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Inter-island transfers and population dynamics of Seychelles Warblers Acrocephalus sechellensis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2010

Jan Komdeur
Affiliation:
BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge, CB3 oNA, U.K. and National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Wildlife Ecology, Kalö, Grenåvej 12, 8410 Rönde, Denmark. Address for correspondence: Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia.
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In the 1950s the Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis was a highly threatened single-island endemic species with a population of 26 individuals confined to Cousin Island in the inner Seychelles. Following long-term management of Cousin, the population steadily recovered to around 300–360 birds. In order to give the species the security of additional breeding populations, some warblers were successfully transferred to the islands of Aride and Cousine in September 1988 and June 1990 respectively. During the three years after the transfer to Aride and the first year after the transfer to Cousine, mean territory quality (measured as insect prey available) on these islands was significantly higher than that on Cousin, leading to higher reproductive success per territory and survival of juveniles and adult birds. In November 1991, all transferred birds were still alive, and 205 young had fledged successfully, bringing the total warbler population to c.585 birds. By then there was enough suitable space still remaining on Aride and Cousine for young birds to establish territories and the rise in warbler numbers is expected to continue. The successful establishment of three self-sustaining and viable breeding populations has ensured that the Seychelles Warbler is no longer a globally threatened species.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Birdlife International 1997

References

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