Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

An improved method of capture and immobilization for medium to large size macropods (#705)

Miguel A Bedoya-Pérez 1 2 , Brett Ottley 3 , Stuart Barker 3 , Clive McMahon 4
  1. RIEL, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
  2. The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  3. ABS Scrofa (Wild Science), Humpty Doo, Northern Territory, Australia
  4. Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia

Macropods are particularly known for their proclivity to suffer from stress related injuries and ailments as a result of capture. Over the years, several different methods for capturing macropods have been develop, but in general they can be classified in two major groups, trapping and darting. Trapping is most commonly used for small macropods that can be attracted to a baited area or traps, where they can then be caught by means of nets or by triggering of the trap mechanisms. Darting is most commonly used for large macropods, since they are more prone to suffered from stress when caught in traps. Most capturing techniques have limitations either dependent on the species habits or animal welfare implications. Here we describe a technique, partly based on the “nylon drop-net” technique described by Lentle et al. in 1997, but with substantial modifications based on commonly used capturing techniques for ungulates in Africa. We utilised this technique to successfully capture 40 agile wallabies (Macropus agilis), 24 females and 16 males, weighting between 6-24.1 kg. During immobilisation, a single dose of intramuscular Diazepam was administered as a muscle relaxant. No deaths occurred during or as a result of capture, or in the 8 weeks following capture.