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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Successful artificial incubation and hand-rearing of Kentish (snowy) plover Charadrius alexandrinus in California, USA

Published source details

Page G.W., Quinn P.L. & Warriner J.C. (1989) Comparison of the Breeding of Hand- and Wild-Reared Snowy Plovers. Conservation Biology, 3, 198-201


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

Artificially incubate and hand-rear waders in captivity Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial on coastal habitats in California, USA, in 1986 (Page et al. 1989), found that 79% of 28 artificially incubated Kentish (snowy) plover Charadrius alexandrinus eggs, taken from the wild, hatched (excluding 16 that were thought to be dead or infertile). This compared with 92% of 185 parent-incubated eggs, or 43% including those destroyed by humans or natural causes. Fledging rates were 79% and 38% for hand-reared and wild-reared chicks respectively. In 1987, eight hand-reared birds’ breeding attempts were monitored, alongside 16 wild-reared birds. Hand-reared birds laid eggs later than wild-reared, although this difference was not significant. Hand-reared females tended to nest in less productive areas than wild-reared birds and produced fewer young (two of eight hand-reared birds produced young vs. six of sixteen wild-reared), although this difference was not significant. Artificial incubation consisted of a 37.6oC incubator with 80-85% humidity, with chicks then fed on tubifex worms, supplements, krill and crickets. Birds were released at between 41 and 72 days old.