Apply to research, observe and handle wildlife in the NWT

Responsibilities of investigators


All investigators proposing studies that involve the handling of wildlife should make sure that: 

  • The capture and handling of wildlife is necessary and will contribute to the understanding of biological principles or to outcomes that can be expected to benefit the animals and the ecosystems they belong to. 
  • The proposed work has undergone peer review to assure it is of scientific merit, and the experimental design is appropriate. 
  • The proposed work has undergone community consultation to ensure it addresses the concerns of local communities and is sensitive to cultural views.    
  • All projects involving the use of wildlife for research are described within a protocol.  Protocols must be approved by the NWT Wildlife Care Committee (NWT-WCC) prior to start of a project.
  • Investigators are responsible for their own conduct, as well as the conduct of all other personnel involved in the investigators’ studies.
  • For projects involving endangered or threatened species, or species of special concern, the protocol meets the requirements of protective legislation, including the federal Species at Risk Act  and the NWT Wildlife Act .
  • Although field operations often require some flexibility, depending on a number of factors including environmental conditions, procedures employed remain humane and meet the requirements of the experimental design.  Further, investigators must be able to justify any changes to their animal handling protocol.
  • Contingency plans are in place to address chance occurrences that threaten animal or human safety.  Contingency plans may include terminating the investigation, either temporarily or permanently.
  • For species or special procedures--for example, long-distance translocation, captive breeding--where standard operating procedures are not available, specific animal handling protocols are developed with the consultation and participation of a wildlife veterinarian and additional experts as appropriate.
  • You must submit an annual progress report to the NWT-WCC, and home institution ACC if applicable. 

Standard Operating Procedure