Study

Beyond morbidity and mortality in reintroduction programmes: changing health parameters in reintroduced eastern bettongs Bettongia gaimardi

  • Published source details Portas T.J., Cunningham R.B., Spratt D., Devlin J., Holz P., Batson W., Owens J. & Manning A.D. (2016) Beyond morbidity and mortality in reintroduction programmes: changing health parameters in reintroduced eastern bettongs Bettongia gaimardi. Oryx, 50, 674-683

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2011–2013 in two forest and grassland sites in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia (Portas et al. 2016) found that translocated eastern bettongs Bettongia gaimardi provided with supplementary food in fenced predator proof enclosures did not have greater body weights than those without enclosures and supplementary food. Between twelve and 24 months post-release, the average body weight of translocated eastern bettongs (1.83 kg) did not differ significantly between populations with and without supplementary feeding (weight values for each individual population not provided). Overall, the average body weight of bettongs increased compared to before they were released (pre-release average weight: 1.69 kg). In 2011−2012, sixty adult eastern bettongs were translocated from Tasmania to two predator-free fenced reserves. In one reserve bettongs (5 males, 7 females) received supplementary food at least weekly and were placed in 2.6-9.4 ha enclosures, whereas in a second reserve bettongs (8 males, 10 females) received no supplementary food and were not managed in enclosures. Supplementary food included fresh locally available produce and commercial pellets. Body weight was assessed before reintroduction and 12–24 months after release (May–November 2013). Bettongs were also monitored by radio-telemetry or camera traps and live-trapping every 3 months.

  2. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2011–2013 in two forest and grassland sites in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia (21) found that one to two years after release into predator-free fenced reserves, translocated eastern bettongs Bettongia gaimardi weighed more and had improved nutritional status. Translocated eastern bettongs weighed more (1.8 kg) one to two years after release than before they were released (1.7 kg). Various blood characteristics changed after release, suggesting that translocated bettongs had improved nutritional status (see original paper for details). Comprehensive health assessments were completed on 30 bettongs captured in Tasmania before release (July-October 2011 and April-September 2012) and 12–24 months after release (May–November 2013) into two predator-free reserves. In one reserve, bettongs (8 males, 10 females) received no supplementary food and the population was unmanaged. In the second reserve, bettongs (5 males, 7 females) were housed in small groups in 2.6–9.4-ha enclosures and provided supplementary food.

  3. Release translocated mammals into fenced areas

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2011–2013 in two forest and grassland sites in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia (Portas et al. 2016) found that eastern bettongs Bettongia gaimardi translocated into fenced predator proof enclosures increased in body weight post-release, with and without supplementary food. Between twelve and 24 months post-release, the average body weight of translocated eastern bettongs (1.8 kg) increased compared to before release (1.7 kg). There was no difference in weight between bettongs fed supplementary food and those without (data not provided). In 2011−2012, sixty adult eastern bettongs were translocated from Tasmania to two predator-free fenced reserves. In one reserve bettongs (5 males, 7 females) received supplementary food at least weekly and were placed in 2.6-9.4 ha enclosures, whereas in a second reserve bettongs (8 males, 10 females) received no supplementary food and were not managed in enclosures. Supplementary food included fresh locally available produce and commercial pellets. Body weight was assessed before release and 12–24 months after release (May–November 2013). Bettongs were also monitored by radio-telemetry or camera traps and live-trapping every 3 months.

Output references

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