Study

Factors associated with survival of reintroduced riparian brush rabbits in California

  • Published source details Hamilton L.P., Kelly P.A., Williams D.F., Kelt D.A. & Wittmer H.U. (2010) Factors associated with survival of reintroduced riparian brush rabbits in California. Biological Conservation, 143, 999-1007.

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

    A study in 2001–2005 of riparian scrub at a site in California, USA (Hamilton et al. 2010) found that captive-bred riparian brush rabbits Sylvilagus bachmani riparius kept longer in holding pens at the release site before release had greater survival rates than those kept in pens for shorter times. Survival increased with duration held in soft-release pens prior to release, especially for smaller animals (result presented as model coefficient). Survival increased with time since release, with four-week post-release survival (71%) being lower than average four-weekly survival over the following eight weeks (89%). Wild rabbits taken into a captive breeding program produced 476 offspring from November 2001 to July 2005. Of these, 325 were released, in July 2002–July 2005, to unoccupied habitat within the species’ historic range. They were held in soft-release pens (0.3–0.4 ha) and released after 2–20 days. Survival was monitored by radio-tracking, at least twice weekly.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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