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Individual study: Daily activity pattern of reintroduced giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla): effects of seasonality and experience

Published source details

Di Blanco Y.E., Sporring K.L. & Di Bitetti M.S. (2017) Daily activity pattern of reintroduced giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla): effects of seasonality and experience. Mammalia, 81, 11-21


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

Rehabilitate injured, sick or weak mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 2007–2012 in a grassland reserve in Corrientes, Argentina (Di Blanco et al. 2017; same experimental set-up as Di Blanco et al. 2015) found that wild-born rehabilitated giant anteaters Myrmecophaga tridactyla released into the wild were more nocturnal in their activity patterns than captive-bred individuals. Wild-born rehabilitated giant anteaters were proportionally more active at night than captive-bred animals (70% vs 43% of activity records were at night). During 2007–2012, four wild-born and three captive-bred adult giant anteaters were released into a 124-km2 private reserve. Wild-born animals were rehabilitated after being injured by hunters or in road accidents. Six anteaters (all wild-born and two captive-bred anteaters) were released after spending a short period of time in a 0.5 ha acclimatisation pen. The remaining 12 anteaters spent 7-30 days in a 7 ha holding pen at the release site prior to release. Supplementary food was provided in the holding pen and for several weeks after anteaters were released. Each of the seven anteaters was fitted with a radio-transmitter and tracked for 1–2 x 24 h periods/month in 2007 and 2011. The released anteaters were further monitored using 14 baited camera traps for an average of 336 days/trap during 2008–2012.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

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

A controlled study in 2007–2012 in a grassland reserve in Corrientes, Argentina (Di Blanco et al. 2017; same experimental set-up as Di Blanco et al. 2015) found that after being provided with supplementary food and kept in holding pens, captive-bred giant anteaters Myrmecophaga tridactyla released into the wild were less nocturnal in their activity patterns than were wild-born rehabilitated individuals. Captive-bred giant anteaters were proportionally less active at night (43% activity records were at night) than wild-born animals (70% of activity records). During 2007–2012, three captive-bred and four wild-born adult giant anteaters were released into a 124-km2 private reserve. Wild-born animals were rehabilitated after being injured by hunters or in road accidents. Six anteaters (all wild-born and two captive-bred anteaters) were released after spending a short period of time in a 0.5 ha acclimatisation pen. The remaining 12 anteaters spent 7-30 days in a 7 ha holding pen at the release site prior to release. Supplementary food was provided in the holding pen and for several weeks after anteaters were released. Each of the seven anteaters was fitted with a radio-transmitter and tracked for 1–2 x 24 h periods/month in 2007 and 2011. The released anteaters were further monitored using 14 baited camera traps for an average of 336 days/trap in 2008–2012.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 2007–2012 in a grassland reserve in Corrientes, Argentina (Di Blanco et al. 2017; same study site as Di Blanco et al. 2015) found that after being provided with supplementary food and kept in holding pens, captive-bred giant anteaters Myrmecophaga tridactyla released into the wild were less nocturnal in their activity patterns than were wild-born rehabilitated and released individuals. Released captive-bred giant anteaters were proportionally less active at night than released wild-born animals (43% vs 70% of activity records were at night). During 2007–2012, three captive-bred and four wild-born adult giant anteaters were released into a 124-km2 private reserve. Wild-born animals were rehabilitated after being injured by hunters or in road accidents. Six anteaters (all wild-born and two captive-bred anteaters) were released after spending a short period of time in a 0.5 ha acclimatisation pen. The remaining 12 anteaters spent 7-30 days in a 7 ha holding pen at the release site prior to release. Supplementary food was provided in the holding pen, and for several weeks after anteaters were released. Each of the seven anteaters was fitted with a radio-transmitter and tracked for one or two 24 h periods/month in 2007 and 2011. The released anteaters were further monitored using 14 baited camera traps for an average of 336 days/trap in 2008–2012.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

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

A controlled study in 2007–2012 in a grassland reserve in Corrientes, Argentina (Di Blanco et al. 2017; same experimental set-up as Di Blanco et al. 2015) found that after being kept in holding pens and provided with supplementary food, captive-bred giant anteaters Myrmecophaga tridactyla released into the wild were less nocturnal in their activity patterns than were wild-born rehabilitated individuals. Captive-bred giant anteaters were proportionally less active at night than wild-born animals (43% vs 70% of activity records were at night). During 2007–2012, three captive-bred and four wild-born adult giant anteaters were released into a 124-km2 private reserve. Wild-born animals were rehabilitated after being injured by hunters or in road accidents. Six anteaters (all wild-born and two captive-bred anteaters) were released after spending a short period of time in a 0.5 ha acclimatisation pen. The remaining 12 anteaters spent 7-30 days in a 7 ha holding pen at the release site prior to release. Supplementary food was provided in the holding pen and for several weeks after anteaters were released. Each of the seven anteaters was fitted with a radio-transmitter and tracked for 1–2 x 24 h periods/month in 2007 and 2011. The released anteaters were further monitored using 14 baited camera traps for an average of 336 days/trap in 2008–2012.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)