Foraging ecology of reintroduced captive-bred subadult harpy eagles (Harpia harpyja) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

  • Published source details Touchton J.M., Hsu Y. & Palleroni A. (2002) Dieta de Águilas Arpía (Arpia harpyja) reintroducidas en la isla de Barro Colorado, Panamá . Ornitología Neotropical, 13, 365-379.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of raptors

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of raptors

    Observations in Panama of two captive-bred harpy eagles Harpia harpyja, indicated that after release, prey diversity collected and predation rates were broadly consistent with that of wild birds (Touchton et al. 2002). In 1998 in captive breeding facilities in USA, two harpy eagles were hatched and reared using puppets (to avoid imprinting on human carers, see ‘Use puppets to increase the survival or growth of hand-reared chicks’ for studies on this intervention), then placed in an enclosure with an adult female eagle. Near fledging (161-165 days old) they were transferred to an aviary at a release site in Panama, where they were habituated for 4-5 weeks prior to release. They were provided with supplementary food until they ceased to visit (11 months). Both birds were recaptured and relocated to a nearby safer site, the male re-released on 16 June and the female on 10 October, 1999. The eagles were monitored during June 1999 to August 2000. Both made captures of wild prey with apparent ease, despite lack of human training or parental guidance.


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