Survival of juvenile and subadult captive-reared malleefowl Leipoa ocellata released in Yathong Nature Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

  • Published source details Priddel D. & Wheeler R. (1996) Effect of age at release on the susceptibility of captive-reared malleefowl Leipoa ocellata to predation by the introduced fox Vulpes vulpes. Emu, 96, 32-41


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release birds as adults or sub-adults, not juveniles

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Release birds as adults or sub-adults, not juveniles

    A replicated study in mallee scrub in New South Wales, Australia, in 1987-90 (Priddel & Wheeler 1996) found that survival of released malleefowl Leipoa ocellata was significantly higher for birds released as sub-adults (14-28 months old) than for birds released as juveniles (3-5 months old) (four sub-adults, of 12 released – 33% survived for 36 days; three for at least 428 days and two for at least 787 days vs. all 24 juveniles were dead within 104 days with at least 83% dead within 36 days). The difference in survival was only evident more than eight days after release, with 50% and 42% of sub-adult and juvenile birds surviving the first eight days respectively. At least 21 juveniles (87%) and seven sub-adults (58%) were killed by predators (mainly foxes Vulpes vulpes). Eggs were collected from the wild and artificially incubated and the chicks fed on seeds, mealworms and vegetables before release.


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