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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations of rails Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A study from an island in Australia found that Lord Howe Island woodhens Tricholimnas sylvestris successfully bred in captivity, with 66 chicks being produced over four years from three pairs of adults.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A study on Lord Howe Island, Australia, between 1980 and 1983 (Miller & Mullette 1985) found that Lord Howe Island woodhens, Tricholimnas sylvestris, successfully reproduced in a purpose-built breeding centre. In 1980, the only three healthy adult pairs of woodhen were taken into captivity and they produced 66 chicks which were reared in captivity. This study also describes the impact of predator control (see ‘Control mammalian predators on islands’) and release of captive-bred individuals (see ‘Release captive-bred individuals’).


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.