Applying cumulative effects perspective to wildlife health: Adapting a determinants of health approach to wildlife populations
This thesis explores the feasibility and utility of adapting a determinants of health (DOH) approach to wildlife populations in order to develop a cumulative effects perspective of health in those populations. The first objective was to investigate the theoretical feasibility of adapting the DOH framework from human population health to wildlife. This was accomplished using a combination of methods including a scoping literature review, expert knowledge elicitation, and network analysis. We found that a theoretical foundation does exist for a DOH approach in wildlife and that it is consistent both with how wildlife is discussed in the literature and how management professionals perceive health. The second objective was to determine if the DOH conceptual model could be used to facilitate identification of shared goals or priorities for wildlife management across different stakeholder groups. Using network analysis of the expert opinion of two key Pacific salmon (Oncorhyncus spp.) stakeholder groups, we evaluated whether the DOH model could be used to identify shared perceptions of health. The DOH network was useful for visualizations of perceptions of health and was effective for identification of commonalities between disparate groups. The third objective was to identify if the DOH model could meet a need within existing policy to determine if this approach could be feasible within the existing system. We conducted a review of policy pertaining to Pacific salmon within Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A policy need was identified for a DOH approach that would provide a cohesive vision of salmon health across different government sectors. The fourth objective was to investigate whether there is an existing foundation of practice for applying a DOH perspective to support a healthy policy approach for wildlife. We reviewed data from already existing sources for Chilko Lake sockeye salmon (O. nerka) to determine if there were resources available to implement a DOH perspective. A DOH approach to measuring and monitoring salmon health within DFO was feasible and a foundation of practice exists, with measures or indicators of many of the expert-identified drivers of health already being collected.
wildlife health, population health, determinants of health, wildlife policy, wildlife management
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)