Study

Movements and survival of black-footed ferrets associated with an experimental translocation in South Dakota

  • Published source details Biggins D.E., Godbey J.L., Horton B.M. & Livieri T.M. (2011) Movements and survival of black-footed ferrets associated with an experimental translocation in South Dakota. Journal of Mammalogy, 92, 742-750

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range

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

    A controlled study in 1999–2001 on three grassland sites in an area in South Dakota, USA (Biggins, Godbey et al. 2011) found that captive-born black-footed ferret Mustela nigripes kits initially kept in holding pens had lower survival rates after release than did wild-born translocated kits. Thirty-day post-release survival of captive-born kits (66%) was lower than that of wild-born translocated kits at the same site (94%). Annual survival was also lower for captive-born kits (females: 44%; males: 22%) than for wild-born kits (females: 67%; males: 43%). Annual survival at the donor site remained high (females: 80%; males: 51%) whilst survival of translocated and released kits was comparable with that at an unmanipulated colony (females: 59%; males: 28%). Eighteen captive-bred ferrets were released along with 18 wild-born ferrets at a site from which the species was then absent. Captive-born ferrets were transferred to outdoor conditioning pens, sited on prairie dog colonies, when about 90 days old and then released on 29 September and 13 October 1999. Wild-born ferrets were released the day after capture. All were born in 1999. Ferrets at the release site, the donor site for wild-born kits and an unmanipulated site were monitored by radio-tracking and by reading transponder chips.

  2. Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range

    A controlled study in 1999–2001 on three grassland sites in an area in South Dakota, USA (Biggins et al. 2011) found that wild-born translocated black-footed ferret Mustela nigripes kits had higher survival rates after release than did captive-born kits released from holding pens. Thirty-day post-release survival of captive-born kits (66%) was lower than that of wild-born translocated kits at the same site (94%). Annual survival was also for lower for captive-born kits (females: 44%; males: 22%) than for wild-born kits (females: 67%; males: 43%). Annual survival at the donor site remained high (females: 80%; males: 51%) whilst survival of translocated and released kits was comparable with that at an unmanipulated colony (females: 59%; males: 28%). Eighteen wild-born ferrets were released along with 18 captive-bred ferrets at a site from which the species was then absent. Captive-born ferrets were transferred to outdoor conditioning pens, sited on prairie dog colonies, when about 90 days old and then released on 29 September and 13 October 1999. Wild-born ferrets were released the day after capture. All were born in 1999. Ferrets at the release site, the donor site for wild-born kits and an unmanipulated site were monitored by radio-tracking and by reading transponder chips.

Output references

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