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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of release method on the reintroduction success of rufous hare-wallabies Lagorchestis hirsutus, Peron Peninsula, Shark Bay, Western Australia

Published source details

Hardman B. & Moro D. (2006) Optimising reintroduction success by delayed dispersal: is the release protocol important for hare-wallabies. Biological Conservation, 128, 403-411


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary water to increase reproduction/survival Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 2001 in five shrubland sites in Western Australia (Hardman & Moro 2006) found that most released captive-bred banded hare-wallabies Lagostrophus fasciatus and rufous hare-wallabies Lagorchestes hirsutus provided with supplementary water, along with supplementary food and predator control, survived at least two months after being released into a fenced peninsula. After 1-2 months, 10 of 16 rufous hare-wallabies and 12 of 18 banded hare-wallabies were still alive. Overall both rufous and banded hare-wallabies recaptured had similar body conditions to when they were released, although rufous hare-wallabies lost 12% of body condition while waiting for release in holding pens (data presented as a body condition index; see paper for details). Sixteen captive-bred rufous hare-wallabies and 18 captive-bred banded hare-wallabies were released at five sites in August 2001. Six rufous and nine banded-hare wallabies were placed in separate 3-ha enclosures with electrified fencing for 10–19 days before being released. Remaining animals were released directly into the wild. Supplementary water and food (kangaroo pellets, alfalfa) were made available to all hare-wallabies (those kept in holding pens and those not; duration of feeding not given). Hare-wallabies were monitored by radio tracking (once/week for 1.5 years after release) and live-trapping (at 4 and 8-9 weeks after release). Release areas were within a fenced peninsula where multiple introduced mammals were controlled or eradicated.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release captive-bred mammals into fenced areas Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled before-and-after study in 2001 in five shrubland sites in Western Australia, Australia (Hardman & Moro 2006) found that most captive-bred banded hare-wallabies Lagostrophus fasciatus and rufous hare-wallabies Lagorchestes hirsutus released into a fenced peninsula (with predator control, supplementary food and water and, in some cases, holding pens prior to release), survived at least two months, although rufous hare-wallabies lost body condition while awaiting release in holding pens. After 1-2 months, 10 of 16 rufous hare-wallabies and 12 of 18 banded hare-wallabies were still alive. Overall both rufous and banded hare-wallabies recaptured had similar body conditions to when they were released, although rufous hare-wallabies lost 12% of body condition while waiting for release in holding pens (data presented as a body condition index; see paper for details). Sixteen captive-bred rufous hare-wallabies and 18 captive-bred banded hare-wallabies were released at five sites in August 2001. Six rufous and nine banded-hare wallabies were placed in separate 3-ha enclosures with electrified fencing for 10–19 days before being released. Remaining animals were released directly into the wild. Supplementary food (kangaroo pellets, alfalfa) and water were made available to all hare-wallabies (those kept in holding pens and those not; duration of feeding not given). Hare-wallabies were monitored by radio tracking (once/ week for 1.5 years after release) and live-trapping (at 4 and 8-9 weeks after release). Release areas were within a fenced peninsula where multiple introduced mammals were controlled (cats Felis catus and goats Capra hircus) or eradicated (red fox Vulpes vulpes).

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 2001 in five shrubland sites in Western Australia, Australia (Hardman & Moro 2006) found that following control of introduced mammals, most captive-bred banded hare-wallabies Lagostrophus fasciatus and rufous hare-wallabies Lagorchestes hirsutus survived at least two months after being released into a fenced peninsula (some from holding pens and all with supplementary food and water provided). After 1-2 months, 10 of 16 rufous hare-wallabies and 12 of 18 banded hare-wallabies were still alive. Overall both rufous and banded hare-wallabies recaptured had similar body conditions to when they were released, although rufous hare-wallabies lost 12% of their body condition while waiting for release in holding pens (data presented as a body condition index; see paper for details). Sixteen captive-bred rufous hare-wallabies and 18 captive-bred banded hare-wallabies were released at five sites in August 2001. Six rufous hare-wallabies and nine banded-hare wallabies were placed in separate 3-ha enclosures with electrified fencing for 10–19 days before being released. Remaining animals were released directly into the wild. Supplementary food (kangaroo pellets, alfalfa) and water were made available to all hare-wallabies (those kept in holding pens and those not; feeding duration not given). Hare-wallabies were monitored by radio tracking (once/week for 1.5 years after release) and live-trapping (at 4 and 8-9 weeks after release). Release areas were within a fenced peninsula where multiple introduced mammals were controlled (cats Felis catus and goats Capra hircus) or eradicated (red fox Vulpes vulpes).

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Provide supplementary food during/after release of captive-bred mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 2001 in five shrubland sites in Western Australia, Australia (Hardman & Moro 2006) found that most captive-bred banded hare-wallabies Lagostrophus fasciatus and rufous hare-wallabies Lagorchestes hirsutus provided with supplementary food and water (and in some cases having been in holding pens) survived at least two months after being released into a fenced peninsula where predators had been controlled. After 1-2 months, 10 of 16 rufous hare-wallabies and 12 of 18 banded hare-wallabies were still alive. Overall both rufous and banded hare-wallabies recaptured had similar body conditions to when they were released, although rufous hare-wallabies lost 12% of body condition while waiting for release in holding pens (data presented as a body condition index; see paper for details). Sixteen captive-bred rufous hare-wallabies and 18 captive-bred banded hare-wallabies were released at five sites in August 2001. Six rufous and nine banded-hare wallabies were placed in separate 3-ha enclosures with electrified fencing for 10–19 days before being released. Remaining animals were released directly into the wild. Supplementary food (kangaroo pellets, alfalfa) and water were made available to all hare-wallabies (those in holding pens and those not; duration of feeding not given). Hare-wallabies were monitored by radio tracking (once per week for 1.5 years after release) and live-trapping (at 4 and 8-9 weeks after release). Release areas were within a fenced peninsula where multiple introduced mammals were controlled or eradicated.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of captive-bred mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 2001 in five shrubland sites in Western Australia, Australia (Hardman & Moro 2006) found that captive-bred banded hare-wallabies Lagostrophus fasciatus and rufous hare-wallabies Lagorchestes hirsutus, some of which were placed in holding pens prior to release into a fenced peninsula (with predator controls, supplementary food and water), survived at least two months after being released, although rufous hare-wallabies lost body condition while awaiting release in holding pens. After 1-2 months, 10 of 16 rufous hare-wallabies and 12 of 18 banded hare-wallabies were still alive. Overall both rufous and banded hare-wallabies recaptured had similar body conditions to when they were released regardless of whether they were initially put in holding pens, although rufous hare-wallabies lost 12% of body condition while waiting for release in holding pens (data presented as a body condition index; see paper for details). Sixteen captive-bred rufous hare-wallabies and 18 captive-born banded hare-wallabies were released at five sites in August 2001. Six rufous hare-wallabies and nine banded-hare wallabies were placed in separate 3-ha enclosures with electrified fencing for 10–19 days before release. Remaining animals were released directly into the wild. Supplementary food (kangaroo pellets, alfalfa) and water were made available to all hare-wallabies (those kept in holding pens and those not; feeding duration not given). Hare-wallabies were monitored by radio tracking (once/week for 1.5 years after release) and live-trapping (at 4 and 8-9 weeks after release). Release areas were within a fenced peninsula where multiple introduced mammals were controlled or eradicated.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)