Why is it important wildlife marking?
Correct identification of species is important for all types of management of groups and individuals, both captive and free-living, including handling, housing, feeding, breeding, veterinary care…
Accurate identification of species is important in breeding programmes to avoid hybridisation, and in consideration (important for release purposes) of whether an individual wildlife casualty undergoing rehabilitation is a native species, a feral introduced species or an exotic animal escaped from a collection.
Identification of subspecies as well as species should be made and recorded, including the location of origin of the individual (or for captive-bred animals, the founder individuals), to allow for changing taxonomic information, such as new recognition of a subspecies or species.
The occurrence and appearance of disease may vary widely across apparently similar species, making species identification vital in disease investigation and management, while species differences in response to drugs (e.g. anaesthetic dosages required) must also be considered.
Identification methods can not be used for all species
A combination of two or more methods of identifying is useful, for example, you can combine eartags (easily visible color) with transponders implanted.
We must take special care to newborn animals, must be marked for identification as soon as possible, but it is important to consider the impact it can have on the mother-child bond.