What We Do:
- Provide oversight for the humane care and use of wild, vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and training in parks.
- Assists parks and researchers in achieving compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Inter-agency Research Animal Committee (IRAC) principles.
- Provides guidance to promote animal welfare, human and animal safety. and scientific integrity in activities occurring in NPS units.
How We Do This:
- Review projects involving vertebrate animals to be used in research, teaching, and training within NPS units
- Consult with park representatives and researchers about proposed animal activities and advise on regulatory requirements and current standards of care for wildlife research animals, emphasizing the 3 R's: refinement, reduction, and replacement
- Visit locations where vertebrate animal activities are conducted for post-approval monitoring (PAM)
- Report to appropriate authorities on the use of animals in research within NPS units
- Advise, consult, and collaborate with other agencies on animal welfare oversight in wildlife research
FormsLarger documents may take several minutes to open. Thank you for your patience.
- General Submission Form (PDF 8,228 KB)
- Amendment Form (PDF 1,125 KB)
- Annual Review Study Form (PDF 1,164 KB)
- BioBlitz Field Study Form (PDF 5,529 KB)
- Concurrence Form (PDF 2,065 KB)
- NPS Guidance for Wildlife Research and COVID-19 (PDF 168 KB)
For questions about projects involving wild, vertebrate animals and the need for NPS IACUC review or for any questions about animal welfare oversight by the NPS IACUC, please contact us.
NOTE: NPS units issue permits for conducting scientific projects within their respective boundaries through the Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS). NPS IACUC approval DOES NOT replace Park specific permit requirements. Please contact your NPS park representative for specific requirements and procedures.
Personnel Training and Qualifications
The NPS IACUC requests that all vertebrate animal research submissions provide adequate information regarding the training and qualifications for personnel conducting activities in the field within NPS units. These should be addressed within the submission materials and include, but are not limited to:
Role of each person listed in conducting any procedures with wild vertebrate animals
Principal Investigator may not be involved in conducting field research so list who will be the responsible, qualified person conducting and/or overseeing the procedures.
Experience with the species or justification for translating other species’ experience
If not all personnel are experienced, list who will train and how training will be conducted.
Experience with the specific procedures and appropriate certification
Chemical immobilization qualifications and training courses complete
Aerial Capture, Eradication, and Tagging of Animals (ACETA), if applicable
Euthanasia methods, particularly in the field, and if personnel in this role have been adequately trained. This should include firearm selection and qualifications if humane killing by gunshot is the most appropriate method.
Supervision will be provided for students or less experienced personnel by qualified expert and criteria for if/when allowed to conduct procedures independently.
NPS IACUC Contact:Allie Petersen
IACUC Administrative Assistant
IACUC Training and Resources
- Animal Welfare Act, regulations, and standards from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
- U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training.
- American Veterinary Medical Association's guidelines for the euthansia of animals, 2013 editions. (PDF 1,336 KB)
- Visit the Animal Welfare Information Center website, for more IACUC resources.
- 2016 guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild animals in research and education.
- Read guidelines for the use of fishes in research.
- Ornithological Council guidelines for the use of wild birds in research.
- Read guidelines for use of live reptiles and amphibians in research.
- Safe Work Practices for Working with Wildlife
- NPS IACUC Bat SOP for the Study of Bats in the Field (180 KB)
Last updated: December 14, 2021