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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Are declines of an endangered mammal predation-driven, and can a captive-breeding and release program aid their recovery?

Published source details

McCleery R., Oli M.K., Hostetler J.A., Karmacharya B., Greene D., Winchester C., Gore J., Sneckenberger S., Castleberry S.B. & Mengak M.T. (2013) Are declines of an endangered mammal predation-driven, and can a captive-breeding and release program aid their recovery? Journal of Zoology, 291, 59-68


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

Release captive-bred individuals to re-establish or boost populations in native range Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2002–2011 of forest on two islands in Florida, USA (McCleery et al. 2013) found that released captive-bred Key Largo woodrats Neotoma floridana smalli had a lower survival rate than did wild-born, wild-living animals. From 40 captive-bred woodrats radio-tracked for an average of 49 days, 33 (67%) deaths were recorded. From 58 wild-born, wild-living woodrats radio-tracked for an average of 80 days, ten (6%) deaths were recorded. All but one death, from both groups combined, was thought to be due to predation. Adult captive-bred woodrats were released on two islands between February 2010 and December 2011. They were located at least every second day by radio-tracking, for up to four months. Nineteen adult wild-born woodrats were radio-tracked at least three times/week from March to December 2002 and 39 were radio-tracked 2–5 times/week, from June 2005 to February 2006.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)