by Andrea J. Shipley, Mammalogist, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Note: GWR is providing blog articles from guest field professionals every 3rd week of the month. We are honored to start with an article from Andrea Shipley. If you have an idea for a blog article you wish to share, please contact me through my Contact Page. Dr. Mark
A Game ChangerSpending the time to develop and incorporate this practice was a game changer for my work. It provided our team with several valuable benefits:
- We now had a complete, detailed record of our actions and justifications that were easily referenced.
- It gave my staff and me the opportunity to reflect on the actions taken, what went well and what could be improved, and what actions in the future could be done differently.
- It gave me the opportunity to discuss our field captures with collaborators, managers, and other high level leadership to receive their input.
- It gave us a broader understanding of what we were learning as we went through each capture experience. It’s become a strong positive feedback cycle in our work.
Creating a Post-Capture ReportWhile it would be easier to simply have a written description of what occurred, creating a package of proof is more powerful when answering hard questions. In the case of my canid research, we needed to document data, photos, and videos when possible. In your reports, I recommend including:
- A written, detailed description of what occurred in the field,
- A scan of your capture data sheet, including TPRs(temperature, pulse and respiration),
- Maps of your capture and release sites
- A map of initial GPS collar data (if using GPS collars) or initial telemetry triangulation data
- Photos of the release
Bio: Andrea J. Shipley is a state Mammalogist for North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and has worked on sympatric large canid (coyotes, red wolves, and their hybrids) research in North Carolina and in collaboration with FWS Red Wolf Recovery Program (RWRP) for the past 4.5 years. Andrea engages within a large canid interagency steering committee whose charge is to collaboratively work on large canid management and conservation actions in North Carolina, while keeping broader conservation issues in mind.