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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Captive breeding can successfully increase the numbers of helmeted honeyeaters

Published source details

Smales I., Miller M., Middleton D. & Franklin D. (1992) Establishment of a captive‐breeding programme for the Helmeted honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops cassidix. International Zoo Yearbook, 31, 57-63


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 songbirds Bird Conservation

A replicated study reviewing a helmeted honeyeater, Lichenostomus melanops cassidix, captive breeding programme from 1989-1991 in Victoria, Australia (Smales et al. 1992), found that in total, 25 honeyeaters were successfully reared in captivity to establish a founding breeding population. The cost of removing eggs from wild populations and using foster parents to hatch and rear them was calculated as a quarter of the cost of removing nestlings. Thirteen birds died, three when nestlings were less than ten days old, with most deaths associated with respiratory diseases. Birds were kept in a complex of aviaries configured to simulate natural communities. The temperature in the hand-rearing area was set at 28°C initially and gradually reduced to ambient temperature by the time chicks were 40 days old. Mature birds were given an artificial diet supplemented with live insects to satisfy both the birds’ nutritional requirements and allow them to learn foraging techniques.