Health and welfare in reintroductions – lessons from small mammals

Health and welfare in reintroductions – lessons from small mammals

Project Animal(s) : Mammals
Project Category : Mammals
Project Region : Across the World
Project Type : Research
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

Research interests involve the pathogenic, parasitic, welfare and stress implications associated with reintroduction programmes for small mammals.

Conservation efforts are making increasing use of captive breeding and reintroduction programs, however, these initiatives often fail, and there has hitherto been little attempt to explain the causes. In addition, there are ethical questions to be addressed about all aspects of the management of animals that are bred, or held, in captivity before release. An important element of the context for the judgement of these ethical issues is the likelihood of success of these reintroduction initiatives.

There is therefore an urgent need to establish reliable measures for assessing the likely impact of release on the welfare of captive-bred animals, and to determine how such measures, if employed before release, might predict the successful establishment of individuals in the wild. It is also necessary to monitor the impact of release on changes in parasite loads and pathogenesis. Until these issues are tackled it will remain impossible to provide appropriate advice on pre-release housing and health screening, and post-release monitoring.


Project Agency : Wildlife Conservation Research Unit(WildCRU)

Project Agency Contact :

Project Researcher : Dr Merryl Gelling (Parle-Gelling)

Project Researcher Contact :

Additional Information :