Exploring the potential of One Health Relationships: Are Wildlife Rehabilitators Part of the Whole?

Diane Seguin

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


One Health promises to address complex health challenges more holistically. However, there are significant barriers to its implementation, such as: not engaging equitably with diverse stakeholders and difficulties breaking down disciplinary silos. As our interactions at the human-animal-environment interface continue, many wildlife casualties make their way to wildlife rehabilitation centres. This research focussed on exploring the place of
wildlife rehabilitation and potential contribution to One Health. A focus group
collaboration led to strategic recommendations for the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC). Better awareness of knowledge captured by wildlife rehabilitators can inform our understanding of our relationship to wildlife and, in turn, help One Health stakeholders respond to complex challenges. Qualitative research can help uncover some of the driving forces behind our actions. Throughout this project, applying Theory U awareness-based principles helped guide conversations with a focus group composed of wildlife rehabilitators. These discussions exposed some challenges rehabilitators face. The transcripts were reviewed through immersive iterative revisions. Surfacing themes were that of: (1) Absencing and Presencing, and (2) Disconnects. Many of the interrogations were concentrated on relational aspects of their work, drawing parallels with issues that often surface in
transdisciplinary work such as One Health - where there is a need for better networking across disciplines. Focus group participants expressed how a safe space for discussion had been a positive experience for them and could be beneficial for further discussions with other disciplines. An awareness-based approach facilitated seeing challenges through new perspectives. Participants confirmed they could gain from a One Health approach and could contribute in
return. Since wildlife rehabilitators are at the forefront of the human-animal-environment interface, involving them in our responses to complex health challenges is in order. A systems approach should include wildlife rehabilitators as their knowledge and experience can expose subtleties that could otherwise remain overlooked.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Cousquer, Glen, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the potential of One Health Relationships: Are Wildlife Rehabilitators Part of the Whole?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this