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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Provide supplementary food for petrels to increase reproductive success Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A replicated controlled study in Australia found that Gould’s petrel Pterodroma leucoptera chicks provided with supplementary food had very similar fledging rates to both control and hand-reared birds, but were significantly heavier than other birds.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, controlled study on Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales, Australia, in 1995 (Priddel & Carlile 2001), found that the fledging rate of 30 Gould’s petrel Pterodroma leucoptera chicks provided with supplementary food was identical to that of control (unmoved, parent-fed) birds and not significantly different from translocated and hand-reared chicks (29/30 fed chicks fledged vs. 30/30 translocated chicks and 29/30 controls). Fed chicks were also heavier than both translocated and control chicks. Approximately 25 g of supplementary food was provided every three days, in addition to parent-provided food, starting at approximately three months old and continued until fledging. This study is also discussed in ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’, ‘Translocate individuals’ and ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Bird Conservation. Pages 141-290 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.