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Maximizing re-introduction success: Assessing the immediate cost of release in a threatened waterfowl

AuthorsTavecchia, Giacomo ; Viedma, Covadonga; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Bartolomé, Miguel Angel ; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Oro, Daniel
Monthly survival
Fulica cristata
Issue Date2009
CitationBiological Conservation 142(12): 3005-3012 (2009)
AbstractTranslocations have become one of the most commonly used tools for biodiversity restoration worldwide, however one out of three re-introduction plans fails to create a viable population or to successfully reinforce the existing one. We used results from the analysis of individual-based information on the re-introduction of a threatened waterfowl species, the crested coots Fulica cristata, to provide guidelines to maximise re-introduction success. We found that about a third of the post-release mortality took place within the first month after release. This immediate 'cost of release' in terms of local survival or 'release risk factor' seems to be a common feature of re-introduction projects, and it is likely due to the inexperience of captive-born individuals to face the new environment. This hypothesis was supported by the positive association between survival and time spent in the wild Results suggested that coots released between February and May have a slightly higher survival. A joint measure of survival and breeding probabilities indicated that birds released in late winter (February-March) had a higher chance to survive and reproduce compared to birds released later in the year. From an applied perspective our results can be used within an adaptive management framework to determine the optimum period of release, providing substantial support for future decision-making in the management of waterfowl, and other long-term projects of re-introduction of threatened vertebrate species. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.07.035
issn: 0006-3207
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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