BY 407 Mammalogy

BY 407 Mammalogy - Methods, Techniques and Ethics of...

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Methods, Techniques and Ethics of Capturing Mammals BY 407 Mammalogy Dr. Robert Carter David Johnson 1
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There are many reasons for trapping all types of creatures in research. Ecological data can be gained from these experiments and often determine whether or not a species in a certain habitat are threatened. Different categories of traps are implemented for different situations, animal size, and of course herbivory or carnivory. In this paper, I will discuss many different topics from ethics to marker identifiers. Ethics comes into play when trapping animals because different trap types can actually torture the creature. Here in the United States, as well as many other countries, have laws governing the treatment we impose on animals. Even biologists have to go by these standards when studying these creatures because causing them harm is not our initiative. Philosophers have argued for many years that research must meet a certain ethical standard (Bekoff 2000 a,b, 2001 2002; Bekoff and Jamieson 1996; Berger 1998; Berger et al. 2001; Cuthill 1991; Elwood 1991). Bekoff (2002) stated that “to ask questions about ethics is in the best tradition of science.” (Powell and Proulx 2003) They also stated that researchers should work to improve research methods to decrease effects it has on animals (Powell and Proulx 2003) Each professional society has different codes of ethics for research on animals. “The American Society of Mammalogists and the Association for the Study of Animal Behavior outline research methods that [they] find ethically appropriate” (Powell and Proulx 2003). Research design should minimize long-term effects of trapping (Seddon et al. 1999) and deal with non-random sampling (Banci and Proulx 1999). Research should be designed, and be practical to the study at hand. And as trapping remains an effective tool 2
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in biological research, researchers must continue to use the latest trap technology to manage programs so that the evolution of public opinion and conservation objectives remain ethical. How animals are trapped and the effects of trapping remain as societal concerns (Proulx and Barrett 1989). These traps used must meet certain performance criteria to maintain the welfare and safety of the animal. “Minimal impact” on the animals leads to minimal negative impact on the research result. Also performance criteria are a must for killing-traps. Their criteria are easier to set forth than that of a restraining trap since the restraint can not be torturous or in effect cause long-term harm such as: injury, anxiety and hardship. Proper procedures and methods must take into consideration the sampling size,
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course BY 407 taught by Professor Carter during the Spring '08 term at Jacksonville State.

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BY 407 Mammalogy - Methods, Techniques and Ethics of...

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