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Important Considerations for Intensive Management of Endangered Species. Often managers rush into intensive management for a quick, high profile fix of a declining species

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important considerations for intensive management of endangered species
Important Considerations for Intensive Management of Endangered Species
  • Often managers rush into intensive management for a quick, high profile fix of a declining species
  • Before captive propagation, reintroduction, and translocation are considered four general areas should be addressed (Kleiman et al. 1994)
    • Condition of the Species
    • Environmental Conditions
    • Biopolitical Considerations
    • Biological Knowledge
removing the cause of decline
Removing the Cause of Decline
  • This is really the crux of endangered species conservation
  • Requires detailed observation and likely experimentation to fully understand reason for decline
    • Brown tree snake was not immediately recognized
    • Condor limiting factors required telemetry to ID
      • not 1080, not disturbance at nest, not shooting, likely lead poison because Condors need open habitat to find food and hunters/ranchers common there
facing the evil quartet
Facing the Evil Quartet
  • Typically we are up against
    • habitat destruction/degradation
    • exotics
    • trophic cascades
    • overharvest
    • contaminants
  • Contaminants and overharvest are easiest to remove or reduce
recovery after agent of decline removed
Recovery after Agent of Decline Removed
  • Stop Over harvest
    • whales, alligator
  • Remove Pesticides
    • Peregrine, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican
  • Remove Pesticides and Modify Habitat Needs
    • Mauritius Kestrel (Jones et al. 1991)
      • 1974-----4 birds
      • 1991-----127-145 birds
exotics are very difficult to control
Exotics are Very Difficult to Control
  • Disease, Snakes
    • Technology not adequate to control
    • Buy time by “marooning” (Williams 1977)
      • release small numbers of species with poor dispersal ability in isolated habitat (typically islands)
      • 700 islands off New Zealand
        • Saddleback, Kakapo (flightless parrot), Takahe (Rail)
      • Buys time until feral introduced mammals can be removed
      • Guam Rail released on Rota
are we treating the symptom or the cause of the problem
Are We Treating the Symptom or the Cause of the Problem?
  • Often rush into captive propagation without addressing limiting factor
    • “Headstarting” Sea Turtles (Tate 1990)
      • rear until old enough to avoid predation on nesting grounds
      • Better to protect nesting ground
    • Hatcheries and barges for Salmon
      • damns, habitat loss, fishing, etc are cause
    • May be justified to learn about propagation and control
      • Mariana Crow
a complex example of addressing limiting factors
A Complex Example of Addressing Limiting Factors
  • Rhinos in Africa
  • Destruction of habitat, hunting, illegal trade in products (folk medicine, dagger handles)
    • reduction in numbers from 65,000-100,000 in 1960s to ~3,000 today
      • regulations (CITES)
      • scientific study of medicinal effects
      • Leader of Yehman using agate handle dagger
      • shoot to kill poacher policy
      • De-horning
      • Ranching to flood market
little progress with rhinos
Little Progress with Rhinos
  • Can’t change old beliefs quickly
    • medicinal effects of horn
  • Value of horn in poor countries makes risk of death worth it
  • De-horning not very effective(Berger 1998, Rachlow and Berger 1997)
    • grow back (possible sustainable harvest?)
    • killed out of spite
    • even small portion of horn near skull valuable
    • dehorned mothers less able to defend calfs from hyenas
  • Need to work at both ends of trade routes
hope with one horned rhinos dinerstein 2003
Hope with One-horned Rhinos (Dinerstein 2003)
  • Rhinos in India-Nepal are increasing with creation of Royal Chitwan National Park
    • Community pride, ecotourism, natural resource benefits to residents, Royal family of Nepal leadership
  • General approach
    • Design landscapes with large, protected cores
    • Introduce powerful economic incentives, legislation, awareness
    • Identify bold leadership to rally political will
      • Translocation
      • Redistribution of park revenue to locals
      • Resettlement or land transfer
how do we protect or restore enough habitat
How Do We Protect or Restore Enough Habitat?
  • Biopolitical Considerations (Kleiman et al. 1994)
    • No negative impact for locals
    • Community support exists
    • GOs and NGOs supportive/involved
  • But what about when there is an obvious Economic Cost?
    • Especially when habitat is already being used by humans
      • Salmon
captive breeding and reintroduction
Captive Breeding and Reintroduction
  • Once the limiting factors have been addressed it might be time for intensive management
    • last resort
    • expensive
    • difficult to make succeed
      • Beck et al. 1994-- 11% successful
      • Griffith et al. 1989-- 19% successful
    • requires large, long-term effort in captivity and the wild
typical questions about captive propagation
Typical Questions About Captive Propagation
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it successful and worth it?
  • How do you do it?
    • Technical questions about breeding, rearing, and release
intensive management programs are complex
Intensive Management Programs are Complex
  • Example from Mariana
  • Crow program on Guam
  • landowner coordination
  • monitoring
  • pull eggs
  • rear nestlings
    • translocate
    • hack to the wild
  • control predators
why captive breed
Why Captive Breed?
  • Produce stock for reintroduction (Wilson and Stanley Price 1994)
  • Preserve genetic variability
  • Produce stock for research
  • Produce animals for public education
  • Provide insurance against extinction
    • alala pva
what are we breeding in captivity
What are We Breeding in Captivity?
  • (Ginsberg 1994, Canids)
  • Reviewed species bred in captivity (N = 32) from 1971-1990.
  • Most are common species
  • Increase in vulnerable and endangered species in late 1980s

3 endangered species account

for 95% of litters for V&E

species (Maned Wolf, Af. Wild

Dog, and Bush Dog)

75% of all captive breeding is

done on 3 species (grey wolf,

red fox, dingo)

criteria to meet prior to reintroduction kleiman et al 1994
Criteria to Meet Prior to Reintroduction (Kleiman et al. 1994)
  • Already discussed environmental and political considerations
  • Condition of the species
    • Is there a need to increase numbers, populations, or genetic diversity of the species?
    • Is appropriate stock available?
    • Will introduction jeopardize wild population?
criteria to meet prior to reintroduction kleiman et al 199417
Criteria to Meet Prior to Reintroduction (Kleiman et al. 1994)
  • Biological and Other Resources
    • Do we know how to rear and reintroduce the species?
    • Do we know enough about the biology of the species to determine if we have been successful?
    • Is funding for the long term available
      • includes monitoring success of reintroduction
assessment of reintroduction projects beck et al 1994
Assessment of Reintroduction Projects (Beck et al. 1994)

% of Projects

  • Reviewed projects from 1900 to 1993
    • N=145 projects, 13 million animals of 126 species
    • acclimate = hard vs. soft release
what made project successful
What Made Project Successful?
  • Successful if N=500 w/o human intervention or PVA looks good
  • 16 (11%) successful
  • Training, local involvement, education, and duration are consistently important
criteria for success from griffith et al 1989
Criteria for Success from Griffith et al. (1989)
  • Type of species (game more successful than threatened)
  • Habitat quality (better success into good habitat)
  • Location of release (better in core of historic range)
  • Source of stock (Wild caught better than hand-reared)
  • Food habits (herbivore better than carnivore or omnivore)
  • Duration of study (longer and more animals released increased success)
size and persistence of release matters ginsberg 1994
Size and Persistence of Release Matters (Ginsberg 1994)
  • PVA model results (Kit Foxes)
  • N=Starting pop size
  • SP=successive releases of 20 indiv/yr for 10 years
  • Huge increase in viability with little increase in per year release effort.




Successive Releases

N=50SP; N=100SP

major drawbacks to success snyder et al 1996
Major Drawbacks to Success (Snyder et al. 1996)
  • Need to maintain a self sustaining captive population
  • Need to successfully reintroduce
  • May get domestication and disease in captivity
  • Need considerable funds and facilities
  • Diverts attention from long-term solution in the field (easy to do quick fix)
  • Need consistent administration(Clark et al. 1994)
the biology of captive propagation and reintroduction
The Biology of Captive Propagation and Reintroduction
  • Captive Breeding
    • zoo biology and husbandry
  • Manipulating Wild Pairs
    • pull clutch
  • Captive Rearing
    • considerations of diet, disease, training
  • Reintroduction
    • translocation, fostering, hacking (soft release), hard release
a general captive propagation program
A General Captive Propagation Program
  • Aplomado falcons (Cade et al. 1991)
      • bring birds in from captivity
        • acclimate so they breed in captivity
        • increase productivity by food supplementation and clutch manipulation
        • hand rear young, experiment with parent rearing
      • manipulate wild pairs
        • clutch manipulation
      • hack out captive-reared birds
    • meet recovery goal for species
        • 30-50 young released for 10-15 years
        • require 15 pairs (35 individuals)
how to incubate eggs
How to Incubate Eggs?
  • An example of figuring out one aspect of captive propagation
  • Use of surrogate species
  • Need controlled experiments
effects of manipulating wild pairs
Effects of Manipulating Wild Pairs
  • Bald Eagles (Wood and Collopy 1993)
    • 78% renested within 1 month
    • subsequent reproduction within the year may be reduced
      • this was modeled with RAMAS age model and was estimated not to affect viability of “donor” population
  • Corvids (Marzluff et al. 1994)
    • 69% renested
    • reduced clutch size on renesting and slightly lower number of fledglings
    • occupancy and productivity at manipulated sites was same as controls next year
hand rearing may produce undersized young for release
Hand-rearing May Produce Undersized Young for Release
  • Growth is usually faster in nature and may produce light-weight young (magpies)
  • Growth in captivity may be compensatory (crows)
  • If dominance is related to size, then survival or breeding may be reduced
    • Whitmore and Marzluff 1998
raising mammals in captivity
Raising Mammals in Captivity
  • Hand-rearing diets for wild ungulate neonates
    • used ad lib feeding of evaporated milk
    • easy and growth similar to wild
      • Wild et al. 1994.




practice makes more perfect
Practice Makes More Perfect
  • Mortality of pups is reduced with increasing number of litters produced for a species
    • 3 outliers were removed from analysis??)
    • Ginsberg 1994
ferret predatory behavior is influenced by rearing
Ferret Predatory Behavior Is Influenced by Rearing
  • Vargas 1994
    • % of ferrets that killed PDs at 16.5 weeks
    • Group I
      • cage-raised, no exposure to live prey
    • Group II
      • Cage-raised, exposed to live hamsters--went for back of neck, not throat
    • Group III
      • Cage-raised, exposed to live Prairie Dogs
    • Group IV
      • Outdoor raised, exposed to PDs
survival of released foxes is affected by method of release
Survival of Released Foxes is Affected by Method of Release
  • Kit Foxes (in Ginsberg 1994)
  • Wild caught translocated (hard release) did best in short term
  • Hard versus Soft Release were similar after 2 years

Wild Caught,


All Soft Releases

All Hard


Captive Reared, Hard-release

sometimes younger is better valutis 1997
Sometimes Younger is Better! (Valutis 1997)
  • Post-release survival of American Crows was better if we released them young
    • less dispersal
    • gradual integration into wild flocks may be better
    • wild birds may be more receptive to new birds during breeding season

Assume missing

birds were alive

Assume missing

birds were dead

  • Vargas, A. 1994. Ontogeny of the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and effects of rearing conditions on predatory behavior and post-release survival. PhD. Diss. U. Wyoming
  • Ginsberg, JR. 1994. Captive breeding, reintroduction and the conservation of canids. PP. 365-383. In. Olney et al. (eds.). Creative Conservation. Chapman and Hall, London.
  • Valutis, LL. 1997. Reintroduction of captive-reared birds. MSc. BSU. Boise, ID.
  • Wild, MA. Et al. 1994. Comparing growth rates of dam- and hand-raised Bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and elk neonates. J W M 58:340-347.
  • Whitmore, KD and JM Marzluff. 1998. Hand-rearing corvids for reintroduction: importance of feeding regime, nestling growth, and dominance. JWM 62:1460-1479.
more references
More References
  • Wilson, AC and MR Stanley Price. 1994. Reintroduction as a reason for captive breeding. PP 243-264. In. Olney et al. (eds.). Creative Conservation. Chapman and Hall, London.
  • Kleiman, DG et al. 1994. Criteria for reintroductions. PP 287-303. In. Olney et al. (eds.). Creative Conservation. Chapman and Hall, London.
  • Beck, B.B., et al. 1994. Reintroduction of captive-born animals. PP 265-286. In. Olney et al. (eds.). Creative Conservation. Chapman and Hall, London.
  • Griffith, B. Et al. 1989. Translocation as a species conservation tool: status and strategy. Science 245:477-480.
  • Cade, TJ et al. 1991. Efforts to restore the northern aplomado falcon by captive breeding and reintroduction. Dodo 27:71-81.
  • Williams, GR. 1977. Marooning--a technique for saving threatened species from extinction. International Zoo Yearbook 17:102-106.
yet more references
Yet More References
  • Jones, CG. Et al. 1991. A summary of the conservation management of the mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus 1973-1991. Dodo 27:81-99.
  • Rachlow, JL. And J. Berger. 1997. Conservation implications of patterns of horn regeneration in dehorned white rhinos. Conservation Biology 11:84-91.
  • Berger, J. 1996. Animal behaviour and plundered mammals: Is the study of mating systems a scientific luxury or a conservation necessity? Oikos 77:207-216.
  • Wood, PB. And MW Collopy. 1993. Effects of egg removal on bald eagle productivity in northern Florida. JWM 57:1-9.
  • Marzluff, JM et al. 1994.Captive propagation and reintroduction of social birds. Annual Report. Sustainable Ecosystems Institute, Meridian, ID.