Radio-tagging and tracking of translocated trout cod (Maccullochella macquariensis: Percichthyidae) in an upland river

Ebner, B.C., Johnston, L., and Lintermans, M. (2009) Radio-tagging and tracking of translocated trout cod (Maccullochella macquariensis: Percichthyidae) in an upland river. Marine and Freshwater Research, 60 (4). pp. 346-355.

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Radio-tracking provides an effective means of studying the spatial ecology of threatened fishes where almost inaccessible habitats and species rarity render conventional mark-recapture methods impractical. Initially, validation of an effective radio-tagging method is required; in the present study, an aquaria trial based on nine hatchery-reared, adult male Maccullochella maquariensis (Percichthyidae) was conducted. Fish resumed feeding within days of being internally implanted with a radio-tag, and tag rejection was not observed (0%, n = 9) based on a 2-month observational period. Following release into an upland stream, individual-specific movements resulted in upstream (n = 1) and downstream (n = 6) dispersal as well as fidelity to the release site (n = 2) at the completion of the study. Individuals established small home-ranges (mean length of river used by an individual per diel period ranged from 47 to 292 m) and were most active in the early morning and evening (n = 6). Complete survivorship of individuals bearing active radio-transmitters (n = 8) was recorded up until 4 months after release. However, an estimated zero or one individual was alive when the last active radio-tag expired 11 months after release (n = 8). The present study highlights the use of radio-tracking in monitoring the dispersal and survivorship of small numbers of hatchery-reared threatened fish released into natural habitats as part of species re-introduction programs.

Item ID: 35632
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: captive breeding, dispersal, habitat use, mortality, re-introduction
Funders: Natural Heritage Trust
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2014 15:55
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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