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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Use of experimental translocations of Allegheny woodrat to decipher causal agents of decline

Published source details

Smyser T.J., Johnson S.A., Page L.K., Hudson C.M. & Rhodes O.E. (2013) Use of experimental translocations of Allegheny woodrat to decipher causal agents of decline. Conservation Biology, 27, 752-762


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Hold translocated mammals in captivity before release Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after study in 2005–2009 in six riparian areas in Indiana, USA (Smyser et al. 2013) found that following translocation of Allegheny woodrats Neotoma magister that were held in captivity prior to release, numbers in four out of six sites increased over the first two years. Two years after 54 woodrats were translocated to six sites, numbers had increased in four sites, but only one woodrat was recorded at each of the other two sites. At this time, there were more woodrats overall (total 67 animals) than before animals were translocated (16 animals). In 2007–2008, sixty-seven woodrats were captured in Kentucky and Tennessee. After five days, they were fitted with radio-transmitters and transported to release sites. In 2005–2006 (before translocations) and in 2007–2009 (after translocations), woodrat abundance was estimated using 35–100 live traps/site between June and August. Trapping was carried out over two consecutive nights at each site and traps were checked at dawn. All woodrats caught were fitted with ear tags.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)