3Rs needed when tracking animals
Authors of a scientific paper that looks at the effects of tracking devices on sea turtles have said that researchers should consider possible harm caused to animals' survival strategies before carrying out similar studies.
They are particularly concerned about the potential cost to animals wearing trackers in terms of the extra energy needed to carry them. It is particularly likely to affect streamlined animals.
The paper, "Taking the time to assess the effects of remote sensing and tracking devices on animals", has been published in the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare journal, Animal Welfare. It is by C R McMahon, N Collier, JK Northfield and F Glen, who are based at the Research INstitute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles darwin University in Darwin, Australia.
It says: "Ethical and welfare considerations need to be at the forefront of this type of research, ensuring scientists have accessible data for refining techniques and undertaking ethical practices."
Although there has been considerable use of remote tracking and its availability is increasing due to technological advances and reduced costs, there has been little investigation into possible risks to the animals involved, the authors say.
They suggest that researchers should discuss possible hazards and try to quantify the effects that devices and attachment methods might have, when they publish their work.
Photo from http://coastalcare.org/
Archived December 6