Comparison of survival rates of captive-reared and wild-bred Mauritius kestrels (Falco punctatus) in a re-introduced population
Nicoll, M.A.C., Jones, C.G. and Norris, K. (2004) Comparison of survival rates of captive-reared and wild-bred Mauritius kestrels (Falco punctatus) in a re-introduced population. Biological Conservation, 118 (539-548). ISSN 0006-3207
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2003.09.028
Re-introduction is a technique widely used in the conservation of threatened bird species. With advances in aviculture the use of captive-produced individuals as the release stock is becoming more commonplace, and ideally, survival of captive-produced, released individuals should be no different from their wild-bred counterparts. During the late 1980s the Critically Endangered Mauritius kestrel (Falco punctatus) was successfully re-introduced into the Bambous mountain range, Mauritius, some 30 years after its local extinction. Between 1987 and 2001 the developing population was closely monitored enabling us to construct re-sighting histories for 88 released and 284 wild-bred kestrels. We used age-structured models in the survival analysis software program MARK to determine if an individual's origin influenced its subsequent survival. Our analysis indicated no compelling evidence for reduced survival among juvenile captive-reared and released individuals, relative to their wild-bred counterparts, across the majority of cohorts and only limited evidence of a cohort-specific effect. This study illustrates that despite the lack of a formal experimental approach it is still feasible to conduct an assessment of re-introduction outcomes and techniques.