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Morning release into artificial burrows with retention caps facilitates success of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) translocations

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Abstract

Relocating ground squirrels within their natural distribution range is a popular tool in wildlife management in Central–Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, wildlife management lacks both a carefully developed and tested translocation guide and methods. We evaluated conditions of release method (time of release and retention of animals) that affect short-term settlement of translocated ground squirrels in the central region of Hungary. In a field experiment, we translocated 117 individuals from an international airport to a protected site in 2000. We found that release time should precede the animals' natural, daily activity peak. The use of retention caps combined with artificial burrows instead of complex acclimation cages works successfully to prevent animals from dispersing from the release site.

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Acknowledgments

Duna-Ipoly National Park Directorate and Alsó-Tisza-vidéki Environment, Nature Protection and Water Authority permitted us the scientific work on the protected species (permission number: 1363/2/2000). In addition, we express our thanks to the anonymous reviewers for their useful and helpful comments, and in particular to Lee C. Drickamer for thoroughly editing the text. The experiments comply with the current laws of the Republic of Hungary.

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Correspondence to Csongor I. Gedeon.

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Communicated by C. Gortázar

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Gedeon, C.I., Váczi, O., Koósz, B. et al. Morning release into artificial burrows with retention caps facilitates success of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) translocations. Eur J Wildl Res 57, 1101–1105 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-011-0504-3

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