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Translocation of the Eastern Bristlebird 1: radio-tracking of post-release movements

Authors

  • David Bain,

    1. David Bain, Kris French, Jack BakerandJean Clarkeare members of the Institute for Conservation Biology and Environmental Management (University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; Tel: +61 2 4221 3655, Email:jbaker@uow.edu.au). This project was part of David Bain’s PhD and was an integral part of the NSW Recovery Plan for the Eastern Bristlebird.
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  • Kris French,

    1. David Bain, Kris French, Jack BakerandJean Clarkeare members of the Institute for Conservation Biology and Environmental Management (University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; Tel: +61 2 4221 3655, Email:jbaker@uow.edu.au). This project was part of David Bain’s PhD and was an integral part of the NSW Recovery Plan for the Eastern Bristlebird.
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  • Jack Baker,

    1. David Bain, Kris French, Jack BakerandJean Clarkeare members of the Institute for Conservation Biology and Environmental Management (University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; Tel: +61 2 4221 3655, Email:jbaker@uow.edu.au). This project was part of David Bain’s PhD and was an integral part of the NSW Recovery Plan for the Eastern Bristlebird.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jean Clarke

    1. David Bain, Kris French, Jack BakerandJean Clarkeare members of the Institute for Conservation Biology and Environmental Management (University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; Tel: +61 2 4221 3655, Email:jbaker@uow.edu.au). This project was part of David Bain’s PhD and was an integral part of the NSW Recovery Plan for the Eastern Bristlebird.
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Abstract

Summary  Translocating birds to a new area of habitat to restore or supplement depleted populations may pose a significant threat to the translocated individuals. While for many species, translocated individuals appear to move larger distances than resident animals, species with poor dispersal capacity may be restricted in movements and translocation methods may need to accommodate differences in movements to ensure success. In this study, designed to provide insights to inform our broader programme of translocations in New South Wales, Australia, we investigated post-release movements in the endangered, semi-flightless Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus). We predicted that movements would be minimal, with few differences between males and females, similar to published information for a resident un-manipulated population. Following the release of 45 birds at a host location at Jervis Bay, NSW, over a 3-year programme, we followed individuals for up to 2 weeks using radio-tracking. The translocated birds had larger maximum movements and moved through much larger home ranges than non-translocated individuals from the resident population. Translocated birds moved 300 m further after release when conspecifics were present. Males moved further than females and tended to have larger home ranges, although average daily displacement did not differ. We concluded that the semi-flightlessness of the species does not result in minimal movements. Release at a small number of locations in the new habitat was considered appropriate for the species, as animals seem to move enough to find new unoccupied areas in a relatively short period. This work provided us with increasing confidence to continue with further translocations.

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