Experiences of catching chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) in a wooded mountain area in Switzerland
A project to investigate the phenomen of chamois, living in forests had been launched by the federal office of environment, forest and landscape. WildARK got the opportunity to execute these studies. The investigation of the wood-chamois forced us to apply telemetry techniques because observations of animals in the forest are very difficult or nearly impossible due to the dense vegetation. So to get datas on home-ranges, activities, migrations etc. to rely on, the chamois must have been equiped with transmitters. The animals were caught alive to put on the collars with the transmitting unit. Considering the prevention of cruelty to animals the traps to catch the living being are basically dangerous (Sambraus and Steiger 1997). The problem by catching ungulates alive is the danger of losses because all species of them overreact more or less to the catching-stress. The animal get into a sudden predicament. Circulatory collapses for example may occure very fastly (Stubbe et ai 1995). A chemical immobilisation would encounter this situation but there could be problems after releasing the animals in the wild. Drugged individuals are in danger to plunge down, especially species living in steep and rocky areas like the chamois. Further more new researches shows that there could be life-history effects of chemical immobilisation on female individuals. The life reproduction of a female mountain goat could be reduced, when it once was under sedation in the age of 3 to 4 years (Cote et al. 1998). There is also showed that following capture, drugged females abandoned their kids more often than undrugged nanny-goats and abandonment decreased kid survival.
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