Wildlife studies are of increasing importance in recent years as we have recognised the imperatives of species conservation and environmental management. Often these studies occur in the animal’s natural habitat which presents particular challenges to minimise the risk to the animals involved.
To address these issues, guidelines have been developed by an expert committee, the Wildlife Advisory Group to the Animal Research Review Panel, which outline strategies to approach particular issues such as trapping, collection of voucher specimens and studies involving feral animals. Ways in which the Three R’s can be applied in field studies have also been addressed in guidelines.
Wildlife also can be seen in the laboratory setting, most often these studies being directed towards species conservation. However, there are some circumstances where wildlife is bred under laboratory conditions as animal models. In these circumstances, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines that can be found at their site, should be consulted.