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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Low levels of breeding in a reintroduced population of houbara bustards Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii in a desert site in Saudi Arabia

Published source details

Gelinaud G., Combreau O. & Seddon P.J. (1997) First breeding by captive-bred houbara bustards introduced in central Saudi Arabia. Journal of Arid Environments, 35, 527-534

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

Foster eggs or chicks of bustards with wild conspecifics Bird Conservation

A small trial in a desert site in desert steppe in southwest Saudi Arabia in 1995 (Gelinaud et al. 1997) found that a released, captive-bred female houbara bustard Chalmydotis undulata macqueenii successfully raised a captive-laid egg fostered into her nest. The chick hatched and fledged at 41 days old. The female had originally laid a single, infertile egg. The release programme is discussed in ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.


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

A review (Gelinaud et al. 1997) of the same release programme as in Seddon et al.1995 reports a houbara bustard Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii population established in southwest Saudi Arabia through releases of captive-bred birds in 1993-4 (discussed in Combreau & Smith 1998), bred for the first time in 1995. Of 22 females and 13 males in the population, three females and one male were confirmed as breeding. One yearling female raised three chicks to fledging (at 38-42 days old) whilst two other females laid a total of three eggs, all of which were infertile. The authors suggest that infertility may be caused by a low density of males and inexperienced females. One infertile brood was replaced with fertile eggs, discussed in ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.