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Evaluation of a helicopter and dart gun technique for capturing chamois rupicapra rupicapra and attaching radio telemetry collars


, : Evaluation of a helicopter and dart gun technique for capturing chamois rupicapra rupicapra and attaching radio telemetry collars. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 6(3): 493-498

The technique of capturing chamois (R. rupicapra) by firing tranquilizer darts from a helicopter was evaluated. Nine chamois were captured during 3 operations between Sept. 1976 and May 1977. Animals were tranquilized with the drug fentanyl-azaperone and jumped on from the helicopter. On average, 2 were caught per hour of operation. Radio transmitters in the 27 MHz frequency band were attached with a collar to each animal. After release animals sought refuge in the forest, but 2 wk later had resumed normal behavior. Capture success was attributed to the selection of cool, calm days in spring and autumn when animals occupied open spaces, and to the skill of the helicopter crew in darting and capturing the animals. Important limitations were the stress responses of chamois, the high cost of using helicopters and a 25% death rate.

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