Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Both parent-reared and puppet-reared Andean condors Vultur gryphus released in arid mountains in Peru survive well and integrate with native populations

Published source details

Wallace M.P. & Temple S.A. (1987) Releasing captive-reared Andean condors to the wild. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 51, 541-550


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 vultures in captivity Bird Conservation

A study using Andean condors Vultur gryphus in arid mountains in Peru in 1980-1 to develop release techniques for Californian condors Gymnogyps californianus (Wallace & Temple 1987) found that there was no difference in survival between hand-reared birds released at natural fledging age (approximately six months old) and parent-reared birds released at between one and three years old (three of five hand-reared birds alive 18 months after release vs. four of six parent-reared birds). All mortalities occurred in the first six months after release. Hand-reared birds were fed using puppets heads (to avoid imprinting on human carers, see ‘Use puppets to increase the survival or growth of hand-reared chicks’ for studies on this intervention). Puppet-reared birds were kept in aviaries at the release site for five months before release, parent-reared birds were kept for seven weeks. After release, parent-reared birds integrated into wild populations faster than puppet-reared birds, and their foraging area increased to approximately 1,300 km2 after 170 days, puppet-reared birds took approximately 320 days to increase foraging area to this size. The authors suggest that they were able to manipulate the foraging behaviour (discussed in ‘Provide supplementary food after release’) of puppet-reared birds more effectively than parent-reared birds. This study is also discussed in ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.

 

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

A small study using Andean condors Vultur gryphus to develop release techniques for Californian condors Gymnogyps californianus (Wallace & Temple 1987) found that 7 of 11 (64%) Andean condors released in arid mountains in northern Peru in 1980-1 survived for at least 18 months after release. All mortalities occurred in the first six months after release. This study is discussed in more detail in ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’ and ‘Provide supplementary food after release’.

 

Provide supplementary food after release Bird Conservation

A study using Andean condors Vultur gryphus in arid mountains in Peru in 1980-1 to develop release techniques for Californian condors Gymnogyps californianus (Wallace & Temple 1987) found that both parent- and puppet-reared birds foraged on carcasses provided in the vicinity of the release site. In addition, moving where carcasses were placed and increasing the distance from the release site appeared to help increase the size of the foraging area used by birds. It also allowed researchers to guide birds back to good feeding areas when they were at risk of starvation in bad weather. Carcasses were moved by 50-75 m each day initially, and then by distances of up to 1.5 km as birds began to search more widely. This study is also discussed in ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’ and ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.