Conservation & Wildlife in Veterinary Medicine


Earn a certificate to further your career in wildlife conservation and veterinary medicine! 

The Introduction to Wildlife Veterinary Medicine and Conservation Online Certificate program, through the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest trends and issues in the field of wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. Participants of this program will understand the intricacies of wildlife conservation efforts, understand the process of wildlife rehabilitation, learn the capture and handling techniques required for the medical care and management of wildlife, gain insight into the anatomy and physiology of various species, and develop an understanding for the habits of wildlife and the environmental conditions in which they live. Taught by two of the top active wildlife veterinarians within the field, this 15-week online certificate program provides an inside look at the day-to-day operations of those who are on the front lines of wildlife conservation within their communities.


Alejandro Morales

Dr. Alejandro Morales

The ARCAS Wildlife Rescue Center

Dr. Alejandro Morales, adjunct faculty at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, is the wildlife veterinarian and assistant director of ARCAS in Petén, Guatemala. ARCAS is a non-profit Guatemalan NGO that aims to improve the chances of survival and conservation of endangered species and their habitat, as well as to assist in the national management of natural resources. Dr. Alejandro Morales received his DVM from San Carlos University in Guatemala and an MSc in One Health from Ross University. He started in conservation and education with the Natural History Museum and was the volunteer program coordinator for the largest non-government zoo in Guatemala City. He is field veterinarian for Jaguar home range research program and developed a mangrove ecosystem-monitoring handbook for a protected area in south Guatemala. Dr. Morales has been a keynote speaker in national and international wildlife medicine and rehabilitation events, and has been a lecturer at six international workshops for rescue and rehabilitation centers.

Isabelle Paquet-Durand

Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand

The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic

Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand is the co-founder, director and wildlife veterinarian at the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC) and has worked in international wildlife medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Isabelle received her DVM and PhD from Hanover, Germany with doctoral research at Heredia Vet School, Costa Rica. Dr. Isabelle is also a certified Wildlife Rehabilitator. Since 2005 she has been an educator teaching veterinary courses for several US and international universities and study abroad companies. She is a wildlife consultant for government and NGOs nationally and internationally. Dr. Isabelle is the field veterinarian for the Scarlet Macaw Protection program, and the veterinarian for the national breeding program for Hickatee (Dermatemmys mawii). Her research foci start with parasitology and public health and span species ranging from crocodiles to tamanduas and she is passionate about conservation and coexistence. Aside volunteer positions on the Belize Surgeon's Board, Veterinary Association of Belize and the Commonwealth Veterinary Association, she was a director on the Board for Friends for Conservation and Development for 7 years and remains an avid supporter. Dr. Isabelle has given invited lectures at several universities and conferences, and hosted workshops and conferences as well as annual Continuing Education for Belizean veterinarians and wildlife partners since 2007. She was recognized for her efforts by Inspiration in Action award, Femme de Terre, Marlys Bulander award as well as the Colin S Burrows award as the Latin American Scholar at the 2019 VMX.

About the Facilities

Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic

The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic, Belize:

BWRC is a Belizean non-profit organization founded in 2011. BWRC’s founder, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand, had for many years provided free medical care to wildlife centers and in the field without a clinic facility and only basic medical equipment. That was before a severely injured monkey named Spartacus provided the impetus to seek funding to establish BWRC. Fortunately Spartacus survived and returned to the wild and BWRC is now a fully staffed veterinary teaching clinic with x-ray, gas anesthesia and ultrasound; for both wildlife and domestics with attached rehabilitation facilities. BWRC provides veterinary care, rescue assistance, relocation and rehabilitation as well as education and training in support of the governmental wildlife program and around 10 different partner per year. As of 2018, BWRC has provided free veterinary care to over 2,000 animals with growing numbers annually and between 100-120 students participate in courses or internships per year. The core mission of the BWRC remains to support wildlife conservation with veterinary care, research and education with an increasing focus on education increased due to the fact that 80% of wildlife intakes originate because of preventable human intervention (traffic and conflict).


The ARCAS Wildlife Rescue, Guatemala:

ARCAS was founded in 1989 in order to help combat the illegal wildlife trade in the Petén region. Its first act was to establish the Wild Animal Rescue Center, a direct response to the fact that although the Guatemalan government was beginning to comply with the CITES treaty by confiscating trafficked wildlife, there was no adequate facility to treat and rehabilitate these animals. Under a cooperative agreement with the Guatemalan government, ARCAS is recognized as the official destination for all confiscated wildlife taken from smugglers in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve. Since 1990, ARCAS has rescued between 300 to 600 endangered species per year of more than 40 different species.

Program Structure

The program will consist of a series of pre-recorded online lectures, live online labs, and live online discussions on various aspects of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation veterinary medicine totaling 30hrs. Participants will also have the opportunity to access video footage of wildlife releases, surgery recovery updates, and enclosure transitions. Participants in this certificate will be required to choose an internationally relevant wildlife topic of interest to research and present the information in a 5-minute video at the end of the program.

  • Pre-Recorded Lectures: 12 hrs.
    • The pre-recorded lectures will provide the opportunity to participants to work at their own pace throughout the certificate program. It is expected that participants write down any questions they might have and ask instructors over email.  There will be 12 pre-recorded lectures totaling 12 hrs.
  • Live Online Discussion: 5hrs. 
    • There is a total of 5hrs. of live online discussions in which instructors will present on relevant topics within wildlife conservation and rehabilitation medicine. These online discussions will allow participants to ask questions and engage with instructors in live discussion. These will take place on Sundays @ 6pm (EST). 
  • Live Online Labs: 10hrs.
    • The live online labs provide an opportunity for participants to gain exposure to cases that our instructors see in the field. There will be a total of 6hrs of live online labs, with another 4hrs of pre-recorded surgeries or wildlife releases; totaling 10hrs total. These labs will consist of necropsies, bone puzzles, as well as an inside look into the rehabilitation process. These will take place on Sundays @ 6pm (EST). 
  • Exclusive Video Footage of Wildlife Rehabilitation Process: 3hrs. +
    • Since our instructors are practitioners within the field, they are continually encountering new cases and finding innovative ways to solve them. You will have the opportunity to see of them in action, as they will upload content on their day-to-day operations as well as updates on recoveries for some of their patients in their respective clinics.



  • Bolster your resume with an official certificate in Wildlife Conservation and Medicine from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Over 30 hrs. of instruction from two of the top wildlife and conservation veterinarians in the world
  • Develop your knowledge on the latest trends in conservation and techniques in wildlife rehabilitation   
  • Place yourself in a better position to further your career in wildlife conservation and medicine


If you have any questions, please contact the Global Engagement Office.

Phone: 765-494-5780

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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