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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Influence of management practices and biological factors on survival of captive black stilts Himantopus novaezelandiae, New Zealand

Published source details

Van Heezik Y., Lei P., Maloney R. & Sancha E. (2005) Captive breeding for reintroduction: influence of management practices and biological factors on survival of captive kaki (black stilt). Zoo Biology, 24, 459-474


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

Artificially incubate and hand-rear waders in captivity Bird Conservation

In New Zealand, captive breeding is a major conservation intervention for the black stilt Himantopus novaezelandiae. From 1981 to 2003, 1,879 eggs were collected from wild and captive pairs, artificially incubated and most chicks hand-reared until release. Analysis was undertaken to access factors that might influence rearing success (Van Heezik et al. 2005). Hatching success was 78% for captive-laid and 91% for wild-laid eggs. Most egg mortality occurred early on and around hatching, but timing of death was similar regardless of whether captive or wild, hybrid or pure black stilt, or when eggs were laid. Heavier hatchlings, and chicks from wild parents, had higher initial survival. Chick survival at 10 months of age was 82% regardless of egg origin. Survival of chicks subjected to major health interventions was 69% after 4 months. Survival of birds subjected to minor health interventions was as healthy chicks (82%).