Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Use ‘flying training’ before release

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

A replicated study from the Dominican Republic found that captive-reared Hispaniolan parrots Amazona ventralis had higher initial survival if they were given pre-release predator training, although this difference was not present a year after release.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated study in the Dominican Republic in 1997-8 (Collazo et al. 2003) found that 25 captive-reared Hispaniolan parrots Amazona ventralis released in 1998 in a subtropical forest site after intensive pre-release flying ‘training’ had flight muscles in significantly better  condition than 24 birds released in 1997 after less intensive training. Intensive training consisted of exercise (making birds fly around their aviary) three or four times a week, as opposed to twice a week, and every day in the final week before release. Survival over the first five weeks was much higher in 1998 than 1997 (no deaths in 1998 vs. five deaths in 1997), but overall first-year survival estimates were similar in both years (29% survival in 1998 vs. 30-35% in 1997). This study is discussed in more detail in ‘Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations’.

    Study and other actions tested
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. (2020) Bird Conservation. Pages 137-281 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Bird Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bird Conservation
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust