Translocation of swamp rabbits in southern Illinois

Angela M. Watland, Eric M. Schauber, Alan Woolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Habitat of Sylvilagus aquaticus (swamp rabbits) in Illinois has been reduced and fragmented due to human land use. Translocation may enable swamp rabbits to colonize isolated habitat patches. We live-trapped and translocated 9 male and 8 female swamp rabbits to unoccupied habitat in southern Illinois in January and February 2004. Eight of 17 translocated rabbits died within 7 days after release. However, mortality rates appeared to drop rapidly over time after release. Predators killed at least 10 of 14 rabbits that died. For conserving swamp rabbits, translocation success is limited by poor live-trapping success and high levels of post-release predation. Intense live-trapping along with predator control in release sites may be necessary to make translocation a viable management strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-270
Number of pages12
JournalSoutheastern Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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