Post–release Survival of Rehabilitated Brazilian Free–tailed Bats (Tadarida brasiliensis cynocephala)
Keywords:Brazilian free-tailed bat, post-release, rehabilitation, stress, wildlife
Post–release studies of post–release behavior and survival are crucial to evaluate wildlife rehabilitation efficacy. Although large numbers of animals are admitted for rehabilitation across the country, few post–release survival studies have been conducted. Post–release studies are the only way to ascertain an individual’s survival and a key variable in addressing the value of rehabilitation to wildlife populations. The goal of this study was to measure wildlife rehabilitation efficacy. One hypothesis is that capturing and handling stress negatively affects the survival of adult rehabilitated Brazilian free–tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis cynocephala). The second hypothesis is that injury negatively affects the survival of adult rehabilitated Brazilian free–tailed bats. In order to quantify the effects of capture, handling, and injury in rehabilitated bats the influences on survival, survival rates in three groups of bats were compared. Group one consisted of wild, healthy minimally handled bats; group two consisted of bats captive held and handled; and group three consisted of rehabilitated bats.
High transmitter loss, due to a number of factors, resulted in a small sample size. The results suggest that wildlife rehabilitation may in fact assist in the recovery, release, and survival of individual injured wildlife. There continues to be a need for carefully designed post–release studies with explicit objectives, especially for reintroductions of endangered species and/or captive bred animals.
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