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Cost-Effectiveness of Translocation Options for a Threatened Waterbird

AuthorsMartínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Regan, H. M.; Viedma, Covadonga; Villuendas, Elena; Bartolomé, Miguel Angel ; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Oro, Daniel
Issue Date2011
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationConservation Biology 25: 726- 735 (2011)
AbstractReintroduction of captive-reared animals has become increasingly popular in recent decades as a conservation technique, but little is known of how demographic factors affect the success of reintroductions. We believe whether the increase in population persistence associated with reintroduction is sufficient to warrant the cost of rearing and relocating individuals should be considered as well. We examined the trade-off between population persistence and financial cost of a reintroduction program for Crested Coots (Fulica cristata). This species was nearly extirpated from southern Europe due to unsustainable levels of hunting and reduction in amount and quality of habitat. We used a stochastic, stage-based, single-sex, metapopulation model with site-specific parameters to examine the demographic effects of releasing juveniles or adults in each population for a range of durations. We parameterized the model with data from an unsuccessful reintroduction program in which juvenile captive-bred Crested Coots were released between 2000 and 2009. Using economic data from the captive-breeding program, we also determined whether the strategy that maximized abundance coincided with the least expensive strategy. Releasing adults resulted in slightly larger final abundance than the release of nonreproductive juveniles. Both strategies were equally poor in achieving a viable metapopulation, but releasing adults was 2-4 times more expensive than releasing juveniles. To obtain a metapopulation that would be viable for 30 years, fecundity in the wild would need to increase to the values observed in captivity and juvenile survival would need to increase to almost unity. We suggest that the most likely way to increase these vital rates is by increasing habitat quality at release sites. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01693.x
issn: 0888-8892
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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