Individual study: Population dynamics of a reintroduced Asiatic wild ass (Equus Hemionus) herd
Saltz D. & Rubenstein D.I. (1995) Population dynamics of a reintroduced Asiatic wild ass (Equus Hemionus) herd. Ecological Applications, 5, 327-335
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Use holding pens at release site prior to release of captive-bred mammals
A study in 1982–1993 in a desert reserve in Israel (Saltz & Rubenstein 1995) found that a released population of captive-reared Asiatic wild ass Equus hemionus spp. kept in holding pens prior to release persisted over 10 years, and the reproductive success of females increased over time. The number of adult females (≥3 years old) in the released herd was 14 in 1987 and 16 in 1993. The reproductive success of released females increased over time (first five years = 0.27; following 4–5 years = 0.74 foals/female/year). By 1993, sixty-six foals had been born in the wild, of which 24 were second or third generation. The reproductive success of wild-born females (0.81) was higher than released females (0.19) at the same age. From 1982–1987, fourteen adult females and 14 adult males aged two to six (except one 17-year-old animal) were released into a 200 km2 nature reserve in the Negev Desert in four release events. Three females died immediately. Asses were sourced from zoos and maintained in a 2km2 enclosure until the release program began. Before three releases, animals were kept in a holding pen for up to three months with food, water and shade. Animals were released directly into the wild in the final release. Wild asses were surveyed 2–3 times/week in the spring and summer by random visual searching from an off-road vehicle, tracking of spoor and monitoring of water sources. The population size of males is not reported.
(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)