The Speaker Method: A Novel Release Method for Offspring Mammals and 5-Year Study on Three Costa Rican Mammals

Encarnación García-Vila, Roger Such, Bárbara Martín-Maldonado, Elena Tarròs, Elisa L. Sorribes, Cristina Calvo-Fernandez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Nowadays, wild animals are threatened by humans, with the number of species and individuals decreasing during recent years. Wildlife rescue centers play a vital role in the conservation of wildlife populations. This study aims to describe a new release technique, the Speaker Method, to rescue and facilitate the reunion of different baby mammals that arrived at a wildlife rescue center with their mothers within their natural habitat, avoiding the need for captivity. This method is based on a recorded baby's cry played on a speaker to make a "call effect" in the mother. The efficacy of the Speaker Method for babies' reunion with their mothers was 45.8% in Hoffmann's two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni) and 91.9% in brown-throated sloths (Bradypus variegatus). Among the mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), 50% of the babies could be released using this new technique. The findings suggest that the method could be helpful in the early release of young individuals, highlighting higher release outcomes in these three species compared to traditional nursery care provided by human caretakers, who face inherent difficulties in raising young animals without their mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3669
Issue number23
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alouatta palliata
  • Bradypus variegatus
  • Choloepus hoffmanni
  • Rehabilitation
  • Release
  • Rescue center
  • Wildlife
  • Conservation


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