Two poster sessions, the first on Tuesday April 15th and the second on Wednesday April 16th, are scheduled during the conference. A tent at the rear of Café Brauer will be the location for both sessions.
The poster abstracts below are posted as submitted by the authors and have not been edited by Lincoln Park Zoo.
1st International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference
April 15, 2008: Poster Session 1
1. Worldwide review of reintroduction programs of birds of prey
Roberto Muriel Abad and Miguel Ferrer
Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC) Avd. Ma Luisa s/n, 41013 Sevilla, SPAIN
Recently, the number of reintroduction programs has increased in the framework of active recovery of endangered birds of prey. Nevertheless, information still lacks about development and final outcomes from these projects. Thus, we conducted a comprehensive global survey of reintroduction programs of raptors in order to review the methodological and biological traits associated with the reintroduction success. Until 2007, 156 release programs of 34 species of birds of prey in 27 countries have been recorded. 91 percent of the releases were performed in North America and Europe. Although 80 percent of the species reintroduced were diurnal, non-scavenger, territorial and resident species, the proportion of colonial scavengers’ reintroductions was higher that expected. Five species monopolized more than 50 percent of releases, specially the American Bald Eagle and the Peregrine Falcon in North America and large vultures in Europe. Program length, habitat quality, number of birds released and demographic traits were related to reintroduction success. Reintroductions have proved to be a successful conservation measure in particular for medium-large size species with lower recovery capacity. More multi-specific based studies are necessary to improve the overall understanding of the biological processes underlying reintroduction programs and thus improving success rates in future programs.
2. Twenty years of Arabian oryx captive-breeding and conservation program in Saudi Arabia
National Wildlife Research Center of National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, Saudi Arabia
The main objective of the captive breeding of the Arabian oryx is to produce and provide healthy and genetically diverse individuals for large scale reintroduction in suitable sites throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The captive-breeding of the Arabian oryx started in Saudi Arabia in 1986 when 57 animals were transported from the late King Khalid's collection at Thumamah to the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Taif. An unfortunate outbreak of tuberculosis was diagnosed shortly after the arrival of these animals. It was brought under control by strict sanitary and medical measures. Efforts were directed towards promoting both rapid growth of the herd, health management and improving the genetic representation through the addition of blood lineages from Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain which are not represented in the world herd. At the moment, the NWRC captive breeding herd has the greatest genetic diversity of all captive and wild herds in the world. Captive breeding is still focusing on the production of captive-herd animals of optimal health and genetic status for reintroduction into the wild. To date, 110 oryx (44 males and 66 females) bred at the NWRC have already been reintroduced into the two protected areas, Mahazat as-Sayd is the first and 'Uruq Bani Ma'arid is the second area chosen for release.
3. Endangered and endemic amphibians in a West African rain forest
Annika Hillers, Caleb Ofori Boateng, Alex Cudjoe Agyei, and Mark-Oliver RÖdel
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
We assessed the distribution of several endangered and endemic amphibian species in an attempt to understand factors that govern species distribution in West African forest fragments. Amphibians were recorded in a visual and acoustic encounter survey. We calculated the estimated species richness with jacknife 1 and chao 2 estimators. 43 frog species were recorded including one first country record (Kassina cochranae) and several species that have not been found after their description (e.g. Conraua derooi). A high percentage of the recorded frog assemblages consisted of species endemic to the upper Guinea forest, to Ghana or even a particular state. The presences of farmbush and savannah species indicate serious habitat degradation. One third of the recorded species are threatened according to the IUCN Red List. These highlight the importance of the forest of southern Ghana as well as the urgent need to protect them.
4. Headstarting the Anegada Iguana, Cyclura pinguis
Kelly A. Bradley1 and Glenn P. Gerber2
1. Dallas Zoo 2. CRES, Zoological Society of San Diego
The critically endangered Anegada iguana (Cyclura pinguis) has been the focus of a headstart program since 1997 in order to protect juvenile iguanas from depredation in the wild by feral cats. We used an experimental approach and rigorous post-release monitoring schedule to evaluate headstarting as a conservation technique for rock iguanas. From 2003-2006, seventy-two radio-tagged iguanas of a wide range of sizes were released into two habitat types on Anegada. The iguanas were monitored for one to three years to document the affects of size, sex, habitat type, and years in captivity on survival, growth, behavior, adaptability and dispersal rates. The overall survival rate of the project was 87%. We documented survival of animals as small as 400 grams. We also found that growth after release differed between the two release sites. Our study demonstrated that headstarting is a viable conservation technique and allowed us to optimize the headstart program by determining smaller sizes of iguanas that can survive in the wild with feral cats.
5. Design of a Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Project – Lessons Learned
U Director, Wildlife Care Center of Belize
For ten years, the Wildlife Care Center of Belize has been operating in collaboration with the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources, developing rehabilitation and release methodology for confiscated native monkeys and birds. With an emphasis on research and documentation, pre-release surveys, behavioral and ranging observations, and long-term monitoring are conducted. Results are that the majority of twenty-seven howler monkeys released between 1999 and 2007 are known to have survived at least one year, and the first noted birth occurred in 2005 to a female released in 2002. The decision to focus on howlers was based on factors now believed to be directly responsible for the success of the project. Using nearly identical methodology, three spider monkeys were released in 2007 after a two-year period of rehabilitation, but due to unexpected events, the release was curtailed after twenty-five days. These events, along with data collected during both pre-and post-release, have yielded important information and recommendations for the program and demonstrated that while parts of the methodology used for the two primates are necessarily species-specific, the single most fundamental element of any successful rehabilitation and release program is a thorough knowledge and understanding of the target species’ behavior and ecology. This information aids in designing enclosures, formulating diets and a feeding regimen, providing quality veterinary care, and identifying and preventing potential behavioral and physical problems.
6. Monitoring captive and reintroduced populations to support captive-breeding decision-making: island foxes at Channel Islands National Park
Timothy J. Coonan1 and Catherin A. Schwemm2
1. National Park Service, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001, USA 2. Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Deciding when to cease captive-breeding and reintroduction efforts for a species can be difficult, and requires significant supporting data. We compared demographic parameters from both captive and reintroduced island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) to inform captive breeding program decisions at Channel Islands National Park. Reintroduction of San Miguel Island foxes (U. l. littoralis) and Santa Rosa Island foxes (U. l. santarosae) began in 2003/2004 prior to complete mitigation of predation by golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). We monitored survival and mortality sources for reintroduced island foxes and their offspring via radiotelemetry, and tracked reproductive success via remote cameras and annual trapping. Released foxes and/or their wild-born offspring produced 24 litters and weaned at least 68 pups, and the reproductive success of wild foxes was over 3 times that of captive foxes, which failed to produce any pups at all on San Miguel in spring 2007. The high survival and greater reproductive success in the wild, particularly on San Miguel Island, support a decision to cease captive breeding and reintroduction on that island. Although demographic goals have not yet been met for the subspecies, further captive breeding and release will contribute little to population recovery, compared to that accomplished by recruitment and survival in the wild.
7. Comparing wild and captive populations: Genetic implications for maximizing potential reintroduction success
Jaret C. Daniels, Ph.D. and Emily V. Saarinen
University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611
The Miami blue butterfly is currently limited to a single extant metapopulation in the lower Florida Keys. To help safeguard this imperiled taxon, a captive breeding colony was initiated and is regularly infused with organisms collected from the wild. The resulting colony serves many functions including the production of individuals for reintroduction. Since 2004, we have monitored the genetic variability of both captive-bred and wild butterflies. DNA is extracted from 2x2mm wing fragments for PCR-based amplification and subsequently genotyped at twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci. Genetic analysis show more variability in wild versus captive-bred individuals as well as unique alleles in both groups. This method provides a highly effective, non-invasive means to monitor genetic drift and assess overall population structure. It additionally helps to ensure that captive-bred individuals slated for reintroduction are not significantly different genetically from those of the source population. These results underscore the need for genetic monitoring in conservation breeding programs and for the regular introduction of new genetic material into captive populations, if available. Lastly, we have successfully extracted DNA from museum specimens and are in the process of comparing historical genetic population structure with current allelic diversity.
8. Monitoring Stress and Reproductive Physiology in Reintroduced Canada Lynx
Kerry Fanson1, Dr. Nadja Wielebnowski2, Dr. Jeffrey Lucas1
1. Purdue University, Dept. Biological Sciences, 915 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907 2. Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield, IL 60513
The paradox of reintroductions is that the very act of translocating animals may threaten the success of the effort by inhibiting individual reproduction and survival. However, the specific mechanisms underlying these decreases in reproduction and survival are unclear. The objective of this study was to examine some of the potential physiological mechanisms underlying an observed decrease in reproductive success of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) post-reintroduction. We monitored reproductive and “stress” (glucocorticoid, GC) hormone profiles in reintroduced lynx using fecal hormone analysis. Fecal samples were collected from known individuals, both in holding pens and post-release via snow-tracking. Wild lynx in holding pens have elevated GC concentrations compared to permanently captive lynx. Furthermore, there are source-population and gender differences in GC profiles. After they are released, GC levels in males decline and androgen levels increase. Males also show appropriate seasonal changes in androgen expression after they are released. We found that the reproductive physiology of females cannot be monitored effectively using currently available fecal hormone assays, due to their apparently unique physiology compared to other felids. This project will ultimately contribute to our understanding of how physiological changes may impact the outcome of reintroduction efforts.
9. Captive breeding and release of endemic bird species on islands: what have we learned from the San Clemente loggerhead shrike?
Susan M Farabaugh1, Tandora Grant1, James Bradley2, Jason Fidorra2
1. CRES, ZSSD, 15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido CA 92027-7000 2. Institute for Wildlife Studies, 2515 Camino Del Rio S., San Diego CA 92108
The captive program to restore the San Clemente loggerhead shrike, Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi, an endangered subspecies endemic to one of the Channel Islands off southern California, began in 1991, but didn’t achieve success until 2000 with the first recruitment of captive bred birds into the wild breeding population. This success was due to major changes in release methodology including releases of captive-hatched juveniles, bonded adult pairs, family groups, and solo adult releases to unpaired wild birds; a change of captive breeding focus from hand-rearing to parent-rearing; and support of released and wild shrikes through supplemental feeding and predator control. Survival and fecundity of the wild population is constantly reanalyzed to guide the recovery efforts and has led to changes of focus and methods. Analysis of the survival of released shrikes since 1999 reveals that parent-reared survive better than hand-reared and that juveniles survive better than adults. Though less successful, adult releases are necessary for genetic and demographic management of the captive flock, and can also function to reduce the numbers of unpaired wild shrikes that could potentially disrupt juvenile releases. Our experiences may provide important information for other recovery projects involving small island populations.
10. Modeling the impact of reintroductions on source population dynamics of great apes in African sanctuaries
Lisa Faust1, Ben Beck2, Doug Cress3
1. Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology, Lincoln Park Zoo. 2. Great Ape Trust of Iowa. 3. Pan African Sanctuary Alliance
In reintroduction programs it is essential to evaluate how release strategies impact both the reintroduced and source populations. Orphaned great apes in Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) facilities may serve as source populations, and several PASA members are planning reintroductions using the appropriate IUCN guidelines. This project explores the potential impact of reintroductions on the demography of the source populations in PASA sanctuaries. We use a demographic simulation model that projects future population dynamics of sanctuary ape populations using current age and sex structure of apes housed in 13 PASA sanctuaries, historic and hypothetical arrival rates into sanctuaries, and species-specific patterns of mortality. We modeled potential reintroduction scenarios varying size, sex, and age structure of reintroduced groups. Our results show that if historic arrival rates continue, sanctuary populations will continue to increase necessitating long-term planning for infrastructure and economic security. Modeled reintroduction scenarios did not significantly decrease population size in the source populations. This has benefits and drawbacks: sanctuary populations will likely remain robust enough to provide individuals for future releases as necessary, but will also demand resources and personnel to support their populations, which will need to be balanced with the resources that PASA members devote to reintroduction projects.
11. The San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program: Maximizing Survival Through Experimentation and Adaptation in Release Techniques
Jason Fidorra, Andrew S. Bridges, Susan M. Farabaugh; James E. Bradley; and David K. Garcelon
Institute for Wildlife Studies, 2515 Camino del Rio S., Suite 334, San Diego, CA 92108 USA
In 1998, with only 14 individuals remaining in the wild, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi, SCLS) was considered one of the most critically endangered vertebrate subspecies in the world. From 1999 through 2007, a total of 328 captive-bred SCLS were released. To determine the best strategies for releasing these captive shrikes into the wild, we conducted experiments to examine the effect of age, sex, time of year, release cage design, acclimation time within the cage, and release site characteristics under a variety of reintroduction scenarios. For 179 juvenile SCLS released, we found greater over-winter survival (34%) for juveniles released at less than 75 days of age. There was relatively low reproductive success from adults paired in captivity and released together into breeding habitat (0.47 fledglings/pair), compared to pairs allowed to breed within field aviaries and released with their dependent young (3.7 fledglings/pair). Aviaries were adapted as necessary to continually improve the probability of double clutching while decreasing mortality risks. Of adult release strategies, we found that single adults paired with wild mates were the most efficient in terms of both labor and offspring production, but were least effective at managing the captive population. The wild population is now greater than 100 individuals and we continue to use experimental and adaptive management in the recovery effort.
12. Health and welfare in reintroductions: Lessons from small mammals
Merryl Gelling1, Fiona Mathews2, Tom Moorhouse1, David W. Macdonald1
1. Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University, Tubney House, Abingdon Road, Tubney, Oxon, OX13 5QL 2. School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Geoffrey Pope Building, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD
Reintroduction programmes are increasingly common, however, the fate of many are either unknown, or fail suggesting unacceptably high mortality. Costs are imposed in terms of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to individuals, or sympatric populations of other species. There is an urgent need to find measures to assess the impact of release, and to predict successful establishment. Few programmes analyse the disease status of animals due to associated costs and difficulties. Current strategies involve screening a small percentage of animals destined for release by post mortem, however, chronic diseases of low prevalence within the population are unlikely to be identified. Health and welfare research is therefore relevant as anything that will aid survival, establishment and ultimate breeding of the release cohort can only be beneficial. We investigated Cryptosporidium and Giardia levels in wild water voles (Arvicola terrestris) from extant populations throughout the UK to provide baseline load levels. We then screened captive-bred animals prior to release, and again one and four months post-release to investigate uptake levels over time. We also utilized novel methods for investigating in vitro the ability of individuals to mount a challenge-induced immune response before and after undergoing a reintroduction as a measure of welfare.
13. Passeriformes from the wildlife traffic in the Sao Paulo City: determination of the main causes of death (pathology) and implications of releasing these animals
Silvia Neri Godoy1 and Eliana Reiko Matushima2
1. IBAMA - SHIN CA 02 Bloco D Apto 408 - Lago Norte - Brasalia -DF - 71503-502 – Brazil 2. FMVZ-USP
Passeriforme is the Avian Order more abundant in families and species. As a consequence, these are the animals who suffer the most with the wildlife traffic in Brazil, since there is a great species diversity in the country. The illegal trade has substantially contributed to the impoverishment of the Brazilian fauna diversity, increasing the extinction risk of several species, many of them still poorly known and studied. A large number of specimens die due to this illegal traffic, and when the dealers’ activities are intercepted, the surviving animals are taken to the wildlife rehabilitation centers; many are extremely debilitated, and its return to the wild becomes impossible. The study of these animal’s causes of death, as well as the identification of the pathogens they carry, may provide data that help its management in captivity and increases its survival when captured; it may also generate useful information for in-situ conservation programs. It is helpful to know the pathogens that affect the passeriforms apprehended in the wildlife traffic as it provides an identification of the risks of releasing these animals in the wild, and the possible impacts of new diseases on free-ranging wildlife populations. This study analyzed the cause of death of 360 birds coming from the illegal trade captured in the city of São Paulo, and the possible sanitary consequences of returning those confiscated animals to the wild. Infectious diseases were responsible for 78,8% of the deaths and the etiologics agents more frequent were poxvirus, Aspergillus sp and coccidias. A flow chart was elaborated in order to help identifying the best way of finding a suitable destination to the passeriforms confiscated in the illegal trade. A model of sanitary protocol for release was proposed when this is the best.
14. Caribbean Iguana Recovery Programs
Tandora Grant, Glenn Gerber, Jeffrey Lemm, Lee Pagni, Allison Alberts
Conservation and Research for Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, 15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido CA 92027
As a result of severe habitat destruction and fragmentation, extraction of forest products, and the introduction of exotic invasive species, Caribbean tropical dry-forests are among the most endangered ecosystems in the world. Iguanas in this region are considered some the world’s rarest lizards and are the largest native land animal and dominant herbivore on most Caribbean islands. By consuming the fruits of many tropical dry-forest plant species, they facilitate dispersal and germination of seeds that pass through their digestive tracts. Returning these animals to their native habitats not only restores a unique component of Caribbean biodiversity, but also contributes to the long-term health of a highly threatened ecosystem. The Zoological Society of San Diego has been committed to Caribbean iguana conservation and restoration since 1992, with efforts focused in Cuba, Anegada, the Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, the Bahamas, and Lesser Antilles. Population reintroductions in four of these countries are on-going and utilize headstarting, captive breeding, and/or translocations. Preliminary success in these recovery programs has been possible through a combination of applied ecological research, education and awareness, local capacity building, and multi-national collaboration.
15. Detection of potential reintroduction areas for the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in Mexico
Patricia G. Martínez Gutiérrez1, Jorge I. Servín Marí¬nez2, Enrique Marí¬nez Meyer1
1. Instituto de Bioloí¬a, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) Circuito exterior S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 04510, D.F., México 2. Departamento de Desarrollo Sustentable, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Juírez del Estado de Durango (UJED) / Priv. Aquiles SerdÃ¡n y Predio Canoas S/N Col Los Angeles, C.P. 34000, Durango, Durango, México
The objective was to determine potential reintroduction areas for the Mexican gray wolf in Mexico. This was done through spatial analysis by considering the historical geographic range of the Mexican wolf in Mexico. The ecological niche of the Mexican wolf was modeled using the genetic algorithm GARP, and then its historical geographic range was approximated. Using GIS ArcView 3.2, current areas with suitable habitat were identified and values of suitability were given to them. In addition, a gradient of risk according to the distance to transport lines and human settlements was generated. Subsequently, the largest fragment of continuous habitat was identified through FragStats 3.3 and the most suitable patches for reintroduction were located according to high habitat suitability and no risk of human presence. The results indicated that the current largest fragment of continuous habitat is located in the Sierra Madre Occidental, but with a zone of human risk which divides it in two suitable sectors for reintroduction: (1) the north central area of Chihuahua-Sonora; and (2) Durango-Zacatecas. The zone of risk which separates them has values of high habitat suitability and additionally contains small patches with no risk that could function as connectors.
16. Reintroduction, range expansion, and population development on a continental scale: the beaver's reconquest of Eurasia
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA, Tungasletta 2, NO-7047 Trondheim, NORWAY
Overhunting reduced Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber) populations to c. 1200 animals, in eight isolated populations, around the end of the 19th century. Protection, reintroductions and natural spread have led to a powerful recovery in both range and populations during the later 20th century, which is continuing at a rapid pace. The minimum global population estimate (2007) is 642 000. Castor fiber populations are now established throughout Europe with the exception of Great Britain, Portugal, Italy and the southern Balkans. In Asia the species has a continuous range in a belt from the Urals to the Yenisei, with scattered populations in eastern Russia, northern Xinjiang (China) and Mongolia. Introduced populations of N. American beaver C. canadensis are established in southern Finland and NW Russia, and at several sites in eastern Russia. Following initial recolonization, C. fiber populations typically show a pattern of rapid range extension within a watershed. At this stage there is strong selection for the best habitat and densities are low. Geographic infilling and progressive relaxation of habitat quality thresholds follow as the population develops. Rapid population growth typically occurs only in the later stages of population development. The period of rapid population increase, if unchecked, leads to a phase of population decline as marginal habitats are occupied and exhausted. This typically coincides with a peak in conflicts with human land-use interests. There is a clear barrier effect of watershed divides on range expansion. This can be strongly isolating where physical or habitat barriers (such as mountains or intensive farmland) intrude between suitable habitat on different watersheds. Management of C. fiber distribution should therefore operate at the watershed scale. Management options include hunting, amelioration measures, and changes to riparian management practices. Early provision of interpretation and public viewing opportunities has been a feature of several recent reintroductions. This provides a benefit to the local economy through wildlife tourism, and helps foster positive attitudes to beavers. Reintroductions are continuing, and considerable further expansion in range and population, especially in western Europe and the lower Danube basin, can be expected. If current trends continue, C. fiber will, within a few decades, be a fairly common mammal in much of Europe.
17. Behavioural aspects of conservation breeding - Red junglefowl as a case study
Division of Zoology, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping Sweden
An alarmingly high proportion of reintroductions have not been successful in establishing viable populations, possibly due to behavioural problems caused by genetic adaptation to captivity. The main aim of this project was to study behavioural aspects of conservation breeding and investigate whether, and how, maintenance of small populations in captivity cause behavioural modifications. The red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) was used as a case study, representing animals maintained in captive populations. A screening of behavioural variation revealed that the captive populations differed in behaviours central for a life in the wild. When studying behaviour of populations with different backgrounds being raised together as one group, results suggested that fear-related behaviours may be more affected by long-term breeding in a certain captive environment than social and exploratory behaviours which seem to be more influenced by the immediate social or physical environment. A longitudinal study of antipredator behaviour in two populations across four generations revealed that the populations became more similar over time when maintained under identical conditions. The present case study is one of the first attempts to, from a conservation perspective, study how captive environments can affect behaviour and the results imply that these aspects are important to take into consideration in conservation breeding programs.
18. Thirty years of mortality assessment in whooping crane reintroductions: Patterns and implications
Barry K. Hartup1, Marilyn G. Spalding2, Nancy J. Thomas3, Gretchen A. Cole4, and Young Jun Kim5
1. International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin USA 2.University of Florida, Gainseville, USA 3. USGS National Wildlife Health Center Madison Wisconsin, USA 4. University of Wisconsin, Madison Wisconsin, USA 5. Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Reintroduction has been used for the past 30 years in an attempt to establish distinct self-sustaining populations of whooping cranes (Grus americana) and minimize the possibility of loss of the species through natural disaster or disease outbreak. We reviewed postmortem data from three projects in order to identify primary risks for mortality in reintroduced whooping cranes and assess their potential for mitigation in future reintroduction efforts. In total, 240 cases from three populations were reviewed for causes of death, including the Rocky Mountain migratory population (n = 24, release dates 1975-1989), Florida non-migratory population (n = 186, 1993-2005), and Wisconsin migratory population (n = 30, 2001-ongoing). Traumatic injury was the leading cause of mortality among the reintroduced whooping cranes, most commonly from predation (n = 120 or 50%, range 8-58% per project) or collision with fixed structures such as electrical power lines or fences (n = 22 or 9%, range 3-46%). Disease of infectious etiology (including confirmed cases of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infection) was the second leading cause of mortality (n = 19 or 8%, range 3–17%). The data were limited by the large number of undetermined causes of death due to scavenging and decomposition of carcasses (n = 64 or 27%, 8–40%). Strategies to mitigate predation losses, including behavioral modification for predator avoidance in captive-reared birds or landscape modifications to ensure optimal protective roosting habitat, are warranted to minimize the effects of predation on reintroduced whooping cranes. Measures to prevent collision with existing power lines (marking devices) may be impractical due to the scale of the risk, except at areas with congregations of birds such as seasonal staging or important migration stopover sites. Locating new power line construction away from wetlands used by the cranes seems a prudent proactive measure. In addition, comprehensive ecosystem and release candidate health evaluations should continue to be undertaken to minimize losses from endemic or emerging diseases and prevent the introduction of novel pathogens into native ecosystems.
19. Experimental approach in large scale reinforcement programs: implications and constraints
Yves Hingrat, Pierrick Rautureau, and Lacroix Frédéric
Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation, PoBox 47, 33250, Missour, Morocco
A reinforcement program to restore and secure sustaining wild populations of an endangered species requires a multidisciplinary approach to face the multiple inter-related risk factors that might jeopardize its effectiveness. A set of well design experiments at each step of the release process, from captivity to the wild, is necessary to identify possible causes of failure and promote continuous improvements. In the frame of a restoration program of the endangered North African Houbara Bustard, 4870 individuals were released over ten years in Eastern Morocco (40 000 km² study area). Various reinforcement procedures were experimented and evaluated by monitoring 780 radio-tagged Houbaras. Effects of bird sex, age, preparation to release, release procedures, release sites, years and seasons were evaluated using between group comparisons of Houbara post-release survival (Kaplan Meier method, log-rank tests, 3 months after release). Global post-release survival was high, 0.81 (SD=0.02), and varied significantly only between release sites (?2= 36.7, p less than 0.01). After ten years, it appears that release site suitability remains the major constrain in Houbara post-release survival. These results demonstrate the importance of long term experimental approach to identify key parameters of the reinforcement effectiveness. Moreover, it showed that assessing the success of reinforcement program is a highly complex and unending issue which need a permanent review of experimental designs.
20. Development of disease risk analysis and management protocols for a Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri) reintroduction plan
Alaska SeaLife Center and University of Alaska Fairbanks PO Box 1329, Seward, AK 99664
Due to significant contractions in nesting range, the Alaska-breeding population of the Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri) was listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act in 1997. In 2005, a high priority recovery task to evaluate reintroduction as a tool to support recovery was included in the recovery plan, and development of a reintroduction feasibility analysis was initiated. In the analysis, a need to address disease transmission as a key risk factor in possible future reintroduction was identified. Disease surveys have been conducted in Steller’s eiders since 2002, providing background information on identities and patterns of potential disease-causing agents in free ranging populations. Based on this information, a list of potential pathogens has been identified, and used to develop and refine a disease risk management plan for captive populations maintained at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Management plan involves protocols for quarantine, biosecurity, health monitoring, vaccinations, and disease treatment guidelines. A qualitative risk analysis will be used to further characterize and evaluate risks associated with possible future reintroduction. Further information needs to support and refine a risk analysis involve development of additional species-specific diagnostic tests, and further understanding of host and population level effects of potential pathogens.
21. A Review of Crane Reintroductions Using Isolation Rearing with Puppets and Costumes
Robert H. Horwich
Community Conservation, 50542 One Quiet Lane, Gays Mills, WI 54631
After my pioneering crane reintroduction in 1985 using puppets, models, sounds and costumes for isolation rearing (to prevent incorrect imprinting) with common sandhill cranes, the technique has been used with whooping cranes, Mississippi sandhill cranes, wattled cranes and Siberian cranes with varying levels of success. This paper will review the use of the costume-rearing technique as a guide for future successes with cranes and other species. Although appearing simple, the costume-rearing technique was based on imprinting knowledge, classical ethological concepts and data on infant developmental periods in mammals and birds. Because of its seeming simplicity and absurdity, the costume rearing protocols and concepts that proved successful with sandhill cranes were often not followed initially, wasting money and crane eggs or were ignored, reducing survival rates in reintroduction projects on other crane species. This paper will document how the technique and recent improvements can maintain the highest survival levels in released birds. It will discuss familial and sexual imprinting, sensitive periods and specific techniques such as long-term control of reintroduced birds, methods and time of release and other techniques that can help survival rates in reintroduced crane chicks. Its use in other species will also be discussed.
22. Conservation challenges to continue the reintroduction of houbara bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
M. Zafar-ul Islam, Mohammed Basheer P., Moayyad Sher Shah, Hajid al-Subai, Ahmed Boug
National Wildlife Research Centre, P.O. Box 1086, Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The reintroduction programme of Houbara bustard was started in Saudi Arabia in 1986 to undertake the restoration of native species such as Houbara through a programme of re-introduction, involving the release of captive bred birds in the wild. Two sites were selected for houbara re-introduction i.e., Mahazat as-Sayd and Saja Umm Ar-Rimth protected areas in 1988 and 1998 respectively. Both the areas are fenced fairly level, sandy plain with a few rock outcrops. Captive bred houbara were released in Mahazat since 1991 by NWRC and those birds have been successfully breeding since then. The nesting season of the houbara at Mahazat recorded from February to May and on an average 20-25 nests are located each year but no nesting recorded in Saja. Houbara are monitored using radio transmitters through aerial tracking technique and also vehicle for terrestrial tracking. Total population of houbara in Mahazat is roughly estimated around >=500 birds, using the following: N=(n1+n2+n3+n4+n5)-n6 (n1=released or wild born, radio, regularly monitored/checked; n2=radio tagged missing; n3=wild born chicks not recorded; n4=wild born chicks, recorded but not tagged; n5=immigrants and n6=bird died after release). Since 1991 a total of 781 houbara are released, of them 374 are the males and 407 are females. Out of 781 houbara released in Mahazat, 133 died within a span of one month after the release and 648 survived. These mortalities are due to mammal predation and some are because of starvation. Mean annual home range was 467.7±352.6 km2 (n=59) using Kernel and Convex polygons methods. The minimum density of houbara in Mahazat in 2006 was 0.367 individuals per km2. This density is much higher than the natural density. It was recommended that further reintroduction of houbara in Mahazat should be stopped. In Saja only 25 individuals of houbara have been survived since 2001 because most of the birds are predated immediately after the release. The minimum density of houbara in Saja was also calculated. In order to know the houbara movement or their migration to other regions, two captive-reared male houbara that were released into the wild and one wild born female were fitted with Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTT). The home range shows that wild-born female has larger movement than the two males. More areas need to be selected for reintroduction programme to establish the network of sites to provide easy access to move these birds and mingle with the wild houbara. Some potential sites have been proposed which require more surveys to check the habitat suitability and conservation issues.
23. Informal and formal planning for reintroduction: when, how, who and why
The Conservation Land Trust Argentina Cuba 3129, Dto.15, Capital Federal, 1429, Argentina
For any reintroduction effort, planning serves as a key phase where research, promotion, implementation, conflict management, evaluation and organizational decisions meet. I use experience gathered from two reintroduction projects in North-eastern Argentina –giant anteater and pampas deer-- to discuss on the potential for both formal and informal planning. Much emphasis has been placed on formal planning because it is highly visible and most easy to evaluate. In spite of its lower visibility, informal planning plays a major role on any adaptive reintroduction project and always precedes the former. Formal planning should not be started until a reintroduction project can summon enough internal and external knowledge and political support. Thus, building a conflict map can help identify the right moment to start formal planning. Meanwhile, informal planning must be used and promoted to advance management actions and prepare more formal planning instances. Efficient informal planning requires a combination of strategic self-reflective leadership, organizational learning and an open communication environment. Formal planning may also require the use of techno-scientific tools (e.g. PVAs, GIS, habitat analysis) and group management tools (e.g. facilitation, mediation, diplomacy). While informal planning can be carried out almost exclusively by the project leading institutions, formal planning should be prepared to include all stakeholders with enough power to halt or support key reintroduction actions. Leading planners should be chosen for their interdisciplinary strategic --both scientific and people oriented-- skills and their ultimate commitment to the species recovery. Formal planning can help create an unequivocal official coalition supporting reintroduction, especially if it can be inserted within the existing legal and political framework. It also sets the ground for an objective evaluation. On the other hand, informal planning allows for day-to-day adaptation to new situations and findings, while leaving room for relevant decisions that should not be explicited in public documents.
24. A review of the world’s seabird reintroduction projects
Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 370 Prospect St., Greeley Lab, New Haven, CT 06511
Seabirds face many threats to their persistence on land and at-sea. Of the 328 seabird species currently recognized, 102 are threatened or endangered and 5 are thought to be extinct. Invasive species such as predatory rats and cats are considered one of the largest terrestrial threats to the persistence of seabird breeding colonies and often dramatically reduce or extirpate breeding seabirds from islands. As a result, eradication of invasive predators from nonnative ecosystems is now a common tool used to protect seabird breeding habitat and other native biodiversity. However, seabirds are often reticent to return to breed on islands because of perceived predation risk, natal philopatry, and coloniality. Therefore, seabird social attraction, or, seabird reintroduction, has been developed to reestablish seabirds on islands where seabird predators have been eradicated. Managers use chick translocation and/or acoustic vocalization playbacks and/or decoys to attract breeding seabirds to the islands where they have historically bred or where there is abundant safe breeding habitat. Reintroducing seabirds to high quality breeding habitat grows the number of breeding colonies and reduces the risk of a catastrophic event such as an oil spill or disease event destroying an entire breeding population of birds. Here I review seabird reintroduction projects that have been undertaken globally, evaluate the factors affecting success or failure, and suggest future directions. One hundred-twenty reintroduction projects have been implemented to protect 47 seabird species over 78 islands in 12 countries since reintroduction was pioneered in 1973. Although much of the literature is gray, it is clear that the following factors are integral to reintroduction success: 1) Monetary commitment over many years; 2) pilot studies to determine which strategies are most effective for the focal species; and 3) adequate life history research. Reintroduction projects can be effective conservation tools and should be incorporated into management plans for threatened and endangered species.
25. Social group fission and the formation of new groups after translocation of Golden Lion Tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia), Brazil.
Maria Cecilia Maritins Kierulff, Paula Procópio de Oliveira, Marina Janzantti Lapenta
Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo
Between 1994 and 1997, 42 golden lion tamarins (six groups) surviving in very small, secondary-forest fragments were captured and immediately translocated to a single, large protected forest; the União Biological Reserve. Although within the natural range of the species, there was no native GLT population in the União Reserve. The translocated groups were monitored with radiotelemetry from the moment they were released in the new site, initially by triangulation and, after habituation, by direct observation. Two different post-release movements were observed in the translocated groups: (1) they settled around the release site and increased their home range gradually; (2) the groups left the release site and established home ranges near to previously-established groups, or were chased by established groups and moved around until finding a part of the forest without a resident group to establish their home range. Emigration and immigration were common following translocation, and were more frequent when groups were released between two established groups. The unsaturated habitat and the low density in the release site increased the opportunities for the establishment of new groups by individuals dispersing from the original translocated groups. The original translocated groups usually settled far from each other and interactions between them were highly aggressive. In contrast, the newly-formed groups usually established home ranges close to their original groups and interactions were much less violent. The dispersal behavior after the release of lion tamarin groups must be taken into consideration during any translocation program. One year of monitoring was the minimum time necessary to assess the establishment of the translocated lion tamarin groups since all groups settled within six months after release, and had established home ranges one year after translocation. Home range size decreased with the increase in population density. In 2006, the translocated population numbered around 220 individuals in more than 30 groups.
26. A multidisciplinary approach to western gorilla reintroduction and ecosystem restoration in Congo and Gabon
The Aspinall Foundation, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, nr Hythe, Kent CT21 4PD, UK
The only programme concerning the reintroduction of the critically endangered western gorilla is that of The Aspinall Foundation in cooperation with the governments of Congo (since 1987) and Gabon (since 1998), and aims to re-establish viable, self-sustaining populations within the former range of the species. Between 1996 and 2006, 53 gorillas have been released, consisting of 43 wild-born orphans, plus one in-situ and nine ex-situ captive-borns, and further reinforcement is planned. The programme has been surprisingly successful in terms of survival (>80%), exhibition of “natural” ranging and social behaviours (such as female transfer and male dispersal), and reproduction (six births in the past four years). Gorilla-human conflict is avoided by ensuring major ecological barriers (large rivers, extensive grassland) between released gorillas and human activity, although intervention strategies are available if necessary, and have been used in the case of several solitary adult males. Multi-disciplinary site management ensures that the projects are in effect ecosystem restoration programmes, with the reintroduced gorillas a flagship species that play a role in the regeneration of the forests within the site, and the associated natural resource protection providing a focal point for the zonation and sustainable utilization of resources in the surrounding degraded watershed.
27. Genetic diversity: a key-factor in the success of reintroduced populations of the common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) in the Netherlands?
Maurice La Haye1 and Harald Schmidt2
1. Radboud University Nijmegen, Dept. of Animal Ecology, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2. Rotterdam Zoo, PO Box 532, 3000 AM Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The Common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) became extinct in the Netherlands in 2002, but was successfully reintroduced. Areas were restocked with hamsters from a breeding program at the Rotterdam Zoo, which was started in 1999 with 10 hamsters representing the Dutch population. To increase the genetic variation, a few hamsters from neighbouring German and Belgian populations were added to the breeding stock. Genetically mixed lineages showed an increase in mean litter size. Apparently the Dutch population suffered from inbreeding. We hypothesised that this Dutch lineage might have a lower success rate when used for reintroductions in the field. From 2002-2007, 596 captive-bred hamsters were released in seven areas with hamster-friendly management. Different breeding-lineages were released in different areas. Captive-bred and wild hamsters were monitored using implant radio-transmitters, and by frequent burrow counting. Best results were gained in areas with hamsters from the Dutch-German lineage. Mortality due to predation was not significantly different among areas. Although the results are still preliminary, we have indications that reintroductions using genetically mixed lineages showed a better population development then those with a low genetic variability.
28. Captive breeding for species recovery in Western Australia
Cathy Lambert1, Keith Morris2 and Dani Jose1
1. Perth Zoo, PO Box 489, South Perth, Western Australia 6951. AUSTRALIA 2. Science Division, Wildlife Research Centre, Department for Environment and Conservation, PO Box 51, Wanneroo, Western Australia, 6946. AUSTRALIA
Since European settlement, 20 of Australia’s 220 mammal species have declined to extinction, and a further 56 are threatened. Recovery actions led by the Department for Environment and Conservation (DEC) in Western Australia have resulted in 3 mammal species being removed from the threatened list, and Recovery Plans for 15 more being put in place. Perth Zoo provides DEC with captive-bred animals for six of its reintroduction programmes. Over the past 15 years, the Zoo has provided 1779 animals for release, and although this is an achievement in itself, these animals also have to be equipped for the challenges of life in the wild and supplied in reliable numbers for the Recovery Teams to plan their activities. Key elements in the success of the Zoo’s breeding-for-release programme include: forward vision and long-term commitment by the Zoo to resource the programme (including background research before beginning a species programme, reproductive research when necessary, and resources to have large numbers of animals ready for release at the same time); the formation of a dedicated breeding and research unit where specialist skills can be developed; long-term retention of staff to maintain consistency and skill levels; membership of species recovery teams for information exchange; good genetic management of captive colonies; provision of pre-release conditioning; excellent record keeping and excellent veterinary care including pre-release health examinations.
29. The Norwegian Arctic Fox captive breeding programme – History and status
Arild Landa, Eide, N. E., Flagstad, Ø., Dijk, J. van, Strand, O., & Linnell, J. D. C.
Norwegian institute for nature research, NO 7485 Trondheim
In Fennoscandia the Arctic fox Alopex lagopus is critically endangered due to environmental and demographic factors, e.g. competition and predation from red fox Vulpes vulpes. Low population densities gives low dispersal rates and restricts contact between mountain areas. A captive breeding programme based on wild born cubs was initiated in 2000. The initial fur farm design gave no reproductions and a breeding station in arctic fox habitat was established 2005. The station have eight 0.25 ha large enclosures with artificial dens and video-monitoring. The ultimate goal is to re-establish and strengthen small populations. One of 5 pairs bred in 2006 and 4 of 6 pairs in 2007. Litter size varied from 2–9 cubs. Seven captive born cubs were kept in captivity for breeding, whereas 17 were used in release trials. Released animals are followed by telemetry, photo-boxes, transponders and genetics. Re-trapping confirm that the foxes are in good condition and no natural mortality has been recorded so far. One pair has established at release site. Future releases should focus on areas that have dens in high quality arctic fox habitat and connectivity of neighbouring populations. The captive breeding programme is a valuable measure to conserve the arctic fox in Fennoscandia.
30. Integrating dispersal in metapopulation viability analysis: the case of Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) in France.
P. Le Gouar1,2, A. Robert1, JB Mihoub1, F. Sarrazin1
1 : UMR 5173 MNHN-CNRS-UPMC, Conservation des Espèces, Restauration et Suivi des Populations, 61 rue Buffon, 1er étage, 75005 Paris, France
2 : UMR 6553 Université Rennes1-CNRS, Ecobio, Station biologique de Paimpont, bat A p111, 35380 Paimpont, France
Although dispersal is a crucial process for population dynamics, it has often been neglected as a factor of success or failure of reintroduction projects, mainly because of a lack of long term monitoring of released individuals. We aimed to assess the consequences of dispersal on viability of metapopulation restoration in the case of the Griffon vulture. This colonial long-lived species has been released in five sites in France and successfully settled in three of them. Thanks to the data collected during the long term monitoring in each reintroduced population, we estimated demographic parameters (reproductive success, survival and dispersal rates) to identify key factors of reintroduction success. We then implemented those parameters in a spatially explicit, individual based model. Behaviour was explicitly taken into account, and we tested various scenario of age at release and spatio-temporal design of releases which could enhance the viability of the restored metapopulation of this species. Using multi-strata capture-recapture models, we showed that in all release sites, adult survival rates were reduced in the first year following their release. When dispersal was accounted for in survival estimates, early survival rates were equal among sites. Our results revealed that settlement failures were due to high emigration of individuals from those populations to the nearest and the largest settled population. Including this conspecific attraction behaviour in a metapopulation viability analysis, we advised for sequential releases of adults in several sites that limit metapopulation extinction risks.
31. Reintroduction of the European Mink Mustela lutreola (Linné 1761) in the nature reserve “Täler der ILL und ihre Nebenbäche” Saarland, Germany
Krüger Frauke, Zwirlein Silke, Müller Ina, Brinkmann Ilona, Peters Elisabeth
University of Osnabrueck, Departement of Ethology, Barbarastr. 11, 49076 Osnabrueck, Germany
As an attempt to help conserving the endangered European mink (Mustela lutreola, L. 1761) we started a reintroduction program in Germany in 2006. In the first year, 27 animals were released in two steps. 15 (4, 11) animals were supplied with implant transmitters and radio tracked. Additionally, all animals were surveyed via live-trapping. Radio tracking and life-trapping were done from April 2006 to February 2007 to determine their distribution, size and temporal changes of their home range. During four month of research the overall mortality was 36%. Animal showed linear home ranges spreading along rivers and brooks (1,5 - 9,2 km; 17,76 – 778 ha). The released adults showed rather intrasexual behaviour. Intersexual home ranges between males and females did overlap. In contrast, the released subadults´ did not show any intra- or intersexual home range overlaps. We found changes in home range size of females rearing kits during reproductive state. The movement patterns are showing parallels: Up to 7 weeks after parturition there were almost no alterations visible. Some kind of overall animals activity was detected throughout the whole day, with a higher level been registered at night. Especially during the first hours of the night and the twilight period of the morning (dusk and dawn). Released animals occupied riverine habitats with alder-willow-woods and little flooded marshes, where beaver were common or renaturation were in progress. Addressing the habitat-preference we found active animals to use predominantly seminatural creeks inside urban area and tall forbs alongside the creeks for hunting. For resting Rubus shrub patches and riverbanks rich in structure (roots, deadwood) were used. Females guiding kits were observed to utilize Rubus shrub patches especially in urban areas. The study shows that methods of soft-release, like the acclimation arenas, the precondition and the releasing of social groups seem to be favorably for further reintroductions of the European minks. The reintroduction of social groups which were mated seems to enhance side fidelity.
32. The Wattled Crane Recovery Programme
Jeanne Marie Pittman1, CVT
1. Johannesburg Zoo, Private Bag x 13, Parkview 2122, Johannesburg, South Africa;
The Wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) is one of three crane species found in South Africa and the most critically endangered of the six crane species on the African continent. There has been a 35% decline in the Wattled crane population in South Africa over the last two decades and it is now on the verge of local extinction. Concern over the dramatic decline of this species in South Africa, lead to a Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA) in July 2000, resulting in the recommendation of a captive breeding and release programme, and thus the Wattled Crane Recovery Programme (WCRP) was created. The main programme objectives include; maintenance of a captive breeding flock to serve as a genetic reservoir in the case of catastrophic extinction of birds in the wild; and supplementation of the wild population through the release of captive reared fledglings into existing wild flocks. This poster will cover all the aspects of the programme including collection of abandoned eggs, puppet-rearing, breeding and supplementation/re-introduction.
1st International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference
April 16, 2008: Poster Session 2
41. Active conservation of Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in Andalusia (Spain): reintroduction and restocking programs
Eva Casado, Roberto Muriel, Miguel Ferrer
Department of Biodiversity Conservation, Estacion Biologica de DoÃ±ana (CSIC), Avda. Maria Luisa s/n, Pabellon del Peru, 41013 Sevilla, SPAIN
The Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) and the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) are clear examples of threatened top predators considered flagship species that are currently involved in active recovery programs in Spain. The Spanish Imperial Eagle is one of the most endangered birds of prey in the world, with only 217 breeding pairs in 2007 in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula. In order to create a new subpopulation and reinforce the general metapopulation of this species, reintroduction and restocking programs are being carried out in Andalusia (SW Spain). Between 2002 and 2007, 33 wild young have been released by means of hacking in La Janda (Cádiz), a former breeding area, and also in 2005 started an extra reinforcement program of the small, aged and sex-biased breeding population of Doñana National Park (Sevilla-Huelva). The Osprey was extirpated from mainland Spain after 1981. Therefore a reintroduction program started in 2003 in Andalusia in order to accelerate the return of the species. Between 2003 and 2007, 85 young Ospreys were released by means of hacking in two locations: Barbate Reservoir (Cádiz) and Odiel Marshes (Huelva). For the first time, in 2007 five birds released in 2005 returned to the reintroduction areas.
42. Genetic management of reinforcement programs: the case of Houbara Bustards
LESOBRE1, LACROIX2, SAINT JALME1
1. MNHN CNRS Paris VI Managerie du Jardin des Plantes, 57 rue Cuvier 75005 Paris, France 2. Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation, Po Box 47, Province de Boulemane, 33250 Missour, Royaume du Marocco
The success of reinforcement program is greatly affected by genetic phenomena that act during the captive phase as well as after reinforcement. First, genetic changes in captivity may reduce the overall fitness of reintroduced individuals through loss of genetic diversity, inbreeding depression, accumulation of deleterious mutations and/or adaptation to captivity. Second, reintroduced individuals may cause outbreeding depression when they are genetically distant from wild individuals. We addressed those two concerns in Houbara Bustard, an endangered species undergoing a reinforcement program in Morocco. Using mtDNA and microsatellite markers to delineate potential Conservation Units in North Africa, we found very weak genetic structure with most exchanges between populations being in relation with female dispersion. We then analysed individual variations of some reproductive traits in captivity in relation with genetic parameters computed through a pedigree analysis. We found that most of the initial genetic diversity of the captive flock was preserved. While genetic drift and inbreeding had little impact on overall genetic variability throughout generations, we measured inter annual variations of life-history traits. Those results validated the genetic management of Houbara Bustards project and they highlight the importance of considering epigenetic phenomena which are rarely discussed when considering genetic management of captive breeding.
43. American founders in Europe
Arne Ludwig1, Ursula Arndt2, Tim King3, Shuichi Matsumura4
1. Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Evolutionary Genetics, 12561 Berlin, Germany 2. Simon Fraser University, Department for Archaeology, Burnaby, BC, Canada 3. United States Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia, 25430, USA 4. Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, 12567 Berlin, Germany, 6International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, A2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Population genetic analyses of archaeological samples were used to guide an actual restoration project. Sturgeons (Acipenseriformes: Acipenseridae), the producers of caviar, are remnants of the once flourishing chondrosteans, dominant fishes of the Permian period. The continued existence of these “fossil” fishes is in jeopardy worldwide. The Baltic sturgeon population was founded ~1,200 years ago by migrants from North America, but it was extirpated by over-harvest in the 1960s. In the 1990s, a European-wide restoration project was launched. In order to identify the evolutionary and ecological legacy of the formerly extirpated Baltic population, an interdisciplinary study of ancient DNA including both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites was carried out. Using profiles across seven polymorphic microsatellite loci of DNA from ancient Baltic sturgeons, 97% of the individuals were assigned to the Canadian population (St. Lawrence and St. John rivers) as well as 3% had their genetic background in the Mid-American population (Hudson and Delaware). Additionally, our results suggest that a minimum of 20 effective founders provided the genetic underpinnings of a self-sustaining population. The results on the genetic history have provided important insights for a successful restoration and for the dynamics of founding processes in general and will continue to do so.
44. Avian Reintroduction Programs Designed for Evolving Environments
Michael Mace1 and Alan Lieberman2
1. San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido, CA 92027 2. Zoological Society of San Diego, 15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido, CA 92027
A key consideration when planning a reintroduction or relocation effort is the condition of the habitat into which species are released (IUCN Guidelines for Re-introductions). Often, the deleterious factors that pressured the species into decline or regional extinction are still present, evolving, or unknown. Each reintroduction program has variables and complexities for establishing a sustainable population in the wild, and requires a multidisciplinary approach. As managers work to eliminate or mitigate the limiting issues in the environment, consideration is also given for species factors that may influence a release program. Breeding programs work to produce the best candidates for release in that particular environment. Important factors to consider for the release candidates may include pre-release training for predator avoidance, behavior analysis, conspecific socialization, designing feeding regimens, disease risk assessment, and selection of individuals by age, condition, gender, and genetics. Of all these factors affecting a reintroduction or relocation effort, the three most important, from our experience, are: stability of the habitat, conspecific social skills, acclimation to native food and water. The Zoological Society of San Diego is a primary collaborator or secondary participant in fourteen avian species reintroduction programs, each of which requires its own unique strategy for successful reintroduction.
45. Captive Breeding and Reintroduction of the Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis)
Marmot Recovery Foundation
During the mid 1980s the Vancouver Island marmot's (Marmota vancouverensis) population was estimated to be between 300 and 350 individuals and was considered to be stable or increasing. However, beginning in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Vancouver Island marmot numbers demonstrated significant declines and it became apparent that recovery efforts involving only field manipulation of the wild population would be unlikely to prevent the extinction of this species. The National Recovery Plan for the Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis), 2000 update (RENEW Report No. 19) stated that "few animals exist for reintroductions or other management activities" and that "It is unlikely that wild populations will suddenly rebound of their own accord. Captive breeding and reintroduction present the only chance of increasing populations within a reasonable period of time and minimizing the risk of extinction". In response to these concerns the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team initiated a rigorous program of captive breeding to (1) serve as a genetic lifeboat to safeguard Vancouver Island marmots against catastrophic events in the wild, (2) determine appropriate management and husbandry guidelines for the successful captive maintenance and propagation of V.I. marmots, (3) conduct directed research and (4) provide sufficient numbers of individuals for release and eventual restoration of the wild population. Since its inception in 1997 this program has come to include the participation of three Canadian zoological institutions, the Toronto Zoo, the Calgary Zoo and the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Society, and a dedicated marmot facility on Vancouver Island. This poster will provide an overview of the first ten years of this recovery program including a history of the project, an overview of the marmots' captive management, a description of reintroduction efforts and a summary of the current status of this species.
46. Dealing with reproductive habitat selection of released individuals in reintroduction establishment phases: a theoretical modeling approach
JB Mihoub1, P. Le Gouar1, 2 & F. Sarrazin1
1 : UMR 5173 MNHN-CNRS-UPMC, Conservation des Espèces, Restauration et Suivi des Populations, 61 rue Buffon, 1er étage, 75005 Paris, France
2 : UMR 6553 Université Rennes1-CNRS, Ecobio, Station biologique de Paimpont, bat A p111, 35380 Paimpont, France
Investigating which mechanisms initiate settlement decisions is crucial to ensure the short term success of a reintroduction project, since the establishment is the preliminary condition of population growth. We investigated reproductive habitat selection through a modelling approach to assess post-released consequences of this behaviour on the establishment of released animals. We used a stage-structured population model for short and long-lived life cycles with five different explicit habitat selection strategies based on (i) intrinsic habitat quality, (ii) conspecific attraction, (iii) reproductive success of conspecific, (iv) avoidance of conspecific and (v) a random strategy. We also considered several release frequencies, the presence of a remnant population close to the reintroduction area and a variation of the proportion of breeders among released individuals in the release year. Reintroductions of species using habitat selection based on social attraction cues – i.e. conspecific attraction and reproductive success of conspecifics- seem to be more prone to failure when a remnant population exists. Indeed, in both short and long-lived species, the fewer the proportion of breeders in the first year and the bigger the remnant population size, the higher the risk of settlement failure. In addition, sequential releases appear preferable for short-lived life cycles, whereas its benefits are more contentious for long-lived species, depending on the remnant population size. Understanding settlement patterns within a theoretical modelling approach can thus play a key role in future reintroduction planning, dealing with different initial conditions in the reintroduction target area prior the release.
47. Long-term consequences of inbreeding for a translocated reptile population
Kimberly A. Miller1, Nicola J. Nelson1, David R. Towns2
1. School of Biological Sciences; Victoria University of Wellington; PO Box 600; Wellington, New Zealand 2. Science and Research Unit; Department of Conservation; Private Bag 68 908; Auckland, New Zealand
Inbreeding depression can influence the probability of establishment and extinction risk in reintroduced populations, yet studies correlating inbreeding in translocated populations and decreased fitness are rare. In 1992, 30 Egg-laying skinks (Oligosoma suteri) were translocated from Green Island to Korapuki Island, New Zealand; the population has since expanded to over 200 animals. Using 10 microsatellite loci, we tested for genetic bottleneck effects and differences in the level of inbreeding between age classes on Korapuki. Further, we tested for an association between a microsatellite-based inbreeding index (homozygosity by loci) and maximum sprinting speed, a performance measure that influences fitness because of key roles in predator escape, foraging, and social interactions. The population showed signatures of a bottleneck, and younger individuals were more inbred than older individuals. We found a negative relationship between inbreeding and sprint speed, and the association was strongest in groups with greater energetic demands (eg: gravid females with tail loss). Inbreeding influenced a small proportion of the variation in performance, and the direct fitness consequences of this association may not be biologically significant right now. However, fitness consequences could increase as inbreeding increases or as individual energetic stressors (tail loss) increase with population density.
48. An assessment of two methods used to release Red Kites Milvus milvus to Hampshire, England.
Campbell Murn and Samuel Hunt
The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8DY, England
Between 2003 and 2005, the Hawk Conservancy Trust released 12 Red Kites Milvus milvus to an area in northwest Hampshire, England. Four kites were captive bred, foster-reared and soft released as fledglings in artificial nests (“hacking”). The remaining birds were mature and released from a large aviary. Captive bred kites traveled up to 27km from the release site during eight months of observation. Mature kites left the release area between two and 56 days, and traveled up to 12.5km during six months of observation. Interaction with powerlines killed two of the captive bred birds three weeks post-release and a third captive bred kite died from head injuries six months post release. One mature kite died ten days post release and there were no other confirmed deaths of mature kites during six months of observation. Our results possibly indicate that releasing mature fully-flighted kites from aviaries is a superior method to hacking kites in artificial nests. We concluded that superior flight skills of the mature kites enabled them to avoid potentially dangerous interactions with powerlines and inter-specific aggression.
49. Field Propagation and Release of a Migratory Passerine: success through adaptive management
Rina Nichols1, Jessica Steiner1, Lance Woolaver1, Ken Tuininga2
1. Wildlife Preservation Canada, 5420 Highway 6 North, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1H6J2 2. Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3H5T4
Field propagation involves breeding captive adults in field enclosures within the natural habitat of the species' breeding range and then subsequently releasing their young from the enclosures into the wild. Since 2001, field propagation and release techniques used in the recovery of the endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus migrans) have greatly improved through adaptive management. Enclosure design, husbandry, scientific observation, and captive population management have all evolved to facilitate a substantial increase in the number of young released each year. In particular, flexibility with respect to genetic pairings, modifications to wintering conditions and to field enclosure height, orientation and set-up have increased productivity exponentially, with a 2-fold increase seen from 2005 to 2006. Currently, over 100 parent-raised fledglings are produced annually. These young exhibit strong hunting, flight and predator avoidance skills at release. Since 2005, several release birds have returned to the breeding grounds to successfully integrate into the wild population and fledge young with wild mates. In 2007 the return rate of birds released the preceding season was 3.6% which parallels natural return rates for wild migratory passerines. These field propagation techniques have wide ranging application for other re-introduction efforts and could be adapted for many situations and species.
50. A Fourteen Year Cooperative Effort to Re-Establish the Endangered American
Burying Beetle to Nantucket Island, Massachusetts Begins to Show Promise
Andrew Mckenna-Foster1, Lou Perrotti2, Michael Amaral3
1. Maria Mitchell Association, 2. Roger Williams Park zoo 1000 Elmwood ave providence RI 02905 3. United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The American burying Beetle (Nicrophorus americanus Oliver) is a federally listed endangered species once common throughout the eastern and mid-western United States and now surviving in limited habitats in seven states. From 1994-2007 an initiative to re-establish the American burying beetle on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts has been carried out by a partnership of public and private conservation agencies. During the 14 year period, nearly 3,000 beetles were released at two sites on the 33,000 acre island. Post-release monitoring has confirmed that substantial numbers of beetles are reproducing and surviving over winter, though actual population levels are not known.
51. Translocation of Blue-and-yellow macaws to Nariva Swamp, Trinidad.
Bernadette Plair1, Kristine Kuchinski, DVM2, Joseph Ryan, DVM3, David Boodoo4
1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 2. Florida Avian Advisors, Gainsville, Florida 3. Ministry of Food Production & Marine Resources, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 4. Wildlife Section, Forestry Division, Ministry fo Environment, St. Joseph, Trinidad
The Blue-and-yellow macaw, once native to the island of Trinidad, was extirpated in the early 1960’s primarily due to nest poaching for the pet trade. Between 1999 and 2004, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Trinidad’s Ministry of Environment and the Centre for the Rescue of Endangered Species of Trinidad and Tobago (CRESTT) translocated 31 wild-caught birds from Guyana to Trinidad. The birds were quarantined and disease tested before import and released into the protected Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary. Nine of the first 14 birds released (64%) survived and produced 12 chicks in three nesting seasons. Three to four years later, 17 additional wild-caught birds imported from Guyana were released to increase the genetic diversity of the population. There was 100% survival. Fourteen additional chicks were produced totaling 26 chicks over six nesting seasons. Trained villagers collected data on flight patterns, feeding and nesting behavior of the macaws. Poaching was minimized to two incidents in seven years. Community workshops in the villages and conservation educations programs in schools increased public awareness of the need to protect both the macaws and the wetland habitat. Blue-and-yellow macaws are now seen once again in the Nariva Swamp, their historic range in Trinidad.
52. Evaluating the Demographic Factors that Affect the Success of Reintroducing Fishers (Martes pennanti) and the Effect of Removals on a Source Population
Roger A. Powell1 and Jeffrey C. Lewis2
1. Department of Zoology, North Carolina State University. 2. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Historically, over-trapping for fur, loss and fragmentation of forest habitats and predator control campaigns led to massive population decreases and broad extirpation of fishers in the US. Protection from trapping has led to population recovery in some places but not everywhere. Consequently, fishers have been live-captured where populations appear healthy and released elsewhere to re-establish extirpated populations. Not all such re-introductions have led to re-established populations. To understand better what factors affect success of re-introductions, we modeled fisher re-introductions using Vortex. We used probability of extinction as an index of population viability, not as a dependable estimate of that probability. We predict that the probability of a successful re-introduction of fishers is predicted to increase with the number of years that fishers are released, with the number of adult females released per year and with the total number of females released. We predict that the numbers of males released and numbers of juvenile females released has little affect on re-introduction success. To understand whether removal of fishers for release elsewhere might affect a source population, we modeled the removal of up to 20 fishers/yr for up to 8 yrs from a population with > 500 fishers. We predict that such a population is not threatened by removal of fishers. To test our predictions, we reviewed the history of fisher re-introductions across northern North America. Numbers of fishers released ranged from 10 to 190 and sex ratios, when recorded, varied from approximately 1:2 (M:F) to nearly 3:2. The data suggest strongly that the number of fishers released and the number of years both affect success positively; the support for numbers of females is not as strong because sex ratios were often not reported.
53. The habitat use of released captive-reared gray partridges (Perdix perdix) and its effect on reintroduction success
Rantanen, E.1, Riordan, P.1, Buner, F.2, and Macdonald, D.1
1Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
2Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Forgingbridge, United Kingdom
The post-release behavior of reintroduced animals may have a considerable impact on the success of reintroductions. This research aims to identify the main factors in the pre- and post-release behavior of captive-reared gray partridges that influence the outcome of reintroductions. Gray partridges were released onto sympathetically managed farms in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire in the UK, and intensively monitored by radio-telemetry to study their habitat use and survival. For this study, 56 male-female pairs were released and monitored on two study farms in April 2007. The released gray partridges suffered from high mortality mostly due to predation. In addition, our results show an over-proportional use of field margins within the home ranges of the released birds. However, we also demonstrate that the use of margins by the released birds had a negative effect on their survival. This could be explained by the grass margins and other linear features in the agricultural landscape tending to have concentrated predator activity and therefore higher predation risk. This maladaptive behavior of the released birds may partly explain the low general success rate of gray partridge reintroductions and we suggest improvements for the habitat design and management of the release areas for future gray partridge reintroductions.
54. Reintroduction programmes of endangered species in North Madhya Pradesh
School of Studies in Zoology, JIWAJI UNIVERSITY, GWALIOR
In India under the Crocodile Project, captive reared crocodiles have been both reintroduced in areas where they had been extirpated locally and also used for supplementation of relict populations. The supplementation exercise for crocodiles has been most successful in India. The Madhya Pradesh State Government has undertaken rehabilitation programme for the highly endangered crocodile species - the gharial under the Crocodile Project that started country-wide during 1975. The important crocodile habitats were identified and given protection by declaring them as sanctuaries. For conservation of crocodiles three sanctuaries have been created in the M.P. They are: 1. National Chambal Sanctuary on Chambal River, 2. Ken Gharial Sanctuary on Ken River and 3. Son Gharial Sanctuary on Son River. In these sanctuaries management programmes are emphasised for the conservation of the gharial and other animals. Rehabilitation of Gharial has been taken up in the National Chambal Sanctuary from 1978. Around 2000 captive reared gharial have been released in the Chambal River by Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Forest Departments. To avoid any possible migration of gharial to outside the Sanctuary area, most of the releases were done in the up-stream of the Chambal River near Pali, Baroli and Rameswar ghat where river Banas joins Chambal River. Captive reared muggers were also released in the Chambal River. In addition to release of crocodiles in the Chambal River captive reared gharial have also been released in Ken and Son Gharial Sanctuaries of Madhya Pradesh. In the Kuno Palpur Sanctuary (KWS), Madhya Pradesh Asiatic lion are going to be released to provide second home for the species outside the Gir forests in Gujarat. With a view to prevent the extinction of the Asiatic lions, the KWS in the northwest Madhya Pradesh was selected as the site to establish a second free ranging population of the Asiatic lions. The KWS, is situated in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh. An area of 344.686 sq. km. was set aside as a Sanctuary in 1981 which is already elevated to the Kuno Wildlife Division with an additional area of about 900 sq. km. as a buffer area. After KWS was selected as the site for reintroduction of the Asiatic lion, one of the first tasks was the sensitive job of relocation and proper rehabilitation of 24 villages from within the sanctuary and to create human free environment for the lions. Today the KWS is totally devoid of human pressure with the continuing rehabilitation process. In all these protected areas management programmes have been taken up by the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. Large amount of money has been spent for reintroduction of crocodiles and lions and protection of other endangered species like dolphins, bustards etc. In the special reintroduction projects regular assessment of success of the programmes is very much necessary.
55. Translocation and early post-release demography of endangered laysan teal
Michelle H. Reynolds1, Mark Vekasy1, John Klavitter2, Nathaniel Seavy1
1. USGS Biology Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Center, PO Box 44 Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 2. USFWS Midway Atoll, NWR
Translocation is a tool to restore endangered species, yet, most reintroductions lack the post-release monitoring needed to assess early population establishment or failure. Hawaii’s Laysan teal (Anas laysanensis) provides an example of the conservation challenges facing many island species. Attempting to reduce the high extinction risks, we translocated the endangered ducks to a portion of their presumed prehistoric range. We monitored survival and reproduction using radio telemetry for two years after the first release. Forty-two wild Laysan teal were sourced directly from the only extant population on Laysan Island and transported two days by ship to Midway Atoll. The birds spent a mean of 9.4 days (± SD 4.0 d) in captivity. All birds survived the translocation with nutritional and veterinary support. Post-release survival was 0.857 (95% CI 0.857-0.989) or annualized 0.92 (95% CI 0.83-0.98). Seventeen of 18 founding hens attempted nesting producing 46 nests in the first two breeding seasons. The effective founding female population (Ne) was 13 of 18. We describe reproductive and habitat use plasticity between source and re-introduced populations, and used resultant demographic rates to model population growth. The nascent population size increased to more than 100 after only two years post-release (?=1.56). If this growth rate continues, the size of the Midway population could surpass the source population (~500 total birds) within 10 years.
56. Measuring success: lessons learned from the Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri)
Pauline Roberts1, Alan Lieberman2, David Leonard3
1. Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, Hawaii Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, P.O. Box 458, Waimea, HI 96796 2. Zoological Society of San Diego, Conservation and Research for Endangered Species, 15600 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027 3. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Since the 1960s as many as five endemic songbirds may have gone extinct from the island of Kauai. The Puaiohi or Small Kauai Thrush is comprised of a single population restricted to approximately 25 square kilometers of high-elevation rainforest. A captive-breeding program was initiated in 1992 when the species was thought to number in the low hundreds. This program has been very successful, and 132 captive-bred Puaiohi have been released into Kauai’s high-elevation rainforest since 1999. In contrast, evaluating the effectiveness of the release program in bolstering the wild population has proved challenging. Post-release monitoring is hampered by the species’ inconspicuousness, tendency to disperse over long distances, and the ruggedness of the species’ habitat. As a result, dispersal and survival data are incomplete for most years, even when all birds carried radio transmitters. Released birds often have high, but variable short-term survival with >= 25% to 100% of birds surviving at least 30 days. Mean dispersal distances also varied, from 1.7 km in 1999 to 3.8 km in 2004. We discuss the future of the reintroduction program, the potential for alternative management actions to contribute to Puaiohi recovery, and the evaluation of release programs for cryptic species.
57. Adaptive management and measures of success on an Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) reintroduction in Catalonia (NE Spain)
Territory and Landscape Foundation
The Otter reintroduction carried out in Catalonia provides a good example of how adaptive management highly increases the probabilities of success on reintroductions, and what biological, social and scientific indicators can give us measures of the real success. Adaptive management provides a framework for learning during the reintroduction. On the Otter Project, some examples help to understand how adaptive management works: the discovery through radio-tracking of a cause of mortality (illegal fyke nets) not detected during the viability study, the high adult mortality due to an unexpected behaviour, and so on. The success of a reintroduction can be measured on different categories. From a biological point of view, we used different methodologies (radio-tracking, Otter survey, visual censuses, genetic sampling of spraints) that gave us indications of the long-term persistence of the population. From a social point of view, a measure of success can be the study of causes of mortality: the former population was extinct mainly due to persecution, but the reintroduced Otters died in all the cases due to accidents (run over or drowned). A final objective on reintroduction projects is to apply research to make reintroduction science advance; in this case three PhD Thesis: one examined Otter ecology and behaviour, making use of an unique opportunity to study a “designed” population, another helped in the preparation of standard methodologies in veterinary science applied to Otters, and the last one developed a methodology to obtain Otter genotypes through a non-invasive sampling.
58. Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) reintroduction in restored flatwoods wetlands in Lake County, Illinois.
Allison B. Sacerdote
Northern Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences 430 Montgomery Hall DeKalb, IL 60115
A diverse amphibian assemblage historically occurred in MacArthur Woods, Lake County, Illinois. Land use changes, including hydrological alteration and introduction of an invasive shrub, reduced habitat suitability for amphibian species and spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and spring peepers were extirpated from the site by 1999. Habitat restoration was undertaken to remove these threats but natural re-colonization is unlikely because of similar threats to populations in neighboring preserves. Therefore, source populations for reintroduction of spotted salamanders were identified in a nearby county. Sensitivity analysis suggests that up to 10 percent of the annual breeding effort (clutches of embryos) could be removed from source populations. Furthermore, feasibility of reintroduction (larval hatching and survival) was demonstrated using in situ pond enclosures over two seasons. In 2007 reintroduction commenced. Aquatic and terrestrial enclosures allow continued monitoring of larval and short-term juvenile vital rates. Drift fences encircling breeding ponds allow long-term monitoring of juvenile and adult movements and survival rates. These rates are being incorporated into a population viability analysis. Reestablishment of a breeding population will require additional augmentation.
59. Voices of the Past: Historical DNA as a Tool in Developing Reintroduction and Translocaiton Programs
Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West 79th Street, New York, NY 10024
Molecular genetics has become an increasingly important tool in guiding conservation efforts, yet challenges may arise when attempting to infer the genetic parameters needed to establish restoration goals using extant population data alone. Advances in technology and methodology have allowed for more extensive use of museum specimens as a source of DNA for genetic studies, thus providing information from extinct or pre-bottleneck populations. An extensive survey of the literature has shown that in recent years a small, but growing number of articles have supplemented modern data with historical data for the specific purpose of aiding the development of reintroduction and translocation initiatives. Several studies have illustrated how genetic drift would have lead to inappropriate management decisions by either over- or underestimating population genetic structure and the extent of lost genetic diversity. Such erroneous conclusions can only be detected from the direct empirical comparison of genetic variation through time. Thus historical DNA is a promising new tool to further enhance the development of reintroduction and translocation programs.
60. Bilbies in Eden
Colleen Sims, Nicole Noakes, Kathryn Himbeck
Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation Shark Bay District, 89 Knight Tce, Denham, Western Australia, 6537
Between 2000 and 2005, 171 greater bilbies (Macrotis lagotis) were translocated to the semi-arid Peron Peninsula, in Shark Bay, Western Australia. All but twenty animals were produced on site at the Peron Captive Breeding Centre from a managed population. Analysis of the translocated population indicated the theoretical retention of genetic diversity at >93% from the 24 founders in the captive colony.
Forty four released individuals were monitored using radio telemetry for two days to 16 months. Only two deaths were recorded from these, and none were attributable to feral animal predation. A self sustaining population has been established based on all parameters including survival of released animals, breeding, recruitment, and finally production of viable second and third generation young. Long term monitoring of the population has involved anecdotal records of sightings, road kills and indirect estimates of dispersal and density using tracks and signs, on and adjacent to vehicle tracks. The most recent survey in June 2007 identified bilby sign at 21.5% of locations surveyed. DNA has been collected from all released animals and recruits, and analysis of this material will be done to determine actual genetic diversity of the translocated founders and gene retention within the known wild population.
61. Demographic and genetic implications following translocation of Northern bobwhites to an isolated, fragmented habitat
Theron M. Terhune1, Brant C. Faircloth1, 3, D.Clay Sisson2, William E. Palmer3, H. Lee Stribling3, 4 and John P. Carroll1
1. D. B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA; 2. Albany Quail Project, c/o Pineland Plantation, Route 1 Box 115, Newton, GA 39872, USA; 3. Tall Timbers Research Station, 13093 Henry Beadel Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32312, USA; and 4. School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 602 Duncan Drive, AL 36849, USA
Habitat fragmentation has negatively affected numerous taxa including those in the Order Galliformes. As a result of fragmentation, habitat patches have become smaller and more isolated, rendering population persistence among these landscapes uncertain. Research has demonstrated that small populations inhabiting fragmented, isolated patches are at high risk of extinction. Natural repopulation via dispersal, particularly among low mobility species, is limited at best. Northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) are particularly sensitive to these types of landscape changes because they require large (1200-2000 ha), contiguous habitat patches to maintain viable population levels. Therefore, bobwhites may serve as a species indicating the potential effects of habitat fragmentation on avian communities, generally, and upland gamebirds (Galliformes), specifically. Fragmentation may reduce gene flow between patches potentially leading to inbreeding, and recent research unequivocally demonstrates that inbreeding can suppress fitness (i.e. lower viability, survival, and fecundity) rendering populations evolutionarily less flexible. Translocation of individuals from panmictic populations may serve as an artificial means of introducing novel alleles to genetically isolated sites. Whereas demographic knowledge gained from recent research corroborates the utility of translocation to increase short-term bobwhite abundance, a paucity of research regarding the genetic effects of translocation exists. In this study, we translocated bobwhites (n = 133) to a fragmented, isolated habitat, and we analyzed the effect of this translocation upon the host population. We discuss the genetic implications associated with translocation by investigating the introgression of novel alleles, genetic population structure both pre- and post-translocation, and demographic effects of translocation upon the host population.
62. Selection of release sites and the mitigating causes of the decline of the Southern Ground Hornbill in South Africa
The Ground Hornbill Project, Mabula Game Reserve, Private Bag X1644, Bela Bela 0480, Limpopo
This Project has been actively managing the decline of Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) since 1999, by means of harvesting the redundant second chicks from wild nests, and the use of captive bred individuals, for hand-rearing and subsequent release back into habitat outside of the protected areas in South Africa. A population study and development of a GIS Map is helping in the selection of suitable release sites, which have been found to require avoidance of human intrusions - shooting for window breaking, electrocution, indirect poisoning, snaring and trapping. The erection of artificial nests to encourage breeding where large trees with nesting cavities have been cut down. Genetic sampling and analysis to avoid the possibility of releasing any unknown sub-species is in progress with the National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria, and mitigation of the decline by a public awareness programme. The changing habitat status in South Africa from cattle farming to private conservancies and National Parks is becoming a positive factor for successful release of flagship species in the savanna habitat.
63. Veterinary Requirements of Great Ape Release
Steve Unwin1, Dominic Travis2, Marc Ancrenaz3, David Lucas4
1. Chester Zoo, UK. 2. Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL USA 3. K Kinabangtan Orang utan Conservation Project, Malaysia 4. Pan African Sanctuary Allinace, USA
This risk is significant for great apes who share many common diseases with human beings. Exposure to pathogens during captivity, makes understanding and managing this risk critical. In addition, released animals can be affected by an endemic disease for which they are not prepared. This paper highlights a risk analysis approach to the veterinary requirements of Great Ape release. It combines science and policy to address two major issues:
1. The likelihood of individuals or groups surviving in the new habitat.
2. Minimizing pathogen spread in new environments.
Specifically, this approach uses a logical framework to determine the following:
a) Adverse health events and means of introduction and spread (hazard identification)
b) Likelihood of such events occurring. Methodologies, assumptions and uncertainties need to be commonly understood by stakeholders. (risk assessment)
c) Strategies to reduce the likelihood of an adverse outcome
d) Strategies to manage the consequences of such an outcome occurring (risk management)
Four underlying principles of this approach are: no situation is without risk; socio-ecological variables make health assessment an adaptive process; introduced and recipient populations need to be assessed; and, all stakeholders should be involved in identifying mitigation strategies. An applied example of this approach from the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance will be highlighted.
64. A backwards approach- from species reintroduction to habitat preservation
Chris Walzer1, Petra Kaczensky1, Oogii Ganbaatar2, Christian Stauffer3
1. Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Savoyenstrasse 1, 1160 Vienna, Austria
2. Takhin Tal, Gobi B National Park, Mongolia. 3. International Takhi Group, Beatenplatz 2, 8023 Zurich, Switzerland
The Przewalski’s horse (Equus przewalskii) was extinct in the wild by the mid-sixties of the past century. Following initially controversial reintroduction efforts to the Gobi region of Mongolia at the beginning of the 1990s management of the project was aggressively revisited. The re-vamped decision making processes are today firmly entrenched in science. Early scientific input concentrated on determining causes of death and low reproductive rates. The elucidation of the effects of endemic piroplasmosis on the population and subsequent management changes lead to remediation of this deadly problem. During it’s initial years, the project concentrated exclusively on the horses. In the past decade activities have expanded significantly. From the species perspective the project now pursues research and conservation activities in various Gobi species such as the Mongolian wild ass (E. h. hemionus) and the wild Bactrian camel (C.bactrianus ferus). On a geographic scale activities have expanded to the entire Gobi region of Mongolia with initial forays into the Xingjian region of China. In the process of broadening the horizon of the project, more and more scientific disciplines were added: In addition to biologists and veterinarians; botanists, bio-geographers, geneticists and experts in remote sensing now work on the project.
65. Guam Rail Translocation and Establishment: 1989-2007
Guam Dept. of Agriculture, Div. of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources 163 Dairy Rd., Mangilao Guam, 96913
The accidental introduction of the invasive Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) resulted in the disappearance of nine of Guam’s native forest birds during the 1980’s. The capture of the last 21 Guam rails (Gallirallus owstoni) in 1985 enabled Guam’s Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources to begin a captive breeding program. In order to re-establish a wild population, from 1989 through 2007 we released 853 captive-reared rails at six release sites on the snake free island of Rota. In 1998 we released 16 rails in Area 50 a 24-hectare enclosure on Guam and in 2003 we released 44 rails in the Munitions Storage Area (MSA), a snake-reduced area on Andersen Air Force Base Guam. We put radio transmitters on 37% (317/ 853) of rails released on Rota and 70% (42/ 60) of rails released on Guam. Radio tracking allowed us to determine sources of mortality, dispersal, home-range size and habitat preference. Playback surveys allowed us to document establishment and population trends. Despite our cat removal efforts predation remains the largest single identifiable source of mortality for instrumented rails on both Rota and Guam. Rails choose edge habitat and pairs establish home range sizes of approximately 1.5 hectares. On Rota we observed breeding at 5 of 6 release sites and the establishment of a persistent and expanding population of approximately 60 rails at one release site. The population in Area 50 on Guam disappeared within 4 years post release despite an initial increase in numbers. Heavy predation reduced the number of instrumented rails to zero within 2 months post release in the MSA which prevented breeding and population establishment.
66. Monitoring the endangered eastern barred bandicoot: evaluation and modification of a protocol
Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Eastern Barred Bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) were reintroduced to Woodlands Historic Park in 1989. This small (less than 1kg), cryptic marsupial rests in a grass nest during the day and forages on invertebrates at night. Population density was initially monitored by trapping for two consecutive nights, three times a year. Density was high at first, but since 1998 most trapping sessions have yielded zero captures, although bandicoots and their characteristic digs have regularly been observed. The previous monitoring protocol is clearly inadequate at such low densities. I aimed to obtain a more sensitive index of density by modifying the protocol to increase trapping intensity, and include dig counts and spotlighting. I established a grid of 99 plots in the 300-ha reserve, and trapped at each plot for three consecutive nights, for two weeks each season; no bandicoots were captured. I counted digs within a 5-m radius of the centre of each plot. They declined from 290 ha-1 in winter 2006 to 46 ha-1 in summer 2007, possibly due to decreased soil moisture during a prolonged drought. I detected only one bandicoot, in winter 2006, by spotlight. At such low population densities, compounded by drought conditions, monitoring of this species is problematic.
67. A method for detecting remnant natives in reintroduced populations
Samantha M. Wisely1, Sara A. Mueting2, William E. Van Pelt3
1. Division of Biology, 116 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506 USA
2. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada 89154 USA
3. Arizona Game and Fish Department, 2221 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix, Arizona 85023 USA
The detection of immigrant individuals or their hybrid descendants has become an increasingly common endeavor in the conservation of genetic biodiversity, because detection allows both the removal of unwanted hybrid individuals and the identification of genetically valuable remnant individuals. We developed a protocol to assess an individual’s probability of origin, either from an historical remnant or contemporary reintroduced population, based on genotypic data of black-footed ferret samples collected from the ancestral population of all contemporary populations and historical populations that were presumed to have been extirpated. We compared the performance of two assignment tests to distinguish among historical and contemporary individuals, as well as simulated 1st and 2nd generation hybrids, and we evaluated the protocol’s performance using either a large (8) or small (4) panel of microsatellite markers. The Bayesian clustering method correctly identified an individual’s origin 98% of the time and distinguished the simulated hybrids from reintroduced or remnant genotypes, but not 1st from 2nd generation hybrids. Small and large microsatellite panels performed equally well. This protocol will allow us to rapidly and economically assess individuals of questionable origin, and our method provides a statistical framework applicable to other reintroduction programs.
68. Quantifying species decline and extinction from historic anecdote: a UK perspective on reintroductions
Tom Worthington1, Paul Kemp1, Patrick Osborne1, Keith Easton2
1. Centre for Environmental Sciences, School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK. 2. Environment Agency, Trentside Offices, Scarrington Road, West Bridgford, Notts, NG2 5FA, UK
Before reintroduction, the causal factors responsible for the decline and local extinction of species must be identified and shown to no longer persist (IUCN, 1998). A lack of direct evidence documenting the loss of a species can impede this process. For many extinct species, quantifiable data on population size prior to extirpation is severely limited or completely absent. Historical anecdotes available in natural history literature and reports from local interest groups can complement structured survey data to document decline. Methods of quantifying anecdotal descriptions can be used to reconstruct abundance and variations in population size with time. A derived timetable of decline can then be compared with data relating to changes in potential causal factors. This facilitates development of evidence based hypotheses for causes of extinction, against which assessments can be made for the persistence of the driving factors. This is crucial in order to assess whether future reintroduction is viable. The quantification of anecdotal evidence to document species decline will be illustrated by reference to the decline and extirpation of a species of freshwater fish (the burbot, Lota lota) in the UK. The work shows pressures on the burbot within the UK varied on a catchment by catchment basis, with some river systems exhibiting an earlier decline of the species than others.
69. Conservation of European bisons (Bison bonasus bonasus): Poloniny reintroduction project.
Cesare Avesani Zaborra, Caterina Spiezio, and Donata Grassi
Research Department, Parco Natura Viva - Garda Zoological Park
The European bison (Bison bonasus) is an endangered large herbivore of Europe. Historically it was distributed throughout western, central, and south-eastern Europe, but by the end of the 19th century this animal was reduced to two small populations in Bia?owie?a Forest (B. b. bonasus) and in the West-Caucasus Mountains (B. b. caucasicus). Habitat degradation and fragmentation due to agricultural activity, forest loggings, and unlimited hunting and poaching, were the primary reasons for the decrease and extinction of European bison populations. From 2003 a reintroduction project that aims to re-establish a viable wild population on the former natural range was started by the Large Herbivore Foundation. Parco Natura Viva and two European zoos are involved in this project and on the 13th of June 2004 Pasqualina and Ittina, (two females born at Parco Natura Viva) and other three bisons (born at European zoos), were released in the National Park of Poloniny in proximity of a population of wild bisons near the polish border. Over the winter 2005 wild adult male joined the herd of the released bisons and in spring a calf was born, and she was the first European bison wild born at the National Park of Poloniny since 1415. Thanks to collaboration between Parco Natura Viva with three Italian University and Ministry of the Environment an ecological research project that supports the reintroduction effort will commence in Spring 2008. It will focus, on one side, to collect field data on the behaviour and habitat utilization of European bison and, on the other side, to collect data on the ecology of other species occurred in the same area.
71. Houbara Bustard life history parameters. Released vs. recipient population: evaluation of reinforcement success.
Rautureau Pierrick, Hingrat Yves and Lacroix Frédéric
Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation
Evaluation of reinforcement program effectiveness imply long term ecological studies to gather fundamental knowledge on species under consideration and to assess life history parameters on released and recipient wild populations. To restore and secure sustaining populations of the North African Houbara Bustard, the Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation released 4870 captive-bred birds over ten years in a 40000 km² managed area. Several life history parameters were measured from individual monitoring of 780 released and 306 wild radio tagged birds: Home range, annual recruitment of adult females, clutch size, nesting survival, brood survival and adult survival. Comparison between wild and released birds revealed no differences for all parameters considered. However, wild females showed a significant inter annual variation in their mean clutch size and nesting survival. Indeed, in 2004, under favourable environmental conditions (heavy rainfalls, locust migration), wild females laid larger clutches with a better survival than released females. Wild females were older and more experienced than released ones, and showed a better adaptability to environmental stochasticity. Despite the overall encouraging results of the Houbara reinforcement program, between year differences in female breeding ability demonstrated the necessity of implementing long term individual monitoring to enhance comprehensive demographic analyses.
||Hosted by the Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology,
Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois, U. S. A.
Organized by IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group and Lincoln Park Zoo.