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Summary

Four hundred and eleven African buffaloes were immobilized with etorphine hydrochloride (M99, Reckitts) and sampled under difficult conditions in North Western Botswana. The buffaloes were darted from a helicopter in 36 days. 584 darts were fired giving a success rate of 70-5%. Various age groups in three separate buffalo populations were included.

The technique and difficulties encountered when working from a helicopter are described. Mechanical failure of the darting equipment was negligible.

A breakdown of the costs involved is given and a comparison made with similar work carried out solely from land vehicles.