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Juan F. Masello

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Sep 10, 2021, 5:03:19 AM9/10/21
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Woodman C, Biro C, Brightsmith DJ 2021. Parrot Free-Flight as a Conservation Tool. Diversity 13: 254.

Abstract: The release of captive-raised parrots to create or supplement wild populations has been critiqued due to variable survival rates and unreliable flocking behavior. Private bird owners free-fly their parrots in outdoor environments and utilize techniques that could address the needs of conservation breed and release projects. We present methods and results of a free-flight training technique used for 3 parrot flocks: A large-bodied (8 macaws of 3 species and 2 hybrids), small-bodied (25 individuals of 4 species), and a Sun Parakeet flock (4 individuals of 1 species). Obtained as chicks, the birds were hand-reared in an enriched environment. As juveniles, the birds were systematically exposed to increasingly complex wildland environments, mirroring the learning process of wild birds developing skills. The criteria we evaluated for each flock were predation rates, antipredator behavior, landscape navigation, and foraging. No parrots were lost to predation or disorientation during over 500 months of free-flight time, and all birds demonstrated effective flocking, desirable landscape navigation, and wild food usage. The authors conclude that this free-flight method may be directly applicable for conservation releases, similar to the use of falconry methods for raptor conservation.

Keywords: psittaciformes; macaw; conure; parakeet; reintroduction techniques; hand-rearing; pioneer flock; training; survival; flocking; predator evasion




White TH, Abreu W, Benitez G, Jhonson A, Lopez M, Ramirez L, Rodriguez I, Toledo M, Torres P, Velez J 2021. Minimizing Potential Allee Effects in Psittacine Reintroductions: An Example from Puerto Rico. Diversity 13: 13.

Abstract:
The family Psittacidae is comprised of over 400 species, an ever-increasing number of which are considered threatened with extinction. In recent decades, conservation strategies for these species have increasingly employed reintroduction as a technique for reestablishing populations in previously extirpated areas. Because most Psittacines are highly social and flocking species, reintroduction efforts may face the numerical and methodological challenge of overcoming initial Allee effects during the critical establishment phase of the reintroduction. These Allee effects can result from failures to achieve adequate site fidelity, survival and flock cohesion of released individuals, thus jeopardizing the success of the reintroduction. Over the past 20 years, efforts to reestablish and augment populations of the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) have periodically faced the challenge of apparent Allee effects. These challenges have been mitigated via a novel release strategy designed to promote site fidelity, flock cohesion and rapid reproduction of released parrots. Efforts to date have resulted in not only the reestablishment of an additional wild population in Puerto Rico, but also the reestablishment of the species in the El Yunque National Forest following its extirpation there by the Category 5 hurricane Maria in 2017. This promising release strategy has potential applicability in reintroductions of other psittacines and highly social species in general.

Keywords: Psittacidae; reintroduction; Allee effect; population; survival; reproduction; site fidelity; flock cohesion




Wakonig B, Auersperg AMI, O’Hara M 2021. String-pulling in the Goffin’s cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana). Learning & Behavior 49: 124-136.

Abstract: Goffin’s cockatoos, a parrot species endemic to the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia, demonstrate remarkable cognitive skills across various technical tasks. These neophilic extractive foragers explore objects with their beak and feet, and are skilled in several modes of tool use. In this study, we confronted the animals for the first time with a vertical string-pulling setup, including a set of classic and novel controls. Nine of the 12 subjects, two of which were subadults, immediately interacted with the single-string task, with seven individuals successfully obtaining the reward on their very first attempt. Four different double string discrimination tests with varying spatial relations were used to assess the Goffin’s cockatoos’ apprehension of basic physical task properties. We found significant differences in performance between the respective experimental conditions, as well as the development of side biases. The results suggest that while the birds seem to consider simple cause–effect relationships, there is no evidence for a mental representation of the causal mechanisms underlying the string-pulling tasks, as subjects failed the crossed strings condition out of immediate sight. Finally, we provide suggestions on improving the methodology, and discuss our findings in regard to the Goffin’s cockatoo’s ecology.




Vilarta MR, Wittkoff W, Lobato C, Oliveira RdA, Pereira NGP, Silveira LF 2021. Reintroduction of the Golden Conure (Guaruba guarouba) in Northern Brazil: Establishing a Population in a Protected Area. Diversity 13: e198.

Abstract: Brazil has the highest number of parrots in the world and the greatest number of threatened species. The Golden Conure is endemic to the Brazilian Amazon forest and it is currently considered as threatened by extinction, although it is fairly common in captivity. Here we report the first reintroduction of this species. The birds were released in an urban park in Belem, capital of Para State, where the species was extinct more than a century ago. Birds were trained to recognize and consume local food and to avoid predators. After the soft-release, with food supplementation and using nest boxes, we recorded breeding activity in the wild. The main challenges before the release were the territorial disputes within the aviary and the predation by boa snakes. During the post-release monitoring the difficulties were the fast dispersion of some individuals and the dangers posed by anthropic elements such as power lines that caused some fatalities. Released birds were very successful at finding and consuming native foods, evading predators, and one pair reproduced successfully. Monitoring continues and further releases are programmed to establish an ecologically viable population.

Keywords: reintroduction; soft-release; acclimatization; monitoring; Amazon; dispersion




Vaz FF, Sipinski EAB, Seixas GHF, Prestes NP, Martinez J, Raso TF 2021. Molecular Survey of Pathogens in Wild Amazon Parrot Nestlings: Implications for Conservation. Diversity 13: 272.

Abstract: South America presents the greatest Psittacidae diversity in the world, but also has the highest numbers of threatened parrot species. Recently, exotic viruses have been detected in captive native psittacine birds in Brazil, however, their impacts on the health of wild parrots are still unknown. We evaluated the presence of Chlamydia psittaci, Psittacid alphaherpesvirus 1 (PsHV-1), avipoxvirus and beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) in wild Amazona aestiva, A. brasiliensis and A. pretrei nestlings and in wild caught A. aestiva nestlings seized from illegal trade. Samples were collected from 205 wild nestlings and 90 nestlings from illegal trade and pathogen-specific PCR was performed for each sample. Chlamydia DNA prevalence was 4.7% in A. aestiva and 2.5% in A. brasiliensis sampled from the wild. Sequencing revealed that the C. psittaci sample belonged to the genotype A. PsHV-1, avipoxvirus and BFDV DNA was not detected. These results have conservation implications since they suggest that wild parrot populations have a low prevalence of the selected pathogens and, apparently, they were not reached by the exotic BFDV. Stricter health protocols should be established as condition to reintroduction of birds to the wild to guarantee the protection of Neotropical parrots.

Keywords: wild parrots; Chlamydia psittaci; Psittacid alphaherpesvirus 1; avipoxvirus; beak and feather disease virus; conservation threats




Valastanova M, Petrikova M, Kulikova L, Knotek Z 2021. Psittacine beak and feather disease virus and avian polyomavirus detection rate in clinically healthy captive birds in the Czech Republic. Veterinarni Medicina 66: 72-75.

Abstract: The aim of this study was to document the detection rate of the beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and avian polyomavirus (APV) across clinically healthy captive parrots in the Czech Republic. The presence of the BFDV and APV was tested using a nested polymerase chain rection (PCR) in 177 parrots originating from 34 facilities (breeding facilities, private owners). Positive BFDV results came from 38 parrots (21.5%) within 12 facilities (35.3%). Two parrots (1.1%) originating from two different facilities (5.9%) tested positive for APV. The results show a high detection rate of BFDV in the clinically healthy captive parrot populations in the Czech Republic. Preventive measures to stop the spread of this virus are, thus, essential.




Sutherland WJ, Dicks LV, Petrovan SO, Smith RK. 2021. What Works in Conservation 2021. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.

BIRD CONSERVATION
3.1 Habitat protection 143
Legally protect habitats for birds 143
Provide or retain un-harvested buffer strips 144
Ensure connectivity between habitat patches 144
3.2 Education and awareness raising 145
Raise awareness amongst the general public through campaigns and
public information 145
Provide bird feeding materials to families with young children 146
Enhance bird taxonomy skills through higher education and training 146
Provide training to conservationists and land managers on bird ecology
and conservation 146
3.3 Threat: Residential and commercial development 147
Angle windows to reduce bird collisions 147
Mark windows to reduce bird collisions 147
3.4 Threat: Agriculture 148
3.4.1 All farming systems 148
Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture 149
Provide (or retain) set-aside areas in farmland 150
Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields 150
Increase the proportion of natural/semi-natural habitat in the farmed
landscape 150
Manage ditches to benefit wildlife 151
Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures 151
Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields 152
Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips 152
Leave refuges in fields during harvest 152
Reduce conflict by deterring birds from taking crops (using bird scarers) 153
Relocate nests at harvest time to reduce nestling mortality 153
Use mowing techniques to reduce mortality 153
Control scrub on farmland 153
Offer per clutch payment for farmland birds 154
Manage hedges to benefit wildlife 154
Plant new hedges 154
Reduce conflict by deterring birds from taking crops (using repellents) 154
Take field corners out of management 155
Mark bird nests during harvest or mowing 155
Cross compliance standards for all subsidy payments 155
Food labelling schemes relating to biodiversity-friendly farming 155
Manage stone-faced hedge banks to benefit birds 155
Plant in-field trees 155
Protect in-field trees 155
Reduce field size (or maintain small fields) 155
Support or maintain low-intensity agricultural systems 155
Tree pollarding, tree surgery 1553.4.2 Arable farming 156
Create ‘skylark plots’ (undrilled patches in cereal fields) 156
Leave overwinter stubbles 157
Leave uncropped cultivated margins or fallow land (includes lapwing
and stone curlew plots) 157
Sow crops in spring rather than autumn 158
Undersow spring cereals, with clover for example 158
Reduce tillage 158
Implement mosaic management 159
Increase crop diversity to benefit birds 159
Plant more than one crop per field (intercropping) 159
Create beetle banks 159
Plant cereals in wide-spaced rows 160
Revert arable land to permanent grassland 160
Add 1% barley into wheat crop for corn buntings 160
Create corn bunting plots 160
Leave unharvested cereal headlands within arable fields 160
Plant nettle strips 160
3.4.3 Livestock farming 161
Delay mowing date on grasslands 161
Leave uncut rye grass in silage fields 162
Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland 162
Maintain traditional water meadows 162
Mark fencing to avoid bird mortality 163
Plant cereals for whole crop silage 163
Reduce grazing intensity 163
Reduce management intensity of permanent grasslands 164
Exclude livestock from semi-natural habitat 164
Create open patches or strips in permanent grassland 164
Maintain upland heath/moor 164
Protect nests from livestock to reduce trampling 165
Provide short grass for waders 165
Raise mowing height on grasslands 165
Use traditional breeds of livestock 165
Maintain lowland heathland 166
Maintain rush pastures 166
Maintain wood pasture and parkland 166
Plant Brassica fodder crops 166
Use mixed stocking 166
3.4.4 Perennial, non-timber crops 166
Maintain traditional orchards 166
Manage perennial bioenergy crops to benefit wildlife 166
3.4.5 Aquaculture 167
Deter birds from landing on shellfish culture gear 167
Disturb birds at roosts 168
Provide refuges for fish within ponds 168
Use electric fencing to exclude fish-eating birds 168Use ‘mussel socks’ to prevent birds from attacking shellfish 168
Use netting to exclude fish-eating birds 168
Increase water turbidity to reduce fish predation by birds 169
Translocate birds away from fish farms 169
Use in-water devices to reduce fish loss from ponds 169
Disturb birds using foot patrols 169
Spray water to deter birds from ponds 169
Scare birds from fish farms 170
3.5 Threat: Energy production and mining 171
Paint wind turbines to increase their visibility 171
3.6 Threat: Transportation and service corridors 172
3.6.1 Verges and airports 172
Scare or otherwise deter birds from airports 172
Mow roadside verges 173
Sow roadside verges 173
3.6.2 Power lines and electricity pylons 173
Mark power lines 174
Bury or isolate power lines 174
Insulate electricity pylons 174
Remove earth wires from power lines 174
Use perch-deterrents to stop raptors perching on pylons 174
Thicken earth wires 175
Add perches to electricity pylons 175
Reduce electrocutions by using plastic, not metal, leg rings to mark birds 175
Use raptor models to deter birds from power lines 175
3.7 Threat: Biological resource use 176
3.7.1 Reducing exploitation and conflict 176
Use legislative regulation to protect wild populations 177
Use wildlife refuges to reduce hunting disturbance 177
Employ local people as ‘biomonitors’ 177
Increase ‘on-the-ground’ protection to reduce unsustainable levels of
exploitation 177
Introduce voluntary ‘maximum shoot distances’ 178
Mark eggs to reduce their appeal to collectors 178
Move fish-eating birds to reduce conflict with fishermen 178
Promote sustainable alternative livelihoods 178
Provide ‘sacrificial grasslands’ to reduce conflict with farmers 178
Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching 179
Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce
persecution or exploitation of species 179
Use alerts during shoots to reduce mortality of non-target species 179
3.7.2 Reducing fisheries bycatch 180
Use streamer lines to reduce seabird bycatch on longlines 181
Mark trawler warp cables to reduce seabird collisions 181
Reduce seabird bycatch by releasing offal overboard when setting longlines 181Weight baits or lines to reduce longline bycatch of seabirds 182
Set lines underwater to reduce seabird bycatch 182
Set longlines at night to reduce seabird bycatch 182
Dye baits to reduce seabird bycatch 182
Thaw bait before setting lines to reduce seabird bycatch 183
Turn deck lights off during night-time setting of longlines to reduce bycatch 183
Use a sonic scarer when setting longlines to reduce seabird bycatch 183
Use acoustic alerts on gillnets to reduce seabird bycatch 183
Use bait throwers to reduce seabird bycatch 183
Use bird exclusion devices such as ‘Brickle curtains’ to reduce seabird
mortality when hauling longlines 184
Use high visibility mesh on gillnets to reduce seabird bycatch 184
Use shark liver oil to deter birds when setting lines 184
Use a line shooter to reduce seabird bycatch 184
Reduce bycatch through seasonal or area closures 185
Reduce ‘ghost fishing’ by lost/discarded gear 185
Reduce gillnet deployment time to reduce seabird bycatch 185
Set longlines at the side of the boat to reduce seabird bycatch 185
Tow buoys behind longlining boats to reduce seabird bycatch 185
Use a water cannon when setting longlines to reduce seabird bycatch 185
Use high-visibility longlines to reduce seabird bycatch 185
Use larger hooks to reduce seabird bycatch on longlines 185
3.8 Threat: Human intrusions and disturbance 186
Provide paths to limit disturbance 186
Start educational programmes for personal watercraft owners 187
Use signs and access restrictions to reduce disturbance at nest sites 187
Use voluntary agreements with local people to reduce disturbance 187
Habituate birds to human visitors 187
Use nest covers to reduce the impact of research on predation of groundnesting seabirds 188
Reduce visitor group sizes 188
Set minimum distances for approaching birds (buffer zones) 188
3.9 Threat: Natural system modifications 189
Create scrapes and pools in wetlands and wet grasslands 191
Provide deadwood/snags in forests (use ring-barking, cutting or silvicides) 191
Use patch retention harvesting instead of clearcutting 191
Clear or open patches in forests 191
Employ grazing in artificial grasslands/pastures 192
Employ grazing in natural grasslands 192
Employ grazing in non-grassland habitats 192
Manage water level in wetlands 193
Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation
(including mowing, chaining, cutting etc.) in forests 193
Mow or cut natural grasslands 194
Mow or cut semi-natural grasslands/pastures 194
Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation
(including mowing, chaining, cutting etc.) in shrublands 194
Raise water levels in ditches or grassland 195Thin trees within forests 195
Use prescribed burning: grasslands 195
Use prescribed burning: pine forests 196
Use prescribed burning: savannahs 196
Use prescribed burning: shrublands 196
Use selective harvesting/logging instead of clearcutting 197
Clearcut and re-seed forests 197
Coppice trees 197
Fertilise grasslands 198
Manage woodland edges for birds 198
Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation
(including mowing, chaining, cutting etc.) (reedbeds) 198
Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation
(including mowing, chaining, cutting etc.) (savannahs) 199
Plant trees to act as windbreaks 199
Plough habitats 199
Provide deadwood/snags in forests (adding woody debris to forests) 199
Remove coarse woody debris from forests 199
Replace non-native species of tree/shrub 200
Re-seed grasslands 200
Use environmentally sensitive flood management 200
Use fire suppression/control 200
Use greentree reservoir management 201
Use prescribed burning (Australian sclerophyll forest) 201
Use shelterwood cutting instead of clearcutting 201
Use variable retention management during forestry operations 201
Apply herbicide to mid- and understorey vegetation 201
Treat wetlands with herbicides 202
Use prescribed burning (coastal habitats) 202
Use prescribed burning (deciduous forests) 202
Protect nest trees before burning 203
3.10 Habitat restoration and creation 204
Restore or create forests 204
Restore or create wetlands and marine habitats (inland wetlands) 205
Restore or create grassland 205
Restore or create traditional water meadows 206
Restore or create wetlands and marine habitats (coastal and intertidal
wetlands) 206
Restore or create shrubland 206
Restore or create wetlands and marine habitats (kelp forests) 207
Restore or create wetlands and marine habitats (lagoons) 207
Restore or create savannahs 207
Revegetate gravel pits 207
3.11 Threat: Invasive alien and other problematic species 208
3.11.1 Reduce predation by other species 208
Control mammalian predators on islands 209
Remove or control predators to enhance bird populations and communities 209Control avian predators on islands 209
Control invasive ants on islands 210
Reduce predation by translocating predators 210
Control predators not on islands 210
3.11.2 Reduce incidental mortality during predator eradication or
control 211
Distribute poison bait using dispensers 211
Use coloured baits to reduce accidental mortality during predator control 211
Use repellents on baits 211
Do birds take bait designed for pest control? 212
3.11.3 Reduce nest predation by excluding predators from nests or
nesting areas 212
Physically protect nests from predators using non-electric fencing 213
Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers or provide
shelters for chicks 213
Protect bird nests using electric fencing 213
Use artificial nests that discourage predation 214
Guard nests to prevent predation 214
Plant nesting cover to reduce nest predation 214
Protect nests from ants 214
Use multiple barriers to protect nests 214
Use naphthalene to deter mammalian predators 215
Use snakeskin to deter mammalian nest predators 215
Play spoken-word radio programmes to deter predators 215
Use ‘cat curfews’ to reduce predation 215
Use lion dung to deter domestic cats 215
Use mirrors to deter nest predators 215
Use ultrasonic devices to deter cats 215
Can nest protection increase nest abandonment? 215
Can nest protection increase predation of adults and chicks? 216
3.11.4 Reduce mortality by reducing hunting ability or changing
predator behaviour 216
Reduce predation by translocating nest boxes 216
Use collar-mounted devices to reduce predation 217
Use supplementary feeding to reduce predation 217
Use aversive conditioning to reduce nest predation 217
3.11.5 Reduce competition with other species for food and nest sites 218
Reduce inter-specific competition for food by removing or controlling
competitor species 218
Protect nest sites from competitors 219
Reduce competition between species by providing nest boxes 219
Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites by modifying habitats to
exclude competitor species 219
Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites by removing competitor
species (ground nesting seabirds) 219
Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites by removing competitor
species (songbirds) 220Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites by removing competitor
species (woodpeckers) 220
3.11.6 Reduce adverse habitat alteration by other species 221
Control or remove habitat-altering mammals 221
Reduce adverse habitat alterations by excluding problematic species
(terrestrial species) 221
Reduce adverse habitat alterations by excluding problematic species
(aquatic species) 222
Remove problematic vegetation 222
Use buffer zones to reduce the impact of invasive plant control 222
3.11.7 Reduce parasitism and disease 223
Remove/control adult brood parasites 223
Remove/treat endoparasites and diseases 224
Alter artificial nest sites to discourage brood parasitism 224
Exclude or control ‘reservoir species’ to reduce parasite burdens 224
Remove brood parasite eggs from target species’ nests 224
Remove/treat ectoparasites to increase survival or reproductive success
(provide beneficial nesting material) 225
Remove/treat ectoparasites to increase survival or reproductive success
(remove ectoparasites from feathers) 225
Use false brood parasite eggs to discourage brood parasitism 225
Remove/treat ectoparasites to increase survival or reproductive success
(remove ectoparasites from nests) 225
3.11.8 Reduce detrimental impacts of other problematic species 226
Use copper strips to exclude snails from nests 226
3.12 Threat: Pollution 227
3.12.1 Industrial pollution 227
Use visual and acoustic ‘scarers’ to deter birds from landing on pools
polluted by mining or sewage 227
Relocate birds following oil spills 228
Use repellents to deter birds from landing on pools polluted by mining 228
Clean birds after oil spills 228
3.12.2 Agricultural pollution 229
Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) 229
Provide food for vultures to reduce mortality from diclofenac 230
Reduce pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser use generally 230
Reduce chemical inputs in permanent grassland management 230
Restrict certain pesticides or other agricultural chemicals 230
Make selective use of spring herbicides 231
Provide buffer strips along rivers and streams 231
Provide unfertilised cereal headlands in arable fields 231
Use buffer strips around in-field ponds 231
Use organic rather than mineral fertilisers 231
3.12.3 Air-borne pollutants 231
Use lime to reduce acidification in lakes 2313.12.4 Excess energy 232
Shield lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights 232
Turning off lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights 232
Use flashing lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights 233
Use lights low in spectral red to reduce mortality from artificial lights 233
Reduce the intensity of lighthouse beams 233
Using volunteers to collect and rehabilitate downed birds 233
3.13 Threat: Climate change, extreme weather and geological events 234
Replace nesting habitats when they are washed away by storms 234
Water nesting mounds to increase incubation success in malleefowl 235
3.14 General responses to small/declining populations 236
3.14.1 Inducing breeding, rehabilitation and egg removal 236
Rehabilitate injured birds 236
Remove eggs from wild nests to increase reproductive output 236
Use artificial visual and auditory stimuli to induce breeding in wild
populations 237
3.14.2 Provide artificial nesting sites 237
Provide artificial nests (falcons) 238
Provide artificial nests (owls) 239
Provide artificial nests (songbirds) 239
Provide artificial nests (wildfowl) 240
Clean artificial nests to increase occupancy or reproductive success 240
Provide artificial nests (burrow-nesting seabirds) 241
Provide artificial nests (divers/loons) 241
Provide artificial nests (ground- and tree-nesting seabirds) 241
Provide artificial nests (oilbirds) 241
Provide artificial nests (raptors) 242
Provide artificial nests (wildfowl — artificial/floating islands) 242
Artificially incubate eggs or warm nests 242
Guard nests 242
Provide artificial nests (gamebirds) 243
Provide artificial nests (grebes) 243
Provide artificial nests (ibises and flamingos) 243
Provide artificial nests (parrots) 243
Provide artificial nests (pigeons) 244
Provide artificial nests (rails) 244
Provide artificial nests (rollers) 244
Provide artificial nests (swifts) 244
Provide artificial nests (trogons) 244
Provide artificial nests (waders) 244
Provide artificial nests (woodpeckers) 245
Provide nesting habitat for birds that is safe from extreme weather 245
Provide nesting material for wild birds 245
Remove vegetation to create nesting areas 245
Repair/support nests to support breeding 246
Use differently-coloured artificial nests 2463.14.3 Foster chicks in the wild 246
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (raptors) 247
Foster eggs or chicks with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering) (songbirds) 247
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (bustards) 248
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (cranes) 248
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (gannets and boobies) 248
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (owls) 248
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (parrots) 248
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (vultures) 249
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (waders) 249
Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics (woodpeckers) 249
Foster eggs or chicks with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering) (cranes) 249
Foster eggs or chicks with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering) (ibises) 249
Foster eggs or chicks with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering) (petrels
and shearwaters) 250
Foster eggs or chicks with wild non-conspecifics (cross-fostering) (waders) 250
3.14.4 Provide supplementary food 250
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (songbirds) 252
Place feeders close to windows to reduce collisions 253
Provide calcium supplements to increase survival or reproductive success 253
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (cranes) 253
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (gulls,
terns and skuas) 253
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (owls) 254
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (raptors) 254
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (songbirds) 254
Provide perches to improve foraging success 255
Provide supplementary food through the establishment of food populations 255
Provide supplementary food to allow the rescue of a second chick 256
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (gamebirds) 256
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (gulls, terns and
skuas) 256
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (hummingbirds) 256
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (nectar-feeding
songbirds) 257
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (pigeons) 257
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (raptors) 258
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (vultures) 258
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (waders) 258
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (wildfowl) 258
Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival (woodpeckers) 259
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (auks) 259
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (gamebirds) 259
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (gannets
and boobies) 259
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (ibises) 260
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (kingfishers) 260
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (parrots) 260Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (petrels) 260
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (pigeons) 261
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (rails and
coots) 261
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (vultures) 261
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (waders) 262
Provide supplementary food to increase reproductive success (wildfowl) 262
Provide supplementary water to increase survival or reproductive success 262
3.14.5 Translocations 262
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(birds in general) 264
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(raptors) 264
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(parrots) 264
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(pelicans) 264
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(petrels and shearwaters) 265
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(rails) 265
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(songbirds) 265
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(wildfowl) 265
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(woodpeckers) 266
Use decoys to attract birds to new sites 266
Use techniques to increase the survival of species after capture 266
Use vocalisations to attract birds to new sites 266
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(gamebirds) 267
Alter habitats to encourage birds to leave 267
Ensure translocated birds are familiar with each other before release 267
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(auks) 267
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(herons, storks and ibises) 268
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(megapodes) 268
Translocate birds to re-establish populations or increase genetic variation
(owls) 268
Translocate nests to avoid disturbance 268
Ensure genetic variation to increase translocation success 268
3.15 Captive breeding, rearing and releases (ex situ conservation) 269
3.15.1 Captive breeding 269
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (raptors) 270
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (seabirds) 271Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (songbirds) 271
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (waders) 271
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (raptors) 272
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (bustards) 272
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (cranes) 272
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (gamebirds) 273
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (parrots) 273
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (penguins) 273
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (rails) 273
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (storks and ibises) 274
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (vultures) 274
Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity (wildfowl) 274
Freeze semen for artificial insemination 274
Use artificial insemination in captive breeding 275
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (bustards) 275
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (cranes) 275
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (pigeons) 275
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (rails) 276
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (seabirds) 276
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (songbirds) 276
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (storks and ibises) 276
Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations (tinamous) 277
Use puppets to increase the success of hand-rearing 277
Wash contaminated semen and use it for artificial insemination 277
Can captive breeding have deleterious effects? 277
3.15.2 Release captive-bred individuals 278
Provide supplementary food after release 279
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (cranes) 279
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (raptors) 279
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (songbirds) 280
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (vultures) 280
Clip birds’ wings on release 280
Release birds as adults or sub-adults not juveniles 281
Release birds in groups 281
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (bustards) 281
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (gamebirds) 281
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (owls) 282
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (parrots) 282
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (pigeons) 282Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (rails) 282
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (storks and ibises) 283
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (waders) 283
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment
wild populations (wildfowl) 283
Release chicks and adults in ‘coveys’ 284
Use ‘anti-predator training’ to improve survival after release 284
Use appropriate populations to source released populations 284
Use ‘flying training’ before release 284
Use holding pens at release sites 284
Use microlites to help birds migrate 285

Juan F. Masello

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Oct 5, 2021, 11:44:42 AM10/5/21
to Parrot Researchers Group
Stojanovic D, Rayner L, Cobden M, Davey C, Harris S, Heinsohn R, Owens G, Manning AD 2021. Suitable nesting sites for specialized cavity dependent wildlife are rare in woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 483: 118718.

Abstract: Non-excavating species that prefer rare combinations of cavity traits are limited to only a fraction of the available tree cavity resource. Understanding animal preferences and quantifying the abundance of suitable cavities is fundamental to protecting non-excavators. We aimed to identify the traits of trees and cavities selected by a vulnerable, non-excavating bird, the superb parrot Polytelis swainsonii. We also evaluated cavity abundance and the accuracy of ground-based survey techniques (where an observer estimated the number of cavities in the canopy with binoculars from the ground). We then climbed trees to accurately identify true cavities and to measure their internal dimensions. Ground-based counts of tree cavities were correlated with the true number of cavity entrances in trees. When trees had zero cavities, ground counts overestimated their abundance, but for cavity-bearing trees ground counts underestimated their abundance. We found that superb parrot nest trees contained more cavities than random trees. Superb parrots selected cavities that were deeper, with wider floors and entrance sizes than random cavities. Cavities with the combination of selected traits comprised only 0.5% of the standing cavity resource. Our results confirm that non-excavators can be very selective about the types of trees and cavities they use for nesting. Rarity of suitable cavities may be a factor limiting the population growth and recovery of superb parrots. Without accounting for the critical information gap between what is observed on the ground, and what is in fact present in trees, effective habitat management for non-excavators may be compromised by inaccurate assessments of cavity abundance and conservation status.

Key words: Tree hollow, Nest hollow, Habitat selection, Deforestation, Ground survey methods, Carrying capacity, Superb Parrot



Stojanovic D, Owens G, Young CM, Alves F, Heinsohn R 2021. Do nest boxes breed the target species or its competitors? A case study of a critically endangered bird. Restoration Ecology 29: e13319.

Abstract: Nest boxes are widely used for habitat restoration. Unfortunately, competitors of the target species may exploit nest boxes, creating perverse outcomes. Avoiding habitats preferred by nontarget species, while favoring those of the target species, requires an adaptive management approach if limited information about species preferences is available when deploying boxes. Using nest boxes intended for Swift Parrots Lathamus discolor, we identify factors associated with nontarget species occupancy (Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris and Tree Martin Petrochelidon nigricans) in newly deployed boxes in 2016, and then again after 3 years had elapsed in 2019. Box occupancy by different species depended on the interaction between distance of individual boxes to the forest edge and year. Although the target species exploited similar numbers of nest boxes in both years, competitors were the main beneficiaries of established boxes. A subordinate native nest competitor increased box occupancy likelihood at greater distances from forest edges in both years, but the relationship was stronger in 2019. Introduced Common Starlings S. vulgaris were most likely to occupy boxes close to forest edges, but the magnitude of this relationship was much greater for established than newly deployed boxes. We suggest that permanent box deployments for Swift Parrots may produce perverse outcomes by increasing nesting habitat for Common Starlings. We suggest that for species that only use cavities for part of their life cycle, managers should limit access to boxes outside of critical times to reduce the likelihood that pest populations can exploit restoration efforts and create new problems.



Stojanovic D, McEvoy J, Alves F, Rayner L, Heinsohn R, Saunders D, Webb M 2021. Parental care does not compensate for the effects of bad years on reproductive success of a vagile bird. Journal of Zoology 314: 256-265.

Abstract: Life history theory predicts that long-lived animals trade off the costs of reproduction against individual survival. If the costs of reproduction are too high, animals should prioritize their own survival. During bad times, mobile animals may be able to compensate for local food shortages by travelling further to provision their offspring. But, whether inherent mobility alleviates individual fitness costs of this parental strategy is not known. We studied parental investment and breeding success of long-lived, nomadic, migratory swift parrots Lathamus discolor over two successive years at the same site where food abundance went from locally low to high. We hypothesize that in a bad year, swift parrots should adjust their parental strategy by foregoing breeding altogether, producing smaller clutches/broods or reducing provisioning investment. Fewer swift parrots bred locally when food was scarce. In the bad year, clutch and brood sizes were smaller and nestlings were >20 g lighter (approximately 28% of mean body mass) than in the good year. Compared with the good year, fathers spent longer foraging, less time at the nest and travelled further during provisioning trips in the bad year. Although limited to only 2 years, our results suggest that mobile species may attempt to mitigate the effects of a bad year on their reproductive success by rearing fewer offspring and investing more in provisioning behaviour, but this strategy may not necessarily compensate for environmental conditions.



Seki Y 2021. Cockatiels sing human music in synchrony with a playback of the melody. PLoS One 16: e0256613.

Abstract: It is known among aviculturists that cockatiels imitate human music with their whistle-like vocal sounds. The present study examined whether cockatiels are also able to sing “in unison”, or, line up their vocalizations with a musical melody so that they occur at the same time. Three hand-raised cockatiels were exposed to a musical melody of human whistling produced by an experimenter. All the birds learned to sing the melody. Then, two out of
these three birds spontaneously joined in singing during an ongoing melody, so that the singing by the bird and the whistling by the human were nearly perfectly synchronous. Further experiments revealed that the birds actively adjusted their vocal timing to playback of a recording of the same melody. This means cockatiels have a remarkable ability for flexible vocal control similar to what is seen in human singing. The proximate/ultimate factors for
this behavior and implications for musicality in humans are discussed.



Sazima I 2021. Wet kiss: water transfer as part of couple bonding in Rainbow Lorikeets? Ornithology Research 29: 46-49.

Abstract: Food transfer (allofeeding) is part of courtship and bonding behaviors of several bird species in varied families worldwide. Bonding behavior among parrots and other birds includes mutual preening and food transfer. Herein, I report on water transfer (allodrinking) in a couple of Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus moluccanus in a mangrove at urban Sydney, Australia. The couple drank water accumulated in a mangrove branch hole, after which the male preened the female’s nape. Then, the couple interlocked their bills crosswise and bobbed their heads slightly. The birds disconnected briefly, the female with a liquid layer over the tongue including the brush tip. The couple resumed bill interlocking, a large drop visible under the male’s tongue. As the crosswise bill movements proceeded, the male showed a drop within the bill and the female has a liquid layer over the bill edge. Only liquid transfer was noticed, no food particles. Rainbow Lorikeets feed mostly on nectar and pollen and mate for life, and I expect that lorikeets allofeed with nectar transfer while bonding. I suggest that the same applies to water transfer between the couple, and hypothesize on the situation suitable for the derivation of water sharing from courtship feeding.






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