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Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society

Further refinement of helicopter capture for Australian chital deer (Axis axis)

Matt Amos A * , Tom R. De Ridder B , Anthony Pople A , Michael Brennan A and Jordan O. Hampton C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park, Qld 4102, Australia.

B QBiotics Group, 165 Moggill Road, Taringa, Qld 4068, Australia.

C Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia.

D Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.

* Correspondence to:

Handling Editor: Stuart Cairns

Australian Mammalogy 46, AM23015
Submitted: 20 April 2023  Accepted: 4 June 2023  Published: 16 June 2023

© 2024 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Australian Mammal Society.


This study improves a technique to capture wild chital deer (Axis axis) in northern Australia by darting from a helicopter. We quantified several metrics, including the frequency of adverse animal welfare events. Mortality at the time of capture was 15%, but no animals died post-release, and the frequencies of hyperthermia and hypoxaemia were lower than in previous operations. This study can be used as a template for iterative refinement of high-risk capture methodologies.

Keywords: animal welfare, chital deer, darting, helicopter capture, mortality, stress, telemetry, ungulates.


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