Oral Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

Strategic early warning as a tool to overcome challenges in Canadian coastal ecosystem health  (#58)

Craig Stephen 1
  1. Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada

Canada has the largest coastline of any nation. This coastline, and the species dependent on it, are facing a series of unprecedented changes ranging from regime shifts, acidification, warming, urbanization and industrial development. Legislation and literature leave us with inadequate tools to detect and respond to these complex and interacting threats over the vast uninhabited distances of the Canadian coastline. New methods are required to expand the geographic coverage to produce timely observations of situations and conditions that could be indicative of the need for action to protect coastal wildlife and the services they provide society.  This presentation will first discuss the theoretical possibilities of a health intelligence approach to coastal health to overcome some of these challenges and better prepare us to identify and mitigate risks to marine biodiversity in a timely and effective manner. Examples of Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative initiatives to develop and apply these methods will illustrate the possibility of health intelligence to support an ecosystemic and cumulative effects approach to wildlife health.