EARLIER EVENTS :: 2015 :: Workshops

Animal Handling Techniques

Presented by Several research questions require animal handling, which includes capturing, with and without immobilization. This workshop will provide a brief exposure to some field techniques, in a captive animal facility. We will discuss ethical considerations behind these techniques. We will focus on herpetofauna, birds, and small mammals. There are various methods to capture birds but the most popular one is mist-net based capture techniques. We will discuss net placement and other field considerations for successful and safe capture-processing-release of birds. We will also have a demonstration of extracting birds from a mist net. For small mammals, the most commonly used traps are box traps (live trapping), snap traps (killing) and pitfall traps (live trapping/ killing). We will discuss how box traps (Sherman live trap/Tomahawk traps) can be employed for capturing small mammals and show a quick demonstration of removing animals from the trap. Widely used techniques for capturing lizards and frogs include hand-catching or noosing, and the use of pitfall traps for terrestrial species. Participants will be exposed to capture techniques, handling and transport/storage of these animals. We will also discuss the best practices with relation to safety of animals and risks associated with such methods. We will demonstrate how various morphometric measurements will be taken with suggestions on how to minimize errors and reduce inter-observer variability. We will also briefly discuss how such data should be stored and shared. Participants will get hands-on experience in handling and taking measurements (five birds/animals/skulls/lizards/frogs). This will be followed by a presentation on downstream data processing which will include mark-recapture, morphometric and lab techniques of DNA extraction, amplification, sequence generation and the use of such data for conservation. Why conduct this workshop in a captive facility:Students/researchers that start to work on animals have differential capabilities to handle animals. Before starting to work with wild animals – some of which may be threatened, endemic taxa, it is good to ensure that sufficient training is provided on best practices, emergency procedures and most importantly – practice with captive animals. Target audience:Participants nterested in researching herpetofauna, birds and/or small mammals. All participants should be willing to handle animals. Capture and handling manuals will be circulated prior to workshop, and participants are expected to have gone through the same. This workshop can only accommodate 21 participants - 7 per taxa (birds, small mammals, herpetofauna). Location: Gerry Martin’s farm 30 Km from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Please note that this workshop has an early start 7:00 from IISc and all participants return by 16:00. In order to participate in this workshop, participants need to arrive on September 7, 2015, and complete registration that same evening. Workshop organisers:Uma Ramakrishnan, V.V. Robin, Vivek Ramachandran, Varad Giri, Ishan Agarwal, Krishnapriya Tamma, C.K Vishnudas, Nishma Dahal