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New Zealand field trip

The New Zealand Conservation Medicine Field Trip was established by the Conservation Medicine Program, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University in collaboration with the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine. This annual trip is offered to final year students. The field trip is conducted by the Conservation Medicine Program’s project officer and zoologist Bec Donaldson.

The trip focuses on New Zealand’s north island (Auckland, Waitomo and Rotorua), and includes visits to the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine at Auckland Zoo and a wide range of wildlife conservation initiatives, including tours of island reserves, protected parks and several different native bird breeding and rehabilitation centres.

The trip involves presentations by and opportunities to discuss conservation issues with experienced guides and facilitators, including local wildlife veterinarians, scientists and reserve managers. New Zealand is renowned for its conservation projects on threatened bird species, spectacular natural attractions and traditional cultural experiences, so in addition to the visits to island and mainland wildlife reserves, the field trip includes guided tours of the Waitomo caves, and visits to Maori cultural villages and thermal springs at Rotorua.

South Africa field trip

The South Africa Conservation Medicine Field Trip was established by the Conservation Medicine Program, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University in collaboration with Wildlifevets.com and the University of Pretoria. The field trip is offered annually to Murdoch veterinary students. The trip is based in the Mpumalanga region and includes wildlife game capture and visits to wildlife breeding and rehabilitation centres, Kruger National Park and surrounding community development projects.

The Mpumalanga region is renowned for its subtropical lowveld habitat and majestic natural sites, and there is a full day scenic tour and opportunities for local cultural experiences. The students also have the opportunity to work with the Mpumalanga State Veterinary Services and explore aspects of disease control at the interface between poor rural communities and protected wildlife reserves. This field trip provides the students with an immersion experience in conservation medicine that enables them to develop an appreciation of the links between poverty, socio-economic issues and biodiversity conservation in South Africa.