations. These indicators were summarized to generate species-specific and multi-species composite health scores, which were then mapped by wildlife management unit. These results provide a basis for future research to explore shared health determinants and to help target areas in need of better wildlife management.

Ontario, health indicators, wildlife, wildlife health, one health, determinants of health, resilience