Genetic origin and success of reintroduced white storks


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use appropriate populations to source released populations

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use appropriate populations to source released populations

    A replicated study in southern Sweden in 1989-2005 (Olsson 2007) found white storks Ciconia ciconia that naturally re-colonised the region in 1989 from the nearest remaining population (in northeast Europe) and their direct descendants fledged over twice as many chicks as birds descended from a reintroduced population which originated in north Africa (average of 1.9 fledglings/pair for birds descended from wild birds vs. 0.9 fledglings/pair for birds descended just from reintroduced birds). In addition, birds with wild ancestry were significantly more likely to migrate than birds only descended from captive individuals (11 of 18 storks confirmed as migrating had some wild ancestry, as did eight of ten storks that probably migrated. A total of 101 storks in the population had some wild ancestry, compared to 189 descended solely from captive storks). The original reintroduction was of 15 birds from a breeding centre in Switzerland, of which eight bred, leading to 470 descendants between 1980 and 2005. Approximately 82% of the current Swedish population is descended from four captive birds. A total of 12 native birds re-colonised, with 14% of the total population being descended from four of these.


Output references
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