Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Preventing injuries caused by radiotelemetry collars in reintroduced red-rumped agoutis, Dasyprocta leporina (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae), in Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil

Cid, Brunode C. da Costa, Rodrigode A. Balthazar, DanielM. Augusto, AndersonS. Pires, AlexandraA. S. Fernandez, Fernando

Reintroduction has been recognized as a powerful conservation tool, but in order to ensure its success, animal monitoring is highly recommended. One way to monitor released animals is to put radiotelemetry collars on them. These devices, however, can harm the subjects, causing serious wounds. Our objectives in this work were to describe the injuries caused by a radiotelemetry collar model on reintroduced agoutis and to propose modifications to it. We equipped agoutis with TXE-311C radio collars (Telenax Wildlife Telemetry) before releasing them in the wild. They acquired serious wounds and one animal died. We then modified the collar structure to reduce its width and retention of water. After these modifications, the injuries did not occur again. As reintroduction is an expensive conservation strategy, any improvement that maximize its probability of success is important. We believe that the improvements we propose here have the potential to enhance the success of reintroductions and to increase animal welfare. This recommendation is more important when captive animals are re-introduced, because they tend to have lower immunity, particularly when they are released in rainy habitats.

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