download Water Vole Conservation Handbook (): NHBS - Rob Strachan, Tom Moorhouse and Merryl Gelling, Wild Cru. CONSERVATION HANDBOOK As with many mammals, a direct sighting of the water vole is Water vole burrow entrances are typically wider than high. Epub 09/12/ doi: doi/venxilinapsee.tk Strachan R, Moorhouse T, Gelling M. Water Vole Conservation Handbook, Third Edition. third edition.

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Scotland or in Scottish waters. 10 Restoration is increasingly accepted as an essential part of conservation. Local reintroductions of water voles carried out over. Mar 24, Water voles were housed in laboratory cages containing between one .. Watervole Conservation Handbook: Wildlife Conservation Research. The ePub format uses eBook readers, which have several "ease of reading" features already built in. Water voles had been extinct in the Monnow Catchment since the s. for American mink control has been conservation of the water vole (Arvicola amphibius; Strachan R. Water vole conservation handbook.

We included cage area as an explanatory variable as this may have had an effect upon LCC scores regardless of the number of occupants. To discount the possibility that the observed LCC scores are a function of the number of leukocytes as opposed to the leukocyte activation levels, leukocyte count was also included in the model [27]. LCC scores were log transformed to meet assumptions of normality and heteroscedasicity. Body weights and leukocyte counts were left non-transformed.

In these forms the variables did not depart from the assumptions of the tests. Back-transformed marginal mean LCC scores for the lowest and highest number of voles per cage were Back transformed marginal means indicate that mean weight increased by Discussion In this study there were measurable differences in LCC score of the captive population, which correlated negatively with the number of water voles in each laboratory cage.

Whilst the mechanisms that cause changes in leukocyte activity as a result of a stressor are not clearly understood at present, they are thought to involve secretion of corticosteroids and the involvement of several cytokines [41] , [42]. Lowered LCC scores suggest immuno-suppression and can be an indicator of physiological stress in mammals [8] , [17] , [24] , [27] , [31]. Our LCC results therefore indicate that water voles housed in larger groups were more stressed than water voles housed in cages containing fewer animals.

Chronic stress is known to adversely affect growth rates [2] and general health [43] and therefore these findings should impact on future recommendations for husbandry practice, by encouraging breeding establishments, and consultants translocating animals, to routinely house captive water voles in smaller groups, or individually, even if only for short periods of time.

For the analyses we used data from only the first individual for which LCC was measured in each cage. In doing so we controlled for pseudoreplication between individuals from a given cage, and also removed the possibility that the amount of time that individuals waited in the holding container could have introduced a source of error by affecting LCC scores for instance if individuals had become increasingly stressed following removal from their original cage.

It is highly unlikely that the observed negative relationship between LCC and the number of individuals per cage could have arisen due to our use of data only from the first measured animal: for this to be the case, increasing physiological stress would have to increase the probability of capture within cages containing multiple individuals. Moreover, re-running the analysis using one individual randomly sampled from each cage yielded the same results data not shown as the presented analysis.

This study only investigates one aspect of potential stress arising from one facet of a reintroduction program. LCC is measured in arbitrary units; whilst the measure allows us to demonstrate an association between levels of overcrowding and this measure of physiological stress, we are unable to make any inference concerning the magnitude of the effect in terms of the levels of stress experienced by the study animals.

However, housing is an area which is amenable to simple mitigation in future reintroduction programmes to reduce the additional impact of overcrowding in the face of the many other stressors which might be unavoidable e. We found no relationship between LCC and leukocyte count, however, both McLaren et al [27] and Honess et al [44] have shown immune cell activity to be independent of cell numbers.


Body weights were not affected by the group size of water voles in each cage despite a previous study demonstrating that changes in housing conditions from external enclosures into indoor, singly-housed lab-cages correlated with weight loss in water voles [24].

The increase in weights of individuals sampled over the course of this investigation is attributable to the water voles growing in size, indicated by the concurrent increase in individual lengths over the sampling period.

Due to the design of the sampling one sample per individual , comparison of growth rates between individuals over this period was not possible. Our study suggests that the individuals housed in large groups sizes may have been physiologically stressed compared with less-densely housed individuals.

Moorhouse et al [24] demonstrated that long-term housing of water voles in single laboratory cages correlated with elevated levels of physiological stress and lower weights, compared with individuals housed in outdoor enclosures. LCC values are not directly comparable between separate luminometers and body weights may have varied seasonally, making direct comparison between the present study and Moorhouse et al's [24] study impossible.

It is plausible, however, that because multiple individuals housed in laboratory cages had lower LCC scores than singly housed individuals, the lower mean weights in the present study may indicate that the multiply-housed water voles were more physiologically stressed than those reported in Moorhouse et al [24].

Our LCC results have clear implications for pre-release housing, specifically for water voles, but potentially also for other species undergoing translocation or reintroduction. Water voles destined for conservation restoration programmes are bred in large outdoor pens.

It is logistically unavoidable that transfer to the reintroduction site requires housing in laboratory cages, or equivalent, for an intermediate period. The data from this study, and that of Moorhouse et al [24] indicate that this time should, however, be minimised as far as possible.

Whilst it is expedient to house water voles in groups in laboratory cages prior to reintroduction for ease of both transport and release, the considerations of ensuring that individuals are in the best physical condition possible for release, and the associated ethical considerations of ensuring good standards of animal husbandry and welfare, suggest that housing water voles in single units should be a standard practice.

The reintroduction process will undoubtedly, by its very nature, be the cause of some stress to the individuals involved; individuals must be bred, prior to being transported and ultimately released into a novel environment, all of which requires handling to some extent, regardless of the species in question. Therefore seeking out causes of stress and ameliorating them wherever possible to improve animal welfare would be expected to benefit the overall success of the reintroduction process.

Whilst the current study focuses upon the use of the LCC technique for monitoring stress and animal welfare of individuals undergoing reintroduction, it also has potential to become a valuable tool within laboratory situations by providing an individual measure for group-housed animals. Much work has been conducted on housing density of laboratory rodents e. Limitations This study was necessarily limited to measuring physiological indices of stress. Due to the overarching requirements of the reintroduction programme we were unable to manipulate numbers in a given laboratory cage or to take measurements from control animals.

Similarly, we were unable to support the physiological measurements taken with more standard measures of faecal corticosteroid or behavioural observations. In the former case this was due to difficulties associated with directly attributing faeces to a given individual.

In the latter case the difficulties related to the cryptic nature of water voles, and a desire to have as little presence in the animal housing as possible pre-reintroduction to minimise that potential source of stress. The lack of a formal experimental design does not invalidate the central finding of this study that individuals housed in larger groups were more physiologically stressed.

Similarly, the majority of studies of animal stress concentrate on measuring only one or two aspects of the stress response, and the absence of behavioural information, whilst clearly a limitation, also does not invalidate our results. Future assessment of the LCC technique in conjunction with other measures of stress, including corticosteroid measurements or behavioural observations may give increased confidence in the ability of this technique to identify patterns of stress and coping in free-living mammals.

Acknowledgments We thank the Wildwood Trust, Kent, for their support of this project and supply of water voles for release. Footnotes Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Funding: M. Gow Consultancies. PTES also funded I. Montes for the duration of the study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. References 1. Revisiting translocation and reintroduction programmes: the importance of considering stress.

Animal Behaviour. Sources of stress in captivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Group size: Determinants in the wild and implications for the captive housing of wild mammals in zoos. Bond M, Watts E. Recommendations for infant social environment. In: Sodaro C, editor. Orangutan Species Survival Plan. Chicago: Chicago Zoological Park; More than numbers matter: The effect of social factors on behaviour and welfare of laboratory rodents and non-human primates.

Coddington EJ, Cree A. General And Comparative Endocrinology. Plasma corticosterone concentrations associated with acute captivity stress in wild loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

Moberg GP. Biological response to stress: implications for animal welfare. The biology of animal stress: basic principles and implications for animal welfare. Wallingford: CAB International; Effect of different rearing systems and pre-kindling handling on behaviour and performance of rabbit does. Effect of housing density on reproductive parameters and corticosterone levels in nursing mice. Laboratory Animals.

Physiological profile of growing rats: Effects of cage type and cage density. Developing the science of reintroduction biology. Conservation Biology. Mortality and behaviour of hihi, an endangered New Zealand honeyeater, in the establishment phase following translocation. Biological Conservation. Pinta muito, vejam que page! Essa menina land above Oscar psychology perspective.

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Water Vole Conservation Handbook

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Whilst it is expedient to house water voles in groups in laboratory cages prior to reintroduction for ease of both transport and release, the considerations of ensuring that individuals are in the best physical condition possible for release, and the associated ethical considerations of ensuring good standards of animal husbandry and welfare, suggest that housing water voles in single units should be a standard practice.


LCC levels did not seem to be influenced by the actual surgical procedure under anesthesia Montes for the duration of the study. New in Internet Explorer 9? We used the number of voles in each cage as the measure of group size, as opposed to measures of density such as units of space available per unit of body weight.

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