Study

Translocation of Gunnison's prairie dogs from an urban and suburban colony to abandoned wildland colonies

  • Published source details Nelson E.J. & Theimer T.C. (2012) Translocation of Gunnison's prairie dogs from an urban and suburban colony to abandoned wildland colonies. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 76, 95-101.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals

    A replicated, controlled study in 2008–2009 of grassland at two sites in Arizona, USA (Nelson & Theimer 2012) found that following translocation of Gunnison's prairie dogs Cynomys gunnisoni into burrows that were topped with acclimation cages for one week, survival was not greater than that of prairie dogs released into uncaged burrows. Among prairie dogs whose identity could be established in the second year, 10% of both those released into borrows topped with acclimation cages and those released into uncaged burrows survived for at least one year. Additionally, pups were seen at both sites a year after release (39 and 37 pups at the two sites). No definite immigrants to the recipient colonies were recorded. Prairie dogs were trapped from 7 July to 5 August 2008 at one urban and one suburban site (74 and 75 prairie dogs, respectively) and moved approximately 50 km to two abandoned colonies (6 km apart) in a rural area. Approximately half at each colony was released directly into open burrows and half into borrows topped, for one week, with acclimation cages. Survival monitoring, from 10 June to 25 August 2009, entailed live-trapping, PIT-tag reading and direct observations.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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