Study

Evaluation of headstarting and release techniques for population augmentation and reintroduction of the smooth green snake

  • Published source details Sacerdote-Velat A.B., Earnhardt J.M., Mulkerin D., Boehm D. & Glowacki G. (2014) Evaluation of headstarting and release techniques for population augmentation and reintroduction of the smooth green snake. Animal Conservation, 17, 65-73.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use holding pens or enclosures at release site prior to release of captive-bred reptiles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use holding pens or enclosures at release site prior to release of captive-bred reptiles

    A controlled study in 2010–2011 in a grassland site in Illinois, USA (Sacerdote‐Velat et al. 2014) found that captive-bred smooth green snakes Opheodrys vernalis released into holding pens before release (‘soft release’) had a similar chance of recapture as those released directly, and moved less than wild residents. Soft-released snakes were recaptured a similar number of times (13 recaptures/snakes) compared to hard-released snakes (6 recaptures/snake) over 3–5 months following release. Soft-released snakes moved less than residents (soft-released: 2 m/day; residents: 5 m/day), but movement of hard-released snakes (2 m/day) was similar to both soft-released and resident snakes. Eighteen captive-bred and reared snakes (≥9 g) were released in 2011 via soft-release (9 snakes; released in to 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 enclosure, held for 3 weeks before final release) or hard-release (9 snakes, released directly). Monitoring was completed by radiotracking and checking under coverboards on the ground at least 5 days/week for the first week, then 3 times/week for 3–5 months. Snake growth was also monitored, but only in captivity.  

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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