2015 Webinar - Meeting the Challenges in Oversight of Wildlife Research

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Animal studies with wildlife present unique challenges at all levels of oversight. Work involving wild animals and field research requires investigators, institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs), and regulatory personnel to propose and evaluate protocols within a framework that was designed primarily for laboratory research with domesticated species. Many considerations necessary for appropriate, ethical,  and legal conduct of research with wild animals are different from those required for laboratory research, but often—and unfortunately—review of wildlife research is evaluated within the framework established for lab studies. Resources for oversight of wildlife research include taxon-specific guidelines and protocol templates that mesh regulatory requirements with biological and ethical requirements of working with wild species. 

During this webinar, presenters provided strategies for those tasked with proposing and reviewing wildlife research. Topics for discussion included:

  • Strategies for effective oversight of wildlife research within regulatory frameworks designed primarily for biomedical research with domesticated animals
  • Reference materials for oversight of wildlife research, and how these resources address the specifics of work with wild animals 
  • Tips for dealing with injury and mortality in field settings
  • Occupational and health risks associated with field work with wild animals

What Will I Learn? 
By the end of this intermediate-level webinar, participants:

  • Understood the fundamental differences between oversight of wildlife research and oversight of laboratory-based animal research
  • Appreciated the necessity of using appropriate guidelines and resources for oversight of research with wildlife
  • Were equipped to juggle competing regulatory requirements (e.g., permit requirements, deadlines with IACUC review, etc.) 
  • Comprehended requirements for humane death in field settings

Who Should Attend? 

IACUC members, administrators, directors, and chairs at institutions or research entities conducting wildlife research, as well as individuals working in higher administration or anyone involved in oversight and regulation of projects involving wildlife benefited from attending this webinar.


John A. Bryan, II, DVM, MS, is a public service assistant and wildlife veterinarian focusing on issues involving exotic invasive species and wildlife disease at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS). Dr. Bryan is a native Georgian who received his undergraduate education from Emory University, and his professional and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia. Following graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Bryan received post-doctoral training at SCWDS in the diagnosis, pathology, and epidemiology of wildlife disease. From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Bryan served as served as chair and attending veterinarian of the National Park Service (NPS) Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Veterinary Diagnostic Service Coordinator, and as a Field Wildlife Veterinarian the Biological Resource Management Division of NPS. In 2015, Dr. Bryan returned to SCWDS as a Public Service Assistant and Wildlife Veterinarian focusing on issues involving exotic invasive species and wildlife disease. He lives in Ila, Georgia with his family and their four dogs.   

Robert S. Sikes, PhD, serves as professor of biology and director of the basic animal services unit at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He currently chairs the animal care and use committee and is president-elect of the American Society of Mammalogists. Dr. Sikes received his BS from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, his MS from Memphis State University, and PhD from the University of Minnesota. He has worked exclusively with wild animals, both in the field and in the lab, to address questions in behavioral and evolutionary ecology, with mammal species ranging from shrews to giant pandas and has dabbled with reptiles and fish. With regard to oversight of animal use, Dr. Sikes has long been interested in the applicability of guidelines designed for domesticated species to wild animals. He was co-convenor of the 2011 conference on IACUC oversight of wildlife research in Albuquerque, NM; senior author of the current (2011) Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of Wild Mammals in Research; and an active advocate of ethical and appropriate oversight in the use of wild animals in research.

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of attendance will be made available at the conclusion of the webinar. To access the certificate, you must first complete the online evaluation. Such certificates are useful for obtaining continuing education (CE) credits (not Continuing Medical Education credits) from professional associations. Note that guidelines concerning CE credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.

If you would like to receive a certificate of attendance for a previous PRIM&R educational program, please email info@primr.org or call 617.423.4112, ext. 0.

CE Credit for Certified Professional IACUC (CPIA®) Recertification
Webinar participants holding the CPIA® credential who wish to apply credits from this webinar toward CPIA® recertification may submit the Certificate of Attendance they received upon completing the online evaluation as documentation of their participation. Participation in this 90-minute webinar counts as 1.5 CE credit hours.

Additional information about CPIA® recertification can be found here.