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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2002

Authors: Kaczensky, P; Knauer, F; Jonozovic, M; Walzer, C; Huber, T

Title: Experiences with trapping, chemical immobilization, and radiotagging of brown bears in Slovenia.

Source: Ursus (13) 347-356.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Kaczensky Petra
Knauer Felix
Walzer Christian

Wildlife research on brown bears (Ursus arctos) and other shy, nocturnal, or forest dwelling animals with large ranges has improved enormously with the helpof radiotelemetry. However, in the small and threatened bear populations of central and southern Europe, accidents that may injure or kill a bear during trapping, immobilization, and radiotagging are a major concern to bear conservationists and animal protection groups. Much information and experience is available from bear work in North America, but some of the techniques do not seem to be appropriate or acceptable for bear populations in Europe. We describe ourexperiences with trapping, chemical restraint, and radiotagging, of 25 different bears during 31 capture events in a research project in Slovenia, 1993-98.Focus is on safety considerations for trapping, chemical immobilization, and radiotagging of bears, and also on minimizing risk for the capture team and local people frequenting the vicinity of the trap sites. The use of Aldrich footsnares proved to be a reasonably efficient (0.72 bears/100 trap nights), selective (only 3 non-target species captured), and safe (only 2 minor capture related injuries) method to capture bears on forested range. We conclude that it is most important to use a trap transmitter system in combination with a carefully designed trap arrangement to guarantee that handling of bears starts within 1-2 hours of initial capture. In addition, the capture team needs to be well trained in the theoretical and practical aspects of trapping, immobilization, and radiomarking of brown bears.

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