• Open Access

Standards for documenting and monitoring bird reintroduction projects


  • Editor
    Andras Baldi

William J. Sutherland, Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK. Tel: 01223-336686; fax: 01223-336686. E-mail w.sutherland@zoo.cam.ac.uk


It would be much easier to assess the effectiveness of different reintroduction methods, and so improve the success of reintroductions, if there was greater standardization in documentation of the methods and outcomes. We suggest a series of standards for documenting and monitoring the methods and outcomes associated with reintroduction projects for birds. Key suggestions are: documenting the planned release before it occurs, specifying the information required on each release, postrelease monitoring occurring at standard intervals of 1 and 5 years (and 10 for long-lived species), carrying out a population estimate unless impractical, distinguishing restocked and existing individuals when supplementing populations, and documenting the results. We suggest these principles would apply, largely unchanged, to other vertebrate classes. Similar methods could be adopted for invertebrates and plants with appropriate modification. We suggest that organizations publically state whether they will adopt these approaches when undertaking reintroductions. Similar standardization would be beneficial for a wide range of topics in environmental monitoring, ecological studies, and practical conservation.