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Tuesday, January 26 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
Comparative Supplementation Approaches With Zoo-Reared and Wild Translocated Meadow Jumping Mice

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AUTHORS: Allison Sacerdote-Velat*, Lincoln Park Zoo

ABSTRACT: Meadow jumping mice Zapus hudsonius are rare in many northern Illinois grasslands and are a focus of conservation assessments and recovery efforts. We developed a zoo breeding program for wild founder mice in 2012. Offspring were headstarted at Lincoln Park Zoo in Illinois. In 2013, we released 17 radio-telemetered headstarts to supplement an extant population, and compared post-release movements and short-term survival. Eight mice were hard-released without acclimation other than pre-release provisioning of native food items. Nine mice were soft-released into 0.25 m2 enclosures in the supplementation site and were provisioned with food and water for three nights prior to release. We conducted releases in July and September. Mice were tracked daily for two weeks and then five times per week for the duration of transmitter life (21-30 d). We calculated minimum convex polygon (MCP) home ranges for all mice and examined known-fate short-term survival. MCP home range differed greatly with release type, with a mean soft release MCP of 261 m2 and a mean hard release MCP of 5,269 m2. Home range did not differ with season. Litters in 2013 were male-biased so we could not examine a sex effect. Survival did not differ with release type or season. Fifteen headstarted mice survived the duration of radio-tracking. Both release treatments had a single mortality, with predation that appeared to be from Asian mantis. The breeding colony exhibited low reproductive output in 2014, so we are currently examining movements and survival of wild translocated mice with hard and soft release as an alternative conservation strategy, and comparing movements to resident control mice. While Z. h. hudsonius is not protected, it serves as a surrogate species, providing recovery information to efforts for federally protected subspecies of jumping mice.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
Vandenberg B