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Providing evidence to improve practice

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

Published source details

Cade T.J. & Jones C.G. (1993) Progress in restoration of the Mauritius kestrel. Conservation Biology, 7, 169-175


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

Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations of raptors Bird Conservation

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’.

 

Foster eggs or chicks of raptors with wild conspecifics Bird Conservation

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’.

 

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

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’.

 

Artificially incubate and hand-rear raptors in captivity Bird Conservation

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’.