Our objectives were to establish if the determinant of health model used in the fields of human population and public health could be adapted to wildlife health; if it was applicable to more than one species; and if it reflected how fish and wildlife managers conceptualized health in practice. A conceptual model was developed using a scoping review on fish and wildlife health and resilience coupled with a participatory process with experts on barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) and sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) health. Both the literature and experts supported the concept of wildlife health as a cumulative effect involving multiple factors that extend beyond the disease and pathogen focus of many wildlife health studies and legislation. Six themes were associated with fish and wildlife health: 1) the biologic endowment of the individual and population; 2) the animal's social environment; 3) the quality and abundance of the animal's needs for daily living; 4) the abiotic environment in which the animal lives; 5) sources of direct mortality; and 6) changing human expectations. These themes were shared between salmon and caribou and conformed to expert perceptions of health. Determinants of health used in human public health are used for planning, development of policy, and guiding of research. The model we produced may also have use as a wildlife health planning tool to help managers identify health protection priorities and to promote actions across the determinants of health.
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Vol. 55 • No. 2