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Post-release survival of hand-reared tawny owls ( Strix aluco ) based on radio-tracking and leg-band return data

By K. Leighton, D. Chilvers, A. Charles, A. Kelly

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Abstract

The post-release survival of hand-reared tawny owls (Strix aluco) was measured using radio-tracking and leg-band return data. Of 16 birds fitted with 2.4 g radiotelemetry tags, two shed their tags after four and nine days, respectively and one bird was recovered and the tag removed. The remaining 13 birds were tracked for between 16 and 84 days (median 38). Of these, two were found dead (one emaciated and one predated) and one was recovered alive but emaciated and was subsequently euthanased. Thirty-seven percent were radio-tracked for more than six weeks, thought to be the critical period beyond which raptors will mostly survive. Of 112 birds banded between 1995 and 2005, 18 were recovered (seven live and 11 dead). Of the seven live recoveries, three were involved in road traffic collisions. Of the dead recoveries for which the cause of death was known (n=4), all had been involved in road traffic collisions. The time elapsed between release and recovery ranged from 1-2,246 days (median 123 days). Over 65% survived for more than six weeks. The distance travelled between release and recovery ranged between 0 and 6 km (median 0). Further work is required on the effects of hand rearing on post-release survival of rehabilitated wildlife.

Date 2008
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 207-214
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, East Winch, Norfolk PE32 1NR, UK. ankelly@RSPCA.org.uk
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Tags
  1. Animal rights
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Artificial rearing
  4. Biological resources
  5. Birds
  6. British Isles
  7. Causality
  8. Commonwealth of Nations
  9. Developed countries
  10. Europe
  11. Great Britain
  12. Hand rearing
  13. OECD countries
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. predators
  16. radiotelemetry
  17. survival
  18. telemetry
  19. United Kingdom
  20. Wild animals
  21. wildlife
  22. Zoology
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed