Translocations have been widely used to conserve threatened fauna worldwide, and although the benefits of monitoring newly translocated animals are widely recognised, post-release monitoring seldom occurs. This paper reports the dispersal patterns, social organisation and survival of a newly translocated population of 26 South Island saddlebacks ( Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus ), on Motuara Island, New Zealand. South Island saddlebacks dispersed widely through forest on Motuara Island after release and 8–10 months after release, territory sizes ranged from 1.9–8.8 ha ( x =4.21 ha, s =2.42). Saddlebacks in both subadult and adult plumage attempted to breed in the first breeding season after release and an estimated 10 fledglings were produced. Maximum mortality of the translocated group was 50% 8–10 months after release. Translocations of 15–59 South Island saddlebacks have been successful in the past, suggesting the success of the transfer to Motuara Island is not jeopardised by the relatively small size of the founder group. Saddlebacks appear relatively flexible in habitat requirements and are capable of high reproductive output, enhancing the success of translocations of this species.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 1999
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