Study

Captive breeding, release of captive-bred individuals and fostering of Mauritius kestrels Falco punctatus lead to large population increase

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations of raptors

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Foster eggs or chicks of raptors with wild conspecifics

Action Link
Bird Conservation

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

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Artificially incubate and hand-rear raptors in captivity

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations of raptors

    A 1993 review (Cade & Jones 1993) details the captive-breeding programme for the Mauritius kestrel, Falco punctatus, on Mauritius. Between 1981 and 1986, 28 fertile eggs and two young were removed from the wild, resulting in 13 healthy captive birds, which began breeding in 1984. By 1986-7, more than 30 birds had been reared and by 1993 a total of 618 eggs had been laid, of which 253 were fertile, 164 hatched and 139 produced independent young. The rate of egg fertility in captivity (41%) was lower than that of wild eggs (74% of 265 eggs). Before the release of captive-bred individuals, the wild population had grown from five individuals in 1973 to 31 in 1986. This study is also discussed in ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’, ‘Foster chicks or eggs with wild conspecifics’ and ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.

     

  2. Foster eggs or chicks of raptors with wild conspecifics

    A 1993 review (Cade & Jones 1993) found that 69% of 71 captive-bred Mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus chicks fostered to wild nests on Mauritius between 1986 and 1992 survived until independence. This study is discussed in more detail in ‘Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations’, ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’ and ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.

     

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

    A replicated 1993 study (Cade & Jones 1993) found that 77% of 164 captive-bred and raised Mauritius kestrels Falco punctatus released into the wild in tropical forests in southern Mauritius between 1986 and 1992 survived until independence. Release involved hacking on an offshore island for several weeks before being released on the mainland. Before the release of captive-bred individuals, the wild population had grown from five individuals in 1973 to 31 in 1986. Following fostering (see ‘Foster chicks or eggs with wild conspecifics’) and releases, the wild population reached at least 30 breeding pairs in 1991-2. This study is also discussed in ‘Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations’, ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’.

     

  4. Artificially incubate and hand-rear raptors in captivity

    A 1993 replicated study in Mauritius (Cade & Jones 1993) found that, of 265 Mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus eggs removed from wild nests and artificially incubated, 195 (74%) were fertile (higher than captive-bred eggs), 156 (80% of fertile eggs) hatched and  147 (94% of hatched eggs) were successfully hand-reared or fostered to other birds. This study is also discussed in ‘Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations’, ‘Foster chicks or eggs with wild conspecifics’ and ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.

     

Output references

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, terrestrial 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 latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust