Author(s): Oded BergerTal, David Saltz
Despite their importance to conservation, reintroductions are still a risky endeavor and tend to fail, highlighting the need for more efficient post-release monitoring techniques. Reintroduced animals are released into unfamiliar novel environ- ments and must explore their surroundings to gain knowledge in or der to survive. According to theory, knowledge gain should be followed by subsequent changes to the animal’s movement behavior , making movement behavior an excellent indicator of rein- troduction progress. We aim to conceptually describe a logical pr ocess that will enable the inclusion of behavior (in particula r, movement behavior) in management decision-making post-reintroducti ons, and to do so, we provide four basic components that a manager should look for in the behaviors of released animals. Th e suggested components are release-site fidelity, recurring loc a- tions, proximity to other individuals, and indi vidual variation in movement behavior. Th ese components are by no means the only possible ones available to a manager, but they provide an effi cient tool to understanding animals’ decision-making based on eco - logical theory; namely, the exploration-exploitation trade-off th at released animals go through, and which underlies their beha vior. We demonstrate our conceptual approach using data from two ung ulate species reintroduced in Israel: the Persian fallow deer Dama mesopotamica and the Arabian oryx Oryx leucoryx [ Current Zoology 60 (4): 515–526, 2014].