Study

Method of releasing and number of animals are determinants for the success of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) reintroductions

  • Published source details Matějů J., Říčanová S., Poláková S., Ambros M., Kala B., Matějů K. & Kratochvíl L. (2012) Method of releasing and number of animals are determinants for the success of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) reintroductions. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 58, 473-482.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

    A study of 12 translocation projects in 1989–2010 in 14 grassland sites in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland (Matějů et al. 2012) found that translocated European ground squirrels Spermophilus citellus released initially into enclosures or burrows with retention caps (‘soft-release’) reproduced on site after release, but individuals released without an initial preadaptive period or support after release (‘hard-release’) dispersed from release sites. Translocations in which at least 23 individuals/season were released into enclosures or capped abandoned/artificial burrows led to reproduction (results reflect statistical model outcomes). However, animals released without initial containment did not settle at release sites. The study analysed data from 12 projects, involving release of ground squirrels at 14 sites. Around 2,500 grounds squirrels were released (4–1,057 individuals/project; 4–136 individuals/release season). Animals were ‘soft-released’ in eleven projects, ‘hard-released’ in two and combined hard and soft-released in one project. Three releases involved both captive-bred and wild-bred individuals. The remainder were of wild-bred translocated animals.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

Output references
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