Action: Artificially incubate and hand-rear gamebirds in captivity
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A single, replicated study in Finland found that hand-reared grey partridges Perdix perdix did not take off to fly as effectively as wild-caught birds, potentially making them more vulnerable to predation from ground predators.
Artificial incubation involves removing eggs from incubating parents and using an incubator to hatch them. Techniques can be extremely complex, with precision humidity and temperature control and turning of the eggs to ensure correct development Hand-rearing can be used with chicks from artificially-incubated eggs or with chicks removed from parents after hatching and involves manually feeding chicks until independence. Both techniques can be used to encourage parents to produce more offspring, or when naturally-raised chicks and eggs have low survival.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated ex situ study in 1993 and 1994 in Finland (Putaala et al. 1997) found that hand-reared grey partridges Perdix perdix took flight with a shallower take off angle (average of 31o tested on 12 birds) and climbed more slowly (climbing rate of 1.8 m/s for 11 birds) than wild-caught birds (average 44o for 19 birds tested and 2.7 m/s for 18 birds), potentially making them more vulnerable to predation from ground predators.