Release site manipulation to favour European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus translocations: Translocation and habitat manipulation

Csongor István Gedeon, Gbor Boross, András Németh, V. Altbäcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Translocating European ground squirrels Spermophilus citellus has become a popular conservation tool. However, few release techniques have been carefully evaluated. To contribute to an evidence-based ground squirrel translocation guide for wildlife managers, we evaluated conditions of habitat manipulation (grass height and artificial burrow entrance angle) which we expected to affect settlement of translocated ground squirrels during the critical period after release. In a field experiment, we translocated 173 individuals in southeastern Hungary in 2007. We released the animals into angled or vertical artificial burrows and manipulated grass height. We found that animals preferred angled (∼ 30°) artificial burrows, which facilitate digging, and medium-height grass (18 cm ± 1.5). Moreover, although ground squirrels generally are associated with short grass habitats, overhead protection by grasses is valuable after a translocation. This result implies that in order to accomplish a translocation, it is not sufficient to only know the habitat preference of a species in undisturbed situations, but also how and to what extent habitat characteristics should be manipulated to increase the chances of success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalWildlife Biology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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Spermophilus
squirrels
translocation
grass
grasses
burrow
burrows
habitat
habitats
animal
habitat preferences
Hungary
habitat selection
wildlife
animals
managers

Keywords

  • burrow entrance angle
  • critical period
  • European ground squirrel
  • grass height
  • Spermophilus citellus
  • translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Release site manipulation to favour European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus translocations : Translocation and habitat manipulation. / Gedeon, Csongor István; Boross, Gbor; Németh, András; Altbäcker, V.

In: Wildlife Biology, Vol. 18, No. 1, 03.2012, p. 97-104.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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