Grad Student Feature: Mark Reist and the Wildlife Health Tracker


OVC Master of Public Health student Mark Reist discusses the Wildlife Health Tracker project he has been working on alongside Dr. Claire Jardine, and Dr. Jane Parmley from the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.

OAHN Wildlife Research Project: Developing and piloting a web-based reporting system to enhance wildlife disease surveillance in Ontario

Project Lead:      Claire Jardine

Collaborators:     Dr. Jane Parmley, Dr. Colin Robertson, Mark Reist, and Kevin Brown

The Wildlife Health Tracker (WHT) is a citizen science web-based reporting tool that allows individuals to record observations of dead and diseased wildlife they encounter across Ontario. The goal of the WHT is to improve wildlife health surveillance by making it easier for the public and groups interested in wildlife health to report sick and dead wild animals. The WHT has the potential to augment wildlife surveillance by capturing an additional subset of information not captured by traditional wildlife surveillance activities to enhance conservation efforts, and public health planning.

Mark Reist, a Masters of Public Health (MPH) candidate at the Ontario Veterinary College, is working with the CWHC to evaluate the type of data captured by the WHT compared to traditional CWHC surveillance activities, assess the WHT through survey distribution, as well as the development of promotional and educational materials on wildlife surveillance. Mark is also completing a review of wildlife health surveillance literature for publication. These activities will help to inform future wildlife health surveillance and conservation efforts.

You can visit the Wildlife Health Tracker here: