Individual study: Testing restocking methods for an endangered species: Effects of predator exclusion and vegetation cover on common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) survival and reproduction
Villemey A., Besnard A., Grandadam J. & Eidenschenck J. (2013) Testing restocking methods for an endangered species: Effects of predator exclusion and vegetation cover on common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) survival and reproduction. Biological Conservation, 158, 147-154
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Release translocated mammals into fenced areas
A replicated, controlled study in 2010–2011 in 10 agricultural plots in Alsace, France (Villemey et al. 2013) found that survival rates and reproductive success of translocated common hamsters Cricetus cricetus were higher inside than outside fenced areas. Average reproductive success and weekly survival rates of translocated hamsters were higher inside (reproductive success: 0.44 litters/female; weekly survival: 89%) than outside fenced areas (reproductive success: 0.00 litters/female; weekly survival: 27%). Additionally, inside fenced areas, monthly survival was higher in wheat plots (harvested and unharvested wheat plots combined) than in alfalfa plots (61% vs 35%). The study was conducted in a 300-ha agricultural landscape, comprising small fields (ca. 0.75 ha) of multiple crops. In May 2010, a total of 14 hamsters were released in two batches into fenced plots and an equal number was released in two unfenced plots. Additionally, in May 2011, hamsters were released into two fenced plots each of harvested wheat (total 14 hamsters), unharvested wheat (total 14 hamsters) and mown alfalfa (total 14 hamsters). Animals were radio-tagged and released into artificial burrows. Fenced plots were surrounded by electrified wires located 10–100 cm above ground. Animals were located every 2–4 days in May–September by radio-tracking.
(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)