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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: No evidence that using familiar individuals improves the outcome of translocations of North Island saddlebacks Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater, Mokoia Island (Lake Rotorua), Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Published source details

Armstrong D.P. & Craig J.L. (1995) Effects of familiarity on the outcome of translocations, I. A test using saddlebacks Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater. Biological Conservation, 71, 133-141


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Ensure translocated birds are familiar with each other before release Bird Conservation

A controlled trial during 1992-3 on an island in North Island, New Zealand (Armstrong & Craig 1995), found no evidence that a translocation using North Island saddlebacks Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater familiar with one another was more likely to succeed than a translocation using unfamiliar birds. A total of 36 birds were transferred in two groups of 18, one group (five pairs and eight juveniles) all from a single forest patch and the other (10 unmatched adults and eight juveniles) from multiple patches (all birds came from Tiritiri Matangi, a 135 ha offshore island). Familiar birds formed new pair bonds faster than unfamiliar pairs, although only one translocated pair remained together and overall pairing rates were similar between treatments. Survival (94% vs. 89% over six months for 18 familiar and 18 unfamiliar birds), dispersal (69% dispersal from the release site for 16 familiar birds vs. 59% for 17 unfamiliar birds) and reproductive output (3.1 fledglings/pair for seven familiar pairs vs. 4.0 fledglings/pair for six unfamiliar pairs) were similar between treatments. Birds were kept for two or three days during transport before being released 500 m apart.