Study

Morning release into artificial burrows with retention caps facilitates success of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) translocations

  • Published source details Gedeon C.I., Vaczi O., Koosz B. & Altbacker V. (2011) Morning release into artificial burrows with retention caps facilitates success of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) translocations. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 57, 1101-1105

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals at a specific time (e.g. season, day/night)

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals at a specific time (e.g. season, day/night)

    A randomised, replicated, controlled study in 2000 in a grassland site in central Hungary (Gedeon et al. 2011) found that translocated European ground squirrels Spermophilus citellus released during the morning had higher recapture rates than ground squirrels released during the afternoon. From four to 10 days after release, a higher proportion of ground squirrels that had been released in the morning were recaptured (18 out of 58, 29%) than those released in the afternoon (7 out of 59, 12%). The highest recapture rate came from the group released in the morning in to plugged burrows (15 out of 30, 50%). From 22–24 April 2000, one hundred and seventeen wild-caught European ground squirrels were translocated to a fenced 40-ha protected grassland. Four 40 × 40-m grid cells were established, each containing vertical, artificial burrows (50 cm long, 4.5 cm diameter) spaced 4.5 m apart. Fifty-nine animals were released into burrows in two grid cells during the afternoon on the day of capture and 58 into burrows in the other two grid cells the morning after capture. Animals to be released in the morning were kept in individual wire cages (10 × 10 × 40 cm) for one night and provided with fresh apple slices prior to release. One individual was released/burrow. Approximately half the burrows for each release group were plugged with wood caps so that squirrels could only exit by digging out. From 28 April–2 May, squirrels were recaptured with snares.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

  2. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

    A randomised, replicated, controlled study in 2000 in a grassland site in central Hungary (Gedeon et al. 2011) found that translocated European ground squirrels Spermophilus citellus released into plugged artificial burrows had higher recapture rates than did ground squirrels released into unplugged artificial burrows. From four to 10 days after release, a higher proportion of ground squirrels released into plugged artificial burrows were recaptured (19 out of 60, 32%) than squirrels released into unplugged artificial burrows (6 out of 57, 11%). The highest recapture rate came from the group released into plugged burrows in the morning (15 out of 30). From 22–24 April 2000, one hundred and seventeen wild-caught European ground squirrels were translocated to a fenced 40-ha protected grassland. Four 40 × 40-m grid cells were established, each containing vertical, artificial burrows (50 cm long, 4.5 cm diameter) spaced 4.5 m apart. Sixty animals were released into burrows plugged with wood caps (from which they could only exit by digging out) across two grid cells and 57 into unplugged artificial burrows in the other two grid cells. One individual was released/burrow. Approximately half the squirrels were released in the afternoon on the day of capture. Animals to be released in the morning were kept in individual wire cages (10 × 10 × 40 cm) for one night and provided with fresh apple slices prior to release. From 28 April–2 May, squirrels were recaptured with snares to record retention.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

  3. Release translocated mammals into fenced areas

    A study in 2000 in a grassland site in central Hungary (Gedeon et al. 2011) found that one fifth of translocated European ground squirrels Spermophilus citellus released into a fenced area with artificial burrows remained in the area after release. From four to 10 days after release, 25 out of 117 ground squirrels were recaptured. The highest recapture rate came from the group released into plugged burrows in the morning (15 out of 30). The fence was designed to exclude predators from the site. From 22–24 April 2000, 117 wild-caught European ground squirrels were translocated to a fenced 40-ha protected grassland. Four 40 × 40-m grid cells were established, each containing vertical, artificial burrows (50 cm long, 4.5 cm diameter) spaced 4.5 m apart. Sixty animals were released into burrows plugged with wood caps (from which they could only exit by digging out) across two grid cells and 57 into unplugged artificial burrows in the other two grid cells. One individual was released/burrow. Approximately half the squirrels were released in the afternoon on the day of capture. Animals to be released in the morning were kept in individual wire cages (10 × 10 × 40 cm) for one night and provided with fresh apple slices prior to release. From 28 April–2 May, squirrels were recaptured with snares to record retention.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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