Skip to main content
×
Home

Impacts of survival and reproductive success on the long-term population viability of reintroduced great bustards Otis tarda in the UK

  • Kate Ashbrook (a1), Andrew Taylor (a2), Louise Jane (a2), Ian Carter (a3) and Tamás Székely (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract

Reintroductions aim to re-establish species within their historical ranges through the release of wild- or captive-bred individuals following extirpation (or extinction) in the wild. There is no general agreement on what constitutes a successful reintroduction but the probability of the population achieving long-term persistence should be addressed. Here we review a 10-year trial reintroduction of the great bustard Otis tarda, a globally threatened bird species, to the UK and assess the long-term population viability. Despite changes in rearing and release strategy, initial post-release survival probability remained consistently low, with only 11.3% of bustards (n = 167) surviving from release to 1 year post-release. Nineteen breeding attempts were made by eight females; however, only one chick survived > 100 days after hatching, and no wild juveniles have recruited into the population. Using demographic rates from the UK population and wild populations elsewhere, and stochastic population modelling, we investigate the viability of this reintroduced population by predicting population size over the next 10 years. Under current demographic rates the population was predicted to decline rapidly. Self-sufficiency was predicted only using the highest estimates from the UK population for first-year and adult survival, and recruitment rates from wild populations elsewhere. Although changes have been made in rearing, release strategies, habitat management and release sites used, these changes appear to have a modest effect on long-term viability. Substantial improvements in survival rates and productivity are necessary to establish a viable great bustard population in the UK, and we consider this unlikely.

Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail k.ashbrook@worc.ac.uk
References
Hide All
Alonso J.C. (2008) Guidelines for radio-tracking Great Bustards. Bustard Studies, 7, 8195.
Alonso J.C., Martín E., Alonso J.A. & Morales M.B. (1998) Proximate and ultimate causes of natal dispersal in the great bustard, Otis tarda . Behavioral Ecology, 9, 243252.
Armstrong D.P. & Reynolds M.H. (2012) Modelling reintroduced populations: the state of the art and future directions. In Reintroduction Biology: Integrating Science and Management (eds Ewen J.G., Armstrong D.P., Parker K.A. & Seddon P.J.), pp. 165222. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Chichester, UK.
Armstrong D.P. & Seddon P.J. (2008) Directions in reintroduction biology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23, 2025.
Barron D.G., Brawn J.D. & Weatherhead P.J. (2010) Meta-analysis of transmitter effects on avian behaviour and ecology. Methods in Ecology & Evolution, 1, 180187.
Bennett G.G. Jr & Laland K.N. (2005) Social learning in animals: empirical studies and theoretical models. BioScience, 55, 489499.
Burnham K.P. (1993) A theory for combined analysis of ring recovery and recapture data. In Marked Individuals in the Study of Bird Population (eds Lebreton J.D. & North P.M.), pp. 199213. Birkhauser Verlag, Basel, Switzerland.
Burnham K.P. & Anderson D.R. (1998) Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information-Theoretic Approach, 2nd edition. Springer-Verlag, New York, USA.
Burnside R.J., Carter I., Dawes A., Waters D., Lock L., Goriup P. & Székely T. (2012) The UK great bustard Otis tarda reintroduction trial: a 5-year progress report. Oryx, 46, 112121.
Doherty P.F., White G.C. & Burnham K.P. (2012) Comparison of model building and selection strategies. Journal of Ornithology, 152, 317323.
Ewen J.G., Armstrong D.P., Parker K.A. & Seddon P.J. (eds) (2012) Reintroduction Biology: Integrating Science and Management. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Chichester, UK.
Fischer J. & Lindenmayer D.B. (2000) An assessment of the published results of animal relocations. Biological Conservation, 96, 111.
Frair J.L., Merrill E.H., Allen J.R. & Boyce M.S. (2007) Know thy enemy: experience affects elk translocation success in risky landscapes. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 541554.
Griffin A.S., Blumstein D.T. & Evans C.S. (2000) Training captive-bred or translocated animals to avoid predators. Conservation Biology, 14, 13171326.
Griffith B., Scott J.M., Carpenter J.W. & Reed C. (1989) Translocation as a species conservation tool: status and strategy. Science, 245, 477480.
Hess M.F., Silvy N.J., Griffin C.P., Lopez R.R. & Davis D.S. (2005) Differences in flight characteristics of pen-reared and wild prairie-chickens. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 69, 650654.
IUCN (1998) Guidelines for Re-introductions. Prepared by the IUCN SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK.
IUCN (2014) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 18 December 2014].
Janss G.F.E. (2000) Avian mortality from power lines: a morphologic approach of a species-specific mortality. Biological Conservation, 95, 353359.
Johnson M.L. & Gaines M.S. (1990) Evolution of dispersal: theoretical models and empirical tests using birds and mammals. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 21, 449480.
Lane S.J. & Alonso J.C. (2001) Status and extinction probabilities of great bustard (Otis tarda) leks in Andalucía, southern Spain. Biodiversity and Conservation, 10, 893910.
Liukkonen-Anttila T., Saartoala R. & Hissa R. (2000) Impact of hand-rearing on morphology and physiology of the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A, 125, 211221.
Martín C.A., Alonso J.C., Alonso J.A., Palacín C., Magaña M. & Martín B. (2007) Sex-biased juvenile survival in a bird with extreme size dimorphism, the great bustard Otis tarda . Journal of Avian Biology, 38, 335346.
Martín C.A., Alonso J.C., Alonso J.A., Palacín C., Magaña M. & Martín B. (2008) Natal dispersal in great bustards: the effect of sex, local population size and spatial isolation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77, 326334.
Martin G.R. & Shaw J.M. (2010) Bird collisions with power lines: failing to see the way ahead? Biological Conservation, 143, 26952702.
Morales M.B., Alonso J.C. & Alonso J.A. (2002) Annual productivity and individual female reproductive success in a great bustard Otis tarda population. Ibis, 144, 293300.
Morales M.B. & Martín C. (2003) Otis tarda Great Bustard. In Birds of the Western Palearctic Update (eds Cramp S. & Simmons K.E.L.), pp. 217232. Oxford University Press, UK.
Oparin M.L., Kondratenkov I.A. & Oparina O.S. (2003) Abundance of the Transvolga population of great bustard (Otis tarda L.). Biology Bulletin, 30, 562569.
Oro D., Margalida A., Carrete M., Heredia R. & Donázar J.A. (2008) Testing the goodness of supplementary feeding to enhance population viability in an endangered vulture. PLoS ONE, 3(12), e4084.
Osborne P.E. (2002) Application to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a Licence to Re-introduce Great Bustards. Great Bustard Group, Salisbury, UK.
Palacín C. & Alonso J.C. (2008) An updated estimate of the world status and population trends of the great bustard Otis tarda . Ardeola, 55, 1325.
Palacín C., Alonso J.C., Alonso J.A., Magaña M. & Martín C.A. (2011) Cultural transmission and flexibility of partial migration patterns in a long-lived bird, the great bustard Otis tarda . Journal of Avian Biology, 42, 301308.
Putaala A., Oksa J., Rintamäki H. & Hissa R. (1997) Effects of hand-rearing and radiotransmitters on flight of gray partridge. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 61, 13451351.
R Development Core Team (2013) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
Robertson P.A., Wise D.R. & Blake K.A. (1993) Flying ability of different pheasant strains. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 57, 778782.
Sarrazin F. & Barbault R. (1996) Reintroduction: challenges and lessons for basic ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 11, 474478.
Schaub M., Zink R., Beissmann H., Sarrazin F. & Arlettaz R. (2009) When to end releases in reintroduction programmes: demographic rates and population viability analysis of bearded vultures in the Alps. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 92100.
Seddon P. (1999) Persistence without intervention: assessing success in wildlife reintroductions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 14, 503.
Seddon P., Armstrong D.P. & Maloney R.F. (2007) Developing the science of reintroduction biology. Conservation Biology, 21, 303312.
Teixeira C., de Azevedo C., Mendl M., Cipreste C. & Young R. (2007) Revisiting translocation and reintroduction programmes: the importance of considering stress. Animal Behaviour, 73, 113.
van Heezik Y., Seddon P.J. & Maloney R.F. (1999) Helping reintroduced houbara bustards avoid predation: effective anti-predator training and the predictive value of pre-release behaviour. Animal Conservation, 2, 155163.
Watzke H. (2007) Results from satellite telemetry of great bustard in the Saratov region of Russia. Bustard Studies, 6, 8398.
White G.C. & Burnham K.P. (1999) Program MARK: survival estimation from populations of marked animals. Bird Study, 46, Supplement 1, 120138.
Williams D.R., Pople R.G., Showler D.A., Dicks L.V., Child M.F. & Sutherland W.J. (2013) Bird Conservation, 2nd edition. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter, UK.
Wolf C.M., Griffith B., Reed C. & Temple S.A. (1996) Avian and mammalian translocations: update and reanalysis of 1987 survey data. Conservation Biology, 10, 11421154.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 124 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 776 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.