Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Poole, A,Lawton, C
Biodiversity And Conservation
The translocation and post release settlement of red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris to a previously uninhabited woodland
Optional Fields
Breeding success Radio tracking Settlement Survival Translocation CONSERVATION PERFORMANCE HABITATS BEHAVIOR SUCCESS SPACE PARK
Red squirrels have undergone a 30% contraction of their range in the last 10 years in Ireland, a decline attributed to the introduced grey squirrel. Large regions in the west of Ireland are free of both species of squirrel, due to the isolation of forests there and their relatively recent planting. The potential of these forests as translocation sites for red squirrels was investigated to ascertain the possibility of increasing the range of red squirrels in Ireland. Nineteen red squirrels were moved into Derryclare wood, Co. Galway using a soft release into enclosures, and their subsequent survival and settlement in the wood was monitored, using trapping and radio-tracking. The successful release of 94.7% of squirrels from the enclosure, and 68.4% survival to the start of the following year's breeding season were in excess of the target survival rates of 75 and 50%, respectively. Five of the females were found to be lactating in May 2006, and seven offspring captured in August 2006. A squirrel was observed in a follow-up visit in October 2007. Radio-tracked red squirrels tended to remain in the general vicinity of release, incorporating supplementary feeders as part of their home ranges. Squirrels also fed on the natural food available in the wood, with feeding signs readily observed in the wider woodland. The techniques used proved very successful in survival, retention and future reproduction of the translocated population. Timing of release may be an important consideration for future translocations with survival better in summer-released animals.
DOI 10.1007/s10531-009-9637-z
Grant Details
Publication Themes