2nd International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference

ePoster and Static Poster Presenters

 
 

Hannah E. Anderson(1)
1. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Reintroductions in Washington State: obstacles and accomplishments
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employs reintroduction as a recovery tool for a wide variety of vulnerable taxa. These diverse projects are in various stages of development, implementation and maturity. Strategies in use are situationally and species dependent. For instance, the relatively straightforward approach of translocation from robust populations is used to restore populations of fishers and sage grouse. In some cases, animals are brought into captivity to increase survival at early life stages such as the head starting of western pond turtles or captive rearing of island marble butterfly. Captive breeding is sometimes used, typically when the conservation situation is extremely dire. We have collaborated with zoos and even with prisons on captive breeding of the Taylor's checkerspot butterfly. To avoid extirpation Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits were collected and a breeding program established in the Oregon Zoo. Pygmy rabbit reintroduction work continues today, but strategies have evolved. Rabbits are now propagated in semi-wild breeding enclosures on release sites. The biological aspects of reintroduction itself are paired with strategies to address conservation needs, including ensuring adequate habitat is available and providing an agreeable social landscape within which reintroductions can occur. And finally, the complexities surrounding reintroductions and the support needed to achieve results require the development of strong, trusting relationships -- partnerships are key to success. Select case studies representing the diversity of Washington's reintroduction work will be presented, highlighting the lessons learned and continued challenges. [1]

Nicole F. Angeli(1), Lee A. Fitzgerald(1)
1. Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Texas A&M University

Repatriating species when threats still exist
A complex conservation challenge is how to repatriate extirpated species when persistent threats still exist in historic ranges. Threats such as invasive species may never be eliminated throughout species' historic ranges, or on islands, but it is important to recognize that the landscape of threats that drove extinctions is not static. Even when threats persist at broad scales, reconfigured landscapes, such as when forests have regenerated, often contain networks of habitat for threatened biodiversity with relatively low levels of threat. On St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, the St. Croix ground lizard (Pholidoscelis polops) was extirpated from the main island. The small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) caused the extirpation, and the species persisted on two small cays and was later translocated to two islands. We predicted sufficient habitat for St. Croix ground lizards exists for repatriation to St. Croix based on three lines of evidence related to novel landscapes, habitat suitability of the lizard and mongoose, and predator attenuation. We ranked potential repatriation sites in a prioritization schema. This case demonstrates the importance of landscape transitions in changing the spatial configuration of threats to species and creating opportunities for repatriation and rewilding. Presuming that areas may never again be habitable may be overlooking how landscapes have reset the stage for recovery of species. We suggest there is great potential for repatriating native species when the current landscape of threats is considered. [36]

Miguel Angel Arvelo(1), K.M. Rodríguez-Clark(2), A.Y. Sanchez-Mercado(1), M.V. Cenaño(1)
1. Provita NGO
2. Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Insititute (SNZP&CBI)

Bringing a bird back from the brink of the extinction: Reintroductions as a key component of the Red Siskin Initiative strategy
The Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus) is a Neotropical bird from northern South America, threatened by over-exploitation for the pet trade and habitat loss. It is Venezuela's most endangered bird, where it is classified as Critically Endangered. Recent estimates, suggest the population continues to decline and that may number fewer than 500 individuals there. The Red Siskin Initiative (RSI) is an international partnership working to understand, protect, and restore self-sustaining populations of this species across its natural historic range, which includes two of the world's top 10 megadiverse countries. RSI's core strategies aim to make the Red Siskin a symbol of hope and of Venezuela's commitment to the preservation of its natural heritage, to in turn inspire more conservation actions. These strategies are: understanding the ecology of and threats to the Red Siskin, connecting with people through outreach, halting unsustainable harvest, expanding safe habitats, and raising more Red Siskins for reintroduction into the wild. Red Siskins are a particularly a good candidate for reintroduction because sufficient high-quality habitat remains to support self-sustaining populations, and the species has been bred by aviculturists for decades, with feral populations appearing to have been inadvertently established in the past from escaped pets. Thus, founders can be obtained without removing individuals from the wild, both in Venezuela and abroad. To date, funding has been obtained and construction has commenced on the first dedicated Integrated Conservation Center for the Red Siskin at Leslie Pantin Zoo in Turmero, Venezuela, where confiscated individuals will be rescued rehabilitated, and bred for eventual reintroduction. RSI has established a captive colony for research at SNZP&CBI, and we are presently developing protocols for Red Siskin captive breeding that will be implemented in VE. We continue fieldwork to understand the species' natural history, and we have developed a habitat model to understand where high-quality habitat remains and needs restoration. We sare building alliances with farmers working in these areas on bird-friendly practices to expand safe habitats where future reintroductions can be carried out. This moment is time is precisely when we are preparing a work plan and specific protocols to initiate our reintroduction program, and we welcome new institutional partners with interest or experience in bird reintroductions to join our team. [2]

Diane Barber(1)
1. Fort Worth Zoo

Challenges of a decades-long reintroduction program: Holistic management for the recovery of the Puerto Rican Crested Toad, Peltophryne lemur
The PRCT recovery program is the longest continuous amphibian reintroduction program in the world and has had many successes and failures, from which other programs can learn. Current challenges include mitigation of rising sea levels near the wild population's remaining breeding pond, genetic rescue/merger of the northern population for management to a single population, and alteration of management strategies after a catastrophic hurricane event. The term "holistic" refers to the philosophy that all parts of a thing are interconnected and should be managed as a whole, not individually. This makes sense from a conservation standpoint but is often difficult to achieve. To manage a program holistically, the development of lasting partnerships, beyond individuals, is essential for success. Relationships can change overnight due to loss of primary oversights, uncontrollable circumstances, and as programs expand to include new partners, adding to the complexity of the program and decision-making process. The federally listed Puerto Rican crested toad (PRCT) is the only native toad of Puerto Rico and is considered Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the primary leaders of the PRCT recovery program [Association of Zoos and Aquariums PRCT Species Survival Plan (SSP), the Puerto Rican Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PRDNER), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Caribbean Field Office] was a crucial step to enable this program to function efficiently despite major changes in positions and priorities in recent years. [3]

Yara de Melo Barros(1), Carlos Brocardo(1), Thiago Reginato(1), Aline Kotz(1), Adaildo Policena(1), Ivan Baptiston(2)
1. Project Jaguars of Iguaçu
2. Iguaçu National Park (ICMBio)

Project Jaguars of Iguaçu: paving the way for possible future reintroductions of jaguars in the Iguaçu National Park - Brazil
The Project Jaguars of Iguaçu is developed in the Iguaçu National Park, in southern Brazil. Its mission is the conservation of the jaguar as a key species for the conservation of the region's biodiversity. The Iguaçu National Park has 185 thousand hectares and is surrounded by 14 municipalities.

Jaguars are listed as Near Threatened (IUCN Red List) and Vulnerable (Brazilian list of endangered species). However, in Brazil the conservation status varies within the biomes, and the species is Critically Endangered in the Atlantic Rainforest, the biome where the Iguaçu National Park in inserted. There is an estimate that less than 250 jaguars live in this biome. According to the last census (2016), around 22 jaguars live in the Iguaçu National Park and 70 in the adjacent Iguazu National Park and other forested sites (Argentina).

A PHVA carried out for the species indicates that possibly the Atlantic Rainforest jaguar populations may depend on interventions like restocking, but so far, it is still not clear where and how they must happen.

A National Action Plan for Big Cats, elaborated by the Brazilian Government, which lists two actions regarding reintroductions: Elaborate guidelines to the analysis and execution of projects for reintroduction and relocation of captive-bred individuals and carry out pilot release projects of rescued individuals.

The Project Jaguars of Iguaçu works with research on jaguar ecology (movements, diet, prey availability, population trend), but also invests a lot of efforts on public engagement, and coexistence between human population and jaguars. We evaluate the public perception, implement measures to mitigate conflict and carry out extensive community work to change the local community perception about jaguars, as illegal hunting of jaguar preys is a strong pressure in the region, and may pose a significant threat for the success of future translocations.

By establishing a relationship of trust and complicity with the communities around the National Park, we aim to generate connection and empathy and consequently increase their tolerance to jaguars.

These activities aim not only the conservation of the jaguar population in the region, but also prepare both the environment and the communities for a future translocation scenario, if this is identified as a conservation tool for the species in the region. [4]

Joe Bellis(1), David Bourke(1), Sarah Dalrymple(1), Colm Bowe(1)
1. Liverpool John Moores University

Identifying and assessing potential assisted colonisation sites for European alpine birds
Assisted colonisation (AC) is increasingly proposed as a management strategy for proactively conserving species threatened by climate change. Alpine species are often considered candidates for AC due to the high levels of climate change exposure and finite amount of area available in alpine environments for tracking climatic shifts. Using a species distribution modelling approach, we aimed to predict the impact of climate change on the distributions of six European alpine bird species and identify potential AC sites situated beyond their natal dispersal capabilities. Additionally, we aimed to propose the most suitable source populations for each AC site, based on quantifications of climatic overlap between extant population sites and potential AC sites. We assessed potential AC sites by considering their longevity of climate suitability, land cover suitability and protected area coverage. Our models predict that each species will suffer decreases in climatically suitable area by 2080, with losses ranging from 59 to 80% under a realistic dispersal scenario. These losses are likely to be concentrated in Europe's southerly mountain ranges, where the majority of species are predicted to lose their entire climatically suitable area. Our suitability assessments resulted in the identification of candidate AC sites for five species, with the most frequently suitable site occurring in the Western Carpathian Mountains of Central Europe. Overall, our findings suggest that climate change will cause significant decreases in suitable climate area for European alpine birds, but that AC could offset some of these losses by introducing individuals to suitable sites beyond their dispersal reach. [5]

Judy Che-Castaldo(1), John Andrews(1), Michelle Hoffman(2)
1. Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology, LPZ; AZA Population Management Center, LPZ
2. Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation

A population viability analysis to inform reintroduction of the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi)
The Eastern indigo snake is listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and its Recovery Plan specifies a goal of reestablishing populations in parts of its native range where it has been extirpated. Breeding for reintroduction primarily occurs at Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation, which participates in the cooperative management of the ex situ population of Eastern indigos in North American zoos. In collaboration with managers, we conducted a population viability analysis (PVA) for the ex situ population to help determine the breeding rates needed to achieve the reintroduction goal of 60 animals per year. We used studbook data to construct an individual-based simulation model and projected population dynamics under multiple breeding rates and management strategies. With current breeding rates, the population is projected to grow beyond the current space capacity (requiring spaces for an additional ~85 snakes) and have the potential to support ~20 releases per year. We also found that by further adding space, increasing breeding by ~22 hatches per year, and headstarting eggs from ~8 gravid females per year, the population could produce ~60 snakes for release each year. Results also indicate that bringing in adult snakes from the wild into the ex situ population would be less effective than increasing breeding rates and/or headstarting eggs for achieving reintroduction goals. Our PVA model helps inform decision-making at the start of the reintroduction program, but it will also be updated as more and newer data become available to support ongoing management. [6]

Tara Chestnut(1), Jeff Lewis(1), Jason Ransom(1), Dave Werntz(1), Erin Burke(1)
1. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Conservation Northwest, Mount Rainier National Park

Reintroducing Fishers (Pekania pennanti) to their historical range in Washington State, USA: progress in the South Cascades
Fishers (Pekania pennanti), a mid-sized member of the weasel family, occurred in the coniferous forests of Washington until the early and mid-1900s when they were extirpated as a result of over-trapping, habitat loss, and predator eradication programs. Our multi-agency partnership is actively reestablishing self-sustaining fisher populations in three large areas of the fisher's historical range in western Washington: Olympic Peninsula, southern Cascades Range, and northern Cascades Range. This presentation will provide a progress report on the ongoing fisher reintroduction in the southern Cascades. Since December of 2015, we have released 69 fishers (38F, 31M; each has a radio-transmitter) at two locations within the southern Cascades: 53 (30F, 23M) in Gifford Pinchot National Forest and 16 (8F, 8M) in Mount Rainier National Park; 23 were released in Year 1 (fall/winter 2015-16) and 46 in Year 2 (fall/winter 2016-17). To measure initial success, we are monitoring fisher movements, survival, home range establishment, and reproduction. For fishers released in Year 1, we observed relatively short/moderate movements, high survival rates (0.77), >60% home range establishment by females. We confirmed reproduction in one Year 1 female in her second season. We will present preliminary results from our monitoring efforts to date, including survival and status of fisher reproduction in the southern Cascades. Lastly, we will share information on anticipated year-3 efforts in the southern Washington Cascades and our planning efforts for a future fisher reintroduction in the North Cascades. [38]

Amy Coetsee(1)
1. Zoos Victoria

A novel approach using guardian dogs to increase reintroduction success
The wild population of mainland Eastern Barred Bandicoots (EBBs) has been decimated through predation by red foxes and habitat loss. In 1989, in response to a rapidly declining population, the EBB Recovery Team was formed and set about removing EBBs from the wild and placing them at sites with suitable habitat where foxes could be controlled. Whilst there were some initial wins, by 2005 there were thought to be just 100 EBBs left on the Australian mainland.

EBBs are a simple species to reintroduce: as long as their basic habitat requirements are met, they can adapt to different habitat conditions, allowing them to persist through periods of drought and overgrazing by overabundant herbivores. Successful population establishment has just one requirement: sites must remain fox free.

For the last decade, establishing EBBs in fenced, fox-free reserves has been the priority for the Recovery Team and has prevented the extinction of EBBs, but fences alone cannot recover this species. To secure the EBB within its indigenous range, bold moves and out of the box thinking is required.

Maremma guardian dogs have been used for centuries to protect livestock. We are currently investigating whether these dogs can also be effective at protecting EBBs from fox predation therefore eliminating the need for costly predator-barrier fences. A challenging task due to the nocturnal and solitary nature of EBBs. Trials are currently underway and the latest results will be presented. If successful the EBB could one day return to the wild on mainland Australia. [39]

Mary Davies(1)
1. RSPB

Successes and challenges in reintroductions
There are pros and cons to reintroductions. They can be 'flagship' projects, driving forward conservation management to benefit a wide range of other biodiversity. They can be inspirational and innovative and can generate popular support and publicity for conservation. They often trial and test techniques which could be used more widely for other species in other situations in the future. Most, importantly they can work in restoring populations.

However, they can take a considerable amount of time, money and effort and it is often not the best use of resources. They can also often be seen as diverting attention away from more 'worthy' conservation work. Unfortunately reintroductions often don't work - particularly where external factors have not been fixed or the best methods of doing it have not been worked out.

Most importantly, almost always, reintroductions must be part of a wider programme of work and can rarely be done in isolation. They are certainly not a quick fix solution.

This general overview will look at some of the species reintroductions the RSPB has been involved with (such as Asian vultures, white-tailed eagles, cirl buntings, and northern bald ibis) and will illustrate, with examples, the different types of challenges that have been faced in these projects. This presentation will highlight the importance of ongoing commitment and collaboration, adaptive management, partnership working and perseverance. [8]

Parag Jyoti Deka(1)
1. Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme, Aaranyak

Breeding and reintroduction of Pygmy Hog (Porcula salvania)
Critically endangered pygmy hog Porcula salvania is considered one of the world's most threatened mammals. Suspected to have gone extinct in the 1960s it was 'rediscovered' in 1971 in Assam. Originally a rare inhabitant of the tall wet grasslands in the plains just south of the Himalayas, the pygmy hog was reduced to a single declining wild population with no captive population in the world by 1990s. Efforts to breed them in captivity too were not successful. Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP) was initiated in 1995 under an agreement between the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, IUCN/SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Forest Department - Govt. of Assam, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Changes - Govt. of India. The programme was launched in 1996 with the main objectives to establish a well-structured conservation-breeding project for pygmy hogs as a source of animals for reintroduction. The captive breeding began with six hogs captured from the last population of the species in Manas National Park in 1996. Since then PHCP is working towards conservation breeding, habitat restoration and reintroduction of the species. Currently PHCP maintains about 60 hogs in two captive facilities and has reintroduced 110 captive-bred hogs in three protected areas of Assam. The released hogs are monitored using field signs (nests, forage marks, footprints and droppings) and sometimes, camera traps. Use of radio telemetry has been experimented in the reintroduced population with limited success. Field studies have revealed that reintroduced hogs are breeding and dispersing well in the wild. Although the successful reintroduction has averted the immediate risk of the species going extinct, the last original population continues to decline. [9]

Lynda Donaldson(1), Rebecca Lee(1), Baz Hughes(1), Nigel Jarrett(1), Jennifer Smart(2), Nigel A Clark(3), Evgeny E Syroechkovskiy(4), Geoff M Hilton(1)
1. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL27BT, UK
2. RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL, UK
3. British Trust for Onithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU, UK
4. All-Russian Research Institute of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology, and BirdsRussia, Moscow, Russia

Headstarting as a conservation tool for shorebirds
Headstarting - the release into the wild of animals that have been harvested from the wild at an earlier life-stage - is a technique developed largely for chelonian species, which have extremely high juvenile mortality. The aim is to increase overall population growth rate (λ) by improving demographic rates during a life-stage for which some form of captivity is a viable option, and preferably one to which λ is sensitive.

We discuss lessons learned from the recent use of this approach as a conservation tool for shorebirds. In the case of the arctic breeding migrant Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea, headstarting was used to re-inforce a rapidly declining population. The intervention did not directly address the cause of decline - which was in fact related to low survival in post-fledging life-stages, rather than low productivity. Instead, the intention was to 'buy time', reducing the probability that the population went to extinction during the time-lag before conservation measures on the flyway took effect. In the second case-study, Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa were headstarted in the UK, to accelerate recovery of a critically small population. The population in question had underlying positive growth, but was small and the annual increase relatively modest, such that recovery was projected to be very slow.

We use population models and cost estimates to consider the circumstances in which headstarting of bird populations may be a favoured option compared to alternative interventions. [40]

Laura Duenas(1), Suzanne Medina(1)
1. Guam Dept of Agriculture - DAWR

Use of smaller release locations to aid in understanding species demographics and habitat needs
The ko'ko' (Guam rail, Hypotaenidia owstoni) is a flightless bird endemic to the Pacific island of Guam. Once estimated over 80,000 in the 1960s, the accidental introduction of the brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) led to the decline of this and the rest of the island's bird population. The captive breeding program began in 1984, with the last 22 ko'ko' captured from the wild. Releases started on Rota in 1989 with over 1400 ko'ko' since released. A second release location was established on Cocos Island, south of Guam, with two releases in 2010 and 2012 of 26 birds total. Little is known of their behavior, territory size, and habitat preference in the wild. To offset this lack of knowledge, ko'ko' were tracked using transmitters both on Rota and Cocos Island. Initial findings on Rota were questionable since many birds were untrackable after release due to dispersal. Cocos Island is an ideal location to learn ko'ko' behavior and habitat suitability as the island's small size makes it easier to trap and track ko'ko. On Rota, ko'ko' occupy large territories averaging 22.82 ha for males and 9.47 ha for females. On Cocos Island, territory sizes average 6.15 ha and 5.66 ha, respectively, giving researchers a better understanding of area needed for ko'ko' releases. The Cocos Island population will provide information for future releases on Guam as release sites will most likely be enclosed similar sized areas to protect birds against predation by the brown treesnake, feral cats, and stray dogs. [10]

Barbara Eberhard(1), Christian Sperger(1), Daniela Trobe(1), Johannes Fritz(1)
1. Waldrappteam

Campaign against illegal bird hunting in Italy: whole population GPS monitoring of a Northern Bald Ibis release population allows identifying hot-spot poaching areas and taking preventive measures
The European LIFE+ project "Reason for Hope"* aims to reintroduce a migratory population of the continentally extinct, critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita). One major threat for the release population is illegal hunting in Italy during autumn migration. All birds are equipped with GPS tracking devices. This allows to quantify the impact of environmental crime on the population level and to identify geographic hot-spot areas where preventive measures have to be taken primarily. After four years of the LIFE+ project, essential milestones within the campaign against illegal bird hunting could be reached. There are indications that the losses caused by this type of environmental crime are decreasing.

*The project is implemented with 50% contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union (LIFE+12-BIO_AT_000143, LIFE Northern Bald Ibis). [41]

Jon-Paul Emery(1), Nicola Mitchell(1), John Woinarski(2), Leonie Valentine(1), Harold Cogger(3), Brendan Tiernan(4), Kent Retallick(4), Samantha Flakus(4)
1. Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the National Environment Science Programme, University of Western Australia
2. Research Institute for the Environment and Peoples Livelihoods
3. Australian Museum Research Institute
4. Christmas Island National Park, Parks Australia

The reintroduction of blue-tailed skinks to Christmas Island: eight years in the making
Christmas Island in the East Indian Ocean harbours a large number of endemic species, but since human settlement at the turn of the twentieth century, eight vertebrate species have become Extinct or are Extinct in the Wild. Reptiles have been particularly hard hit, with one of the five endemic reptiles extinct, one extirpated, and two others - the blue-tailed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) and Lister's gecko (Lepidodactylus listeri) now restricted to captive breeding facilities. The introduced Asian wolf snake (Lycodon capucinus) from south-east Asia is believed to be the primary cause of the declines as their introduction coincides approximately with the spatial and temporal pattern of disappearance of Christmas Island reptiles. However, other invasive species such as black rats (Rattus rattus), Vietnamese giant centipedes, yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and feral cats (Felis catus) may have also played contributory roles. Fortunately, captive breeding has been successful with populations of both species recently increasing to over 1000 individuals. We are now exploring options for the release of captive bred individuals via reintroduction to introduced predator proof exclosures on Christmas Island and/or assisted colonisation to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. A preliminary release of blue-tailed skinks in 2017 into a soft-release exclosure on Christmas Island was unsuccessful. To increase the likelihood of successful subsequent reintroductions, we are exploring the interactions between these two threatened lizards, introduced species and native species, using mesocosm experiments. This knowledge, combined with significant improvements in the soft-release exclosure, will assist the second trial reintroduction. [42]

Angie Estrada(1,3) Daniel Medina(1,3), Brian Gratwicke(2), Roberto Ibáñez(3), Lisa K. Belden(1,3)
1. Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
2. Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute
3. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

The amphibian skin microbiome: from captivity to reintroduction in the wild
Beneficial skin bacteria can protect amphibians against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogenic fungus that is one of the largest threats to amphibian survival worldwide. For many amphibian species, long-term captive breeding programs have prevented extinction; however, captive management is known to modify the amphibian skin microbiome. In Panamá, threatened amphibian species survive in captive breeding facilities, but it is unknown how skin bacterial communities change once captive-bred individuals are re-exposed to natural habitats. Thus, to inform the development of beneficial bacteria-based conservation efforts and future reintroductions, we placed captive-bred individuals individually in mesocosms in the field and tracked amphibian-Bd-microbiome interactions over time. Specifically, we assessed changes in the skin bacterial communities of Atelopus limosus, a critically-endangered species in Panamá, following soft-release to a site where the species historically thrived. We investigated how the initial skin bacterial community influenced: 1) bacterial community structure and composition after release (using bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing), 2) host condition and 3) Bd infection status. We found significant variation in skin bacterial communities following reintroduction to natural conditions. After only two weeks, reintroduced individuals had skin bacterial communities similar to wild individuals. Reintroduced individuals lost weight, and a small proportion got infected with Bd, but mortality was not associated with condition or disease status. These preliminary findings suggest that skin-associated microbiomes of captive-bred amphibians can revert to wild-type, but future research needs to address whether these changes in bacterial structure ultimately result in higher survival and Bd protection of captive-bred amphibians. [37]

Susan Farabaugh(1), Sarah Sheldon(1), Jaelean Carrero(1)
1. Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global

Fostering as management tool for breeding and release of San Clemente loggerhead shrikes
Since 1991, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Conservation Breeding Program has been maintaining a captive population to provide birds for annual release to augment the wild, to act as a species reservoir against loss of the wild population, and to allow recovery and rearing of abandoned wild or captive nests. In the early years of the project, artificial incubation and hand rearing was the dominant method, but through careful behavioral monitoring, parent rearing became the norm. Artificial incubation and hand rearing was used exclusively for rescue and salvage. Beginning in 2009, we began fostering eggs and later chicks that were in need of salvage or rescue. This effort allowed us to avoid hand rearing entirely and to produce parent-reared birds for release. From the success of the effort, we expanded the use of fostering to help manage the breeding efforts of captive, release, and wild pairs. We provide examples of the various forms of fostering that we have successfully used and how fostering can help manage many issues that are encountered in conservation breeding and release efforts. [43]

Giuliana Ferrari(1)
1. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Untold Stories: A review of Brazilian reintroductions
The science of Reintroduction Biology is relatively new, emerging on the context of a tragically altered Earth. Although loss of habitats and exotic species are rightly important factors, there are still countries dealing with problems such as poaching and wildlife trafficking. With factors ranging from political, financial and social stability, there is a geographical bias for reintroduction projects towards developed countries, where reintroduction is conducted under secured funds. Meanwhile, Brazil holds in its territory two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest, also presenting high rates of endangered species. Nevertheless, reintroduction projects with the clear purpose of conservation goals and reestablishment of ecological interactions are still in its infancy. My work tracks the scientific history of Brazilian reintroductions across biomes through an extensive systematic review. For comparison, I first performed a global search on reintroduction projects using the WoS database with the keywords "re-introd*", and "reintrod*", yielding 341 projects. Data compilation on a preliminary analysis indicated a clear bias towards North America (N = 60), Oceania (N = 146) and Europe (N = 91). The Brazilian review, which yielded an oddly low number of papers on reintroductions projects performed and planned (N = 15, 86% of which weren't present in WoS) aims to understand the factors relating to perceived success of reintroduction projects, components of failure, and the future of reintroductions in the country. Through a complex weaving of political, social and scientific factors, one can understand the Brazilian scenario on a more global context of rapid deforestation and species' decline on tropical grounds. [44]

Christelle Ferriere(1), Nicolas Zuel(1)
1. Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

Creating an island on an island
Rats are the main menace to threatened passerines in Mauritius. In the past, methods used to save the species included harvesting eggs and chicks that would have been predated, hand rearing them, then releasing them on predator free islets to create new populations. Unfortunately, not many islets are available for such projects and saving the species would now require new methods. Over time, different methods have been trialled to control the rat populations to protect the critically endangered Olive White Eye. These methods, such as intensive trapping and poisoning, either proved ineffective, too labour intensive, too costly or harmful for the environment. To protect critically endangered birds on a large scale, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation wishes to trial the use of self-setting (Good Nature) traps to create a 'mainland island' (an area free or with very low numbers of predators). Good Nature Traps were tested in the field in Mauritius and proved their efficiency over a one year pre-trial on a small scale. The 'mainland island' would also have other types of traps to control other potential predators such as cats. Once the 'mainland island' set up in the restored forest of the National Park, Olive White-eyes could be re-introduced to the area. The creation of a 'mainland island' would protect endemic fauna and flora already in the area, as well as provide the conditions for the re-introduction of other threatened birds, reptiles and plants into safe populations. [45]

Debbie Fogell(1,2)
1. University of Kent
2. Institute of Zoology (ZSL)

Hygiene and biosecurity protocols reduce infection prevalence but do not improve fledging success in an endangered parrot
Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) are recognised as global extinction drivers of threatened species. Unfortunately, biodiversity managers have few tested solutions to manage them when often the desperate need for solutions necessitates a response. We tested in situ biosecurity protocols to assess the efficacy of managing Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), the most common and emergent viral disease in wild parrots (Psittaciformes) that is currently affecting numerous threatened species globally. In response to an outbreak of PBFD in Mauritius "echo" parakeets (Psittacula eques), managers implemented a set of biosecurity protocols to limit transmission and impact of Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). We tested whether BFDV management successfully reduced viral prevalence and viral load, or impacted on nestling body condition and fledge success through a reciprocal design experiment on the wild population. Whilst management reduced viral prevalence in nestlings by 11% there was no observed impact on BFDV load and nestling body condition. In contrast to expectations there was lower fledge success in nests with added BFDV biosecurity. Our results clearly illustrate that management for wildlife conservation should be critically evaluated through targeted monitoring and experimental manipulation, and this evaluation should always focus on the fundamental objective of conservation. [Wednesday 14 November 8:40-9:10]

Johannes Fritz(1), Barbara Eberhard(1), Bernhard Gönner(1), Anne-Gabriela Schmalstieg(1), Markus Unsöld(1)
1. Waldrappteam, Austria; LIFE Northern Bald Ibis

Reintroduction of a migratory bird species: the European LIFE+ Northern Bald Ibis project
The European LIFE+ project aims to reintroduce the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) to Central and Southern Europe. In accordance with an international action plan for the species, a population with a completely new migration tradition is going to be established. The six-year LIFE+ project is based on a 13-year feasibility study, where key release methods, in particular the human-led migration with human-imprinted juveniles, have been developed.

Along with the reintroduction, an extensive campaign against illegal bird hunting in Italy is implemented, with the Northern Bald Ibis as a flagship species. Bio-logging of the whole population allows to quantify the impact of this environmental crime. Such population data are of high value to alert stakeholders and the public and to exert pressure on the hunting associations. So far, essential milestones could be reached.

The human-led migration is also an exclusive opportunity for studies on bird flight. Ongoing research aims to measure the aerodynamic advantage of formation flight and to investigate the proximate mechanisms that enable this kind of cooperation. The scientific studies also serve to optimize the reintroduction methods.

The project is implemented with 50 % contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union (LIFE+12-BIO_AT_000143, LIFE Northern Bald Ibis). [46]

Gerardo Garcia(1), Daniel Guinart(2), Felix Amat(3), Manel Areste(4), Francesc Carbonell(4)
1. Chester Zoo
2. Diputació de Barcelona
3. Museu de Granollers
4. Barcelona Zoo
5. Centre de Fauna de Torreferrussa

Reintroduction program of Montseny brook newt
The Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi) is an endemic amphibian from the Montseny Natural Park. It was recognized as new taxa in 2005 and based on their small range and population size is considered as critically endangered by IUCN. The total extension of the streams where it lives is less than 5 km and the maximum adult population size is not bigger than 2000. Research confirmed strong geographic structure into two separated groups by natural barriers of populations, genetically and morphologically distinctive.

In 2007 a program of captive breeding was started to assure the genetic representation of the species and to allow the reintroduction in the nature. Three years later, an experimental trial release of captive bred newts started, and it is currently in progress. One of the new populations achieved success showing an average annual survivorship of 2.4-8.9%.

At the end of 2016 the project "Life Tritó Montseny" (LIFE15 NAT/ES/000757) started, focused in two main goals. First goal is reduce the threats to the species by improving the riverside habitat, implementing actions to reduce water catchment, purify wastewater, recover rainwater, improve the ecological connectivity and restore the native riverside forest. The second goal is to increase the geographical distribution area and raise the number of newts in the wild, by reintroducing from captive bred newts from 4 breeding centers (Wildlife Management of Torreferrussa and Pont de Suert, Barcelona Zoo and Chester Zoo). Currently, from 20 wild founders, an average of 300 newts/year have being produced for their release. [11]

Colby Gardner(1), Maggie Dwire(1), John Oakleaf(1), Paul Greer(1)
1. US Fish and Wildlife Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department

Efficacy of release methodologies to improve gene diversity in the Mexican wolf population
The Mexican wolf has been protected as an endangered subspecies of gray wolf since 1976 under the Endangered Species Act. Mexican wolves were extirpated from the wild in the United States by the 1970s and from Mexico in the 1980s. A captive breeding program established between 1977 and 1980, from just 7 founding animals, saved the Mexican wolf from extinction. Launching from the success of the captive program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners began releasing Mexican wolves into Arizona and New Mexico in 1998. Through 2017, more than 100 captive-born Mexican wolves have been released into the wild and more than 120 Mexican wolves have been translocated within the recovery area, using a variety of release techniques and methodologies.

Ensuring gene diversity available in the captive population is incorporated into the wild populations is a criterion necessary to achieve recovery of the species. Therefore, continued releases of more genetically diverse Mexican wolves from the captive population into the wild remains necessary. This presentation will discuss the various release methodologies and success rates observed over nearly 20 years of data, as well as the pros and cons of transitioning to cross-fostering captive born wolf pups into established wild dens to improve the gene diversity of the wild population in the United States. [47]

Adrienne Gastineau(1), Alexandre Robert(1), François Sarrazin(1), Jean-Baptiste Mihoub(1), Pierre-Yves Quenette(1)
1. CESCO, UMR7204 Sorbonne Université, MNHN, CNRS and Equipe Ours, UPAD, ONCFS

Producing risk maps of human-carnivore conflicts to enhance cohabitation success in a brown bear population in Western Europe
One of the main factors limiting the acceptance of large carnivores worldwide is livestock depredation. The restoration of the remnant brown bear, Ursus arctos, population in the Pyrenees is particularly representative of this issue. In the 90's, only five individuals were remaining in the Pyrenees. This group was reinforced through the translocation of nine individuals from Slovenia native population in 1996, 2006, 2011 and 2016. Then, in 2016, a minimum population size of 39 individuals was recorded. . Unfortunately, local acceptance of the species is still poor in part because of brown bear depredation behaviour on domestic animals with an average of 103.3±18.9 attacks per year between 2010 and 2016. In the present study, we characterize the environmental conditions of population predation events and of depredation hotspots through habitat suitability modelling. We modelled both ecological habitat features (e.g., nearest distance to forest cover) and management practices (e.g. size of the flocks) of pastoral units to produce predicted risk maps of depredation. Those risk maps should promote an adaptive management to enhance both local acceptance of bears and long-term viability of the restored population by focusing protective measures, efforts and funds on specific risk areas before or during the return of the brown bear.

This approach can be applied to the conservation and restoration of any remnant large carnivore population as it is helpful to identify priority factors to deal with for minimizing human-wildlife local conflicts as well as to project current and future high priority risk sites. [12]

Jacqueline Gaudioso-Levita(1), Rachel Rounds(2), Donna L. Ball(3), Jay T. Nelson(3), Paul C. Banko(4), T. Colleen Cole(5), Thomas H. White(6)
1. State of Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 16 E. Kawili St. Hilo, HI 96720, USA
2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Refuges and Monuments Office, Inventory and Monitoring Program, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI, USA
3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 3-122, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850, USA
4. U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, P.O. Box 44 Hawaii National Park, HI 96718, USA
5. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii Dept. of Botany, 3190 Maile Way, St. John #408 Honolulu, HI. 96822, USA.
6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program, P.O. Box 1600, Rio Grande, PR 00745, USA

Using Quantitative SWOT Analysis to Improve Planning and Decision-Making of Reintroduction Efforts of 'Alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis)
The 'Alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) is the only one of five known endemic Hawaiian corvid species that is still extant. The species became extinct in the wild in 2002; however, prior to this, a conservation breeding program was initiated, and releases occurred in the 1990's. Today, over 125 individuals are held in captivity and current release efforts that begun in 2016 are ongoing. Inherent to avian reintroductions are extensive logistical considerations, intensive staffing, landscape-scale habitat protection, and long-term funding needs. Following the 2016 release of 5 'Alalā, which resulted in high mortality within days of the release, the 'Alalā Working Group made several integrative changes to the release strategy, one of which was quantitative SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). SWOT analysis was used to select the 'Alalā reintroduction sites in 2017 and 2018 by a team of experts in the focal species and their habitat. This methodology is still a relatively new application for reintroduction biology, used previously for reintroductions of avian species in Brazil and Puerto Rico. We created a framework of 33 (2017) and 36 (2018) descriptive indicators and sub-indicators to evaluate candidate reintroduction sites. Each indicator was further described with spatial, temporal, and probability coefficients. The team selected the sites with the highest "quality scores" based on consensus rankings for each SWOT session. Through the step-wise construction of a comprehensive set of indicators, our assessment team was guided to pointed discussion and awareness of program and habitat deficiencies, necessary mitigations and management actions, and areas of intrinsic benefits and established support of the species and habitat. Quantitative SWOT analysis has served as an efficient decision-making tooland has reduced initial subjectivity in site selection. As the survival and behavior of released birds are assessed through an intensive monitoring program, we will continue to evaluate how quantitative SWOT analysis has aided the recovery program in reaching measurable objectives and milestones for the re-establishment of the species. [13]

Shifra Goldenberg(1), Megan A. Owen(2), Janine L. Brown(3), Peter Leimgruber(1)
1. Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
2. Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global
3. Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Social Behavioral Considerations in Wildlife Reintroductions
The importance of animal behavior to successful wildlife reintroductions has been acknowledged in the past few decades, and it is increasingly incorporated in the management and research surrounding reintroductions. However social behavior remains underused in this field. Social relationships take a variety of forms (e.g. cooperative partners, members of a dominance hierarchy, territorial neighbors) and play important roles in survival, reproduction, and resource exploitation. We review the ways in which concepts from studies of social behavior in wild populations may be leveraged to increase reintroduction success. Extended social networks, social roles, and social learning may all be important to consider in building founding populations that are resilient and likely to persist in the wild. We argue that data collected at all stages of reintroduction, including candidate selection, release, and post-release monitoring, may inform the establishment of functional social structure in species dependent on social processes. Integrating social behavior in management may be particularly useful when post-release monitoring is paired with information on alternative release protocols or pre-selection candidate traits. Complementary datasets on a range of fitness-related metrics and long-term data collection will further leverage understanding of social establishment in reintroduced populations. We illustrate the potential of these ideas using Asian and African elephants as a model. Both species may be particularly challenging to reintroduce but are in urgent need of evidence-based protocols on reintroduction. [Thursday 15 November 15:10-15:40]

Bernhard Gönner(1), Johannes Fritz(1)
1. Waldrappteam, Schulgasse 28, 6162 Mutters, Austria

Evaluation of the human-led migration as a method for the reintroduction of a migratory Northern Bald Ibis population
The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a critically endangered bird species, occurring in the wild only in sedentary colonies in Morocco, Turkey and Spain. Since 2014, the European LIFE+ reintroduction project aims to reintroduce a migratory Northern Bald Ibis population, with breeding colonies in Austria and Germany and a common wintering area in Italy. The project is based on a 13-year feasibility study.

For release, chicks from zoo breeding colonies are raised by human foster parents and trained to follow a microlight. During the so-called human-led migrations, the human-raised juveniles follow their foster parents in the microlights once in autumn of their first year of live from the breeding site in several stages to the wintering site. After the journey, the juveniles are released. In the context of the LIFE+ project, human-led migrations are performed annually. The method was continuously improved. Meanwhile, daily flight stages of up to 360 km with up to 32 birds are possible.

The release population consist of more than 80 birds. Since 2011, an increasing amount of wild birds migrate, reproduce and lead the offspring to the wintering site, independent of humans. In the poster, we evaluate the human-led migration method due to survival rate and reproductive success, in comparison with the wild birds of the release population. [48]

Mario Haberfeld(1), Lilian Rampim(1), Leonardo Sartorello(1), Joares May Jr(1), Pedro Teles(1), Carlos Eduardo Fragoso(1), Rogerio Cunha de Paula(2,3), Rose Lilian Gasparini Morato(2,3), Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato(2,3)
1. Associação Onçafari
2. Instituto Chico Mendes, Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Mamíferos Terrestres
3. Instituto Pró-Carnívoros.

Is rewilding a tool for the conservation of Jaguars (Panthera onca)? A case study in the Pantanal of Brazil
Population supplementation and reintroduction programs may provide hope for jaguar conservation, a species critically endangered in several regions of its distribution. Few attempts to rewild rescued animals have not been properly planned and/or documented, resulting in failure or lack of effective evaluation. In this case we adapted the IUCN's soft release protocol to rewild jaguars in the Pantanal, Brazil. Two 3 months old orphan sisters were sent to a wildlife rescue center for 13 months. After being tested for all the relevant infectious and parasitic diseases, and confirmed to be free of any of them, they were removed to a one-hectare enclosure of natural vegetation, built inside a 53,000ha private refuge. Live wild preys, captured at the same site, were offered to the cubs and within 10 months the jaguars had preyed on white-lipped peccaries, capybaras, caimans, and feral pigs. After deploying collars equipped with GPS/VHF and accelerometer, the animals were monitored for 30 days inside the enclosure for activity patterns and social behavior comparisons upon the release. The animals were set free at the age of 27 months old. Range residence was confirmed after visual inspection of a semi-variogram (ctmm package in R) two months post release. Estimated movement behavior and activity parameters were similar with previous reports for free living jaguars in the same area. After clusters inspection we have identified 12 wild prey species predated by the two females. Social interaction has also been observed (n=9 different individuals) and the mean spatial overlap between the two females is 85% (CI: 73-94%). Two years latter one female gave birth to a female cub and the other gave birth to two cubs. In conclusion, we argue that rewilding can be an important tool for the species conservation in areas where the species population is in severe decline. However, it is crucial that all the protocols must be followed in order to achieve the expected success. [49]

Christina Hagen(1), Ross M Wanless(1)
1. BirdLife South Africa

Lessons from initial phases of establishing new African penguin colonies in South Africa
Despite enormous, costly interventions for known threats, the African Penguin Sphensicus demersus population in South Africa continues to decrease rapidly. A major recent driver is poor food availability due to shifting forage fish distributions and fishery competition; both may prove impossible to address directly (particularly if climate change is a root cause). The South African population is split into two main centres separated by 600 km. Establishing a new colony mid-way between these centres will increase resilience to catastrophic events (e.g. oil spills, disease outbreaks), increase the overall population size and reduce the relative effects of large-scale, multi-year environmental forcing events (e.g. the loss of fish on the west coast) on the entire population.

Translocation of seabirds to novel sites is uncommon in South Africa and establishing new colonies has never before been attempted for the African Penguin. We explore the reasons behind the need to attempt this additional conservation measure for the species. Two suitable sites have been identified for colony establishment, with work beginning at one of these, using a combination of social attraction techniques and planned chick translocations. We discuss the process followed to make the decision to establish new penguin colonies in the face of extreme uncertainty, and the need for risk assessments and finding a balance between action and risk management when considering an endangered species. [14]

Julie A. Heinrichs(1,3), Donald T. McKinnon(2), Cameron L. Aldridge(3), Axel Moehrenschlager(2)
1. Computational Ecology Group, Canmore, Alberta
2. Centre for Conservation Research, Calgary Zoological Society, Calgary, Alberta
3. Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Quantifying the successive risks and rewards of collection, captive breeding and release of endangered Sage-grouse
Evaluating the spectrum of risks and rewards of captive breeding and release is central to identifying responsible conservation actions for declining species. Yet most assessments focus on captive breeding success and post-release survival, and less attention is given to the trade-offs that exist among source, captive, and target wild populations when optimizing the use of the last few remaining individuals of a population. Further, few analyses are conducted to optimize the choice of source population from which animals are collected. Using linked scenarios of successive collection, captive rearing, and release, we evaluated the risks and rewards of ex situ rearing and release for the endangered Greater Sage-grouse in Canada. We constructed a spatially explicit individual-based modeling framework for 3 source, 1 captive, and 2 target populations. We evaluated the potential impacts of egg collection on wild source populations, captive survival and breeding success of collected animals, and the potential for released birds to improve wild abundance and extinction risk in target wild populations. To gain general insight, we compared risks and rewards for different source and target population sizes and trajectories. The detection of risks caused by removing individuals from the wild depended not only on the number of animals removed, but by the source population size, trajectory, and degree of stochasticity inherent in the source population. Releases into smaller and more rapidly declining populations provided the greatest near-term improvements to extinction risk but were brief. Yet releases into larger and more stable populations resulted in longer lasting conservation benefits than in more vulnerable populations but required greater initial release effort. Planned conservation actions for sage-grouse in Canada are unlikely to result in difficult trade-offs in population outcomes under the examined conditions. Although the collection, captive rearing and release of this species is likely to result in short-term benefits, in situ improvements are required to stabilize long-term population trajectories. [Wednesday 14 November 8:40-9:10]

Léo Bacon(1), Alexandre Robert(2), Yves Hingrat(1)
1. RENECO
2. MNHN

Long lasting differences of breeding performances of translocated North African Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata undulata). A matter of release strategy
The success of conservation translocation programmes is closely related to the ability of translocated individuals to survive and reproduce in the wild. Several studies showed that translocated individuals have lower demographic performance than their wild-born conspecifics, referring to potential "cost of release". However, because inferences are made at the population (not individual) level, it remains difficult to understand how age and release strategy influence such costs, as well as whether they are temporary or permanent. Here, we investigated the effect of bird origin (wild versus released) on six breeding parameters measured over 15 years into the wild on captive-bred released (n=204) and wild-born (n=101) North African Houbara bustards. We investigated if age and the period of release affected breeding performances of captive-bred released females. Our results indicate that released females successfully breed in the wild. However, for three out of six breeding parameters studied, released females show lower performance than wild-born females. Although, we observed consistent age effects in performances, suggesting an increase of breeding performances at young ages, we did not uncover any interaction between age and the origin of females, suggesting that the impairment of breeding parameters in released females is long lasting. Nonetheless, these effects were significant only for females released in spring relative to wild-born females, with females released in autumn having intermediate breeding performances. Although captive-bred released females reproduce and contribute to the dynamics of the population, our results uncover complex costs associated to female origin that can be minimized through an appropriate translocation strategy. [15]

Michael Johnson(1), Ashley Herrod(1)
1. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Orange-bellied parrot: breeding for recovery
The Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster) is a Critically Endangered parrot endemic to southeastern Australia. The species is notable as one of only two migrating parrot species. With only 18 birds in the wild last September, the survival of the species is now almost totally dependent on a captive breeding program and associated release projects.

Moonlit Sanctuary joined the recovery program in 2012, initially with a handful of older birds in a display aviary. Since then Moonlit Sanctuary's role has grown to become a major participant in the captive breeding program: 45 birds fledged during the 2017-18 breeding season; winter release of adults on the mainland, spring release at the breeding grounds in Tasmania and autumn fledgling release in Tasmania. This year Moonlit helped initiate the new ranching project, whereby some birds are removed from the wild after the breeding season, kept in captivity over winter, and with plans to release into the wild again in spring. In 2017 Moonlit Sanctuary was awarded the Victorian Premier's Sustainability Award for Environmental Protection for our orange-bellied parrot breeding program.

The poster presentation tells how Moonlit Sanctuary, a small independent and self-funded organization, established a significant breeding program in conjunction with partners in the Recovery Team. It also discusses problems encountered and the various release and reintroduction projects underway to reverse the decline of these birds in the wild. [50]

Holly P. Jones(1), Nicholas A. Barber(1), Wesley D. Swingley(1), Ryan C. Blackburn(1), Kirstie Savage(1), Nick Steijn(1), Sheryl Hosler(1), Anna Farrell(1), Heather Herakovich(1)
1. Northern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences and Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy. DeKalb, IL 60115

Reintroduced bison impacts on plants and animals in a world-class prairie restoration
Tallgrass prairie is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, having contracted 80-90% due to agriculture and urbanization. Illinois is The Prairie State but has lost 99.99% of its prairie. However, there has been excellent progress in restoring prairie ecosystems and one of Illinois' most successful prairie restorations is Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL. Managers use a variety of management techniques including employing disturbance regimes of fire and grazing to maintain high-quality tallgrass prairie at Nachusa. Bison were reintroduced in 2014 and although research has shown how bison impact remnant - never plowed - prairie, it is unclear how bison will impact a restored prairie that is actively going through community assembly. This research addresses how reintroduced bison have impacted flora and fauna at Nachusa Grasslands. Specifically, we show that bison diet, as revealed through stable isotope analysis, changes seasonally with a shift from C4 to wetland plant reliance. We find soil microbes were distinct across prairie ages but then homogenized after bison reintroduction. Plant communities shift with time since restoration but aren't impacted by bison. Dung decomposition and dung beetle abundance increase with bison.

Small mammal communities and in grassland bird nesting survivorship are unimpacted by bison in the first few years of their introduction. Our data can help other prairie restorations that seek to reintroduce bison predict their potential impacts to a wide swath of prairie food web members. [51]

Emily Jordan(1), Heidi Mitchell(1), Martin Wilkie(1)
1. Marwell Wildlife

Personality-dependent dispersal in the sand lizard, Lacerta agilis; implications for reintroduction success
Reintroductions can aid species recovery, with dispersal often being a key factor influencing outcomes and success. This study sought to determine personality-dependant dispersal in a locally rare lizard, the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), which is subject to ongoing reintroductions in the UK. Dispersal behaviour was measured among a captive breeding and release group via a series of experimental releases into a novel environment. Study subjects demonstrated repeatable behaviour indicative of exploration and activity personality types. Juvenile sand lizards demonstrated stronger dispersal tendencies and more flexible behaviour than mature individuals, indicating a possible ontogenetic component of behavioural variation. Principal component analysis established an activity-exploration dispersal syndrome among captive sand lizards, and exploration and activity were found to be effective predictors of dispersal tendency. The outcomes from this study will directly inform release strategy in terms of demography of reintroduced groups, and design of a soft-release protocol. Ongoing research and monitoring will continue to evaluate outcomes, and in particular assess whether initial dispersal behaviour detected here predicts long-term dispersal patterns of reintroduced sand lizards. [Wednesday 14 November 15:10-15:40]

Sonya Kahlenberg(1), E. A. Williamson(2,3), J. K. Mbeke(1), E. K. Syaluha(4), M. Cranfield(4), E. de Merode(5,6), D. Caillaud(7,8), K. H. Farmer(2), N. Iyer(7), J. Kyungu(6), J. Sherman(2)
1. Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center
2. Wildlife Impact
3. School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, UK
4. Gorilla Doctors
5. Virunga National Park
6. Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature
7. Department of Anthropology, University of California at Davis
8. Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Possible population reinforcement for Grauer's gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo: Prospects, preparation, and remaining obstacles
Critically Endangered Grauer's gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) are becoming increasingly isolated within their fragmented landscape in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and some populations already require significant management to avoid extirpation. Inside Virunga National Park (ViNP), a small, isolated, semi-habituated Grauer's gorilla population at Mt. Tshiaberimu has declined from 16 to 6 individuals (4 adult males, 1 adult female, 1 unsexed juvenile) since 1996. Population viability analysis confirms it to be nonviable without reinforcement with additional females. Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) in DRC cares for 14 wildborn Grauer's gorilla orphans (11 females, 3 males, ages: 3-16 years) confiscated after poaching events. Systematic work guided by IUCN best practices is underway by GRACE, its partners - ViNP and Gorilla Doctors - and other experts to evaluate population reinforcement as an intervention option for the imperiled Mt. Tshiaberimu gorillas. Preparations include updating habitat surveys and gorilla ranging data, evaluating release candidates at GRACE based on behavioral and health variables, and developing a methodology for post-reintroduction remote monitoring. Regional insecurity has recently worsened, presenting a major obstacle for this project. Nevertheless, continued preparatory work will support the decision-making process for how to help the Mt. Tshiaberimu gorillas once peace is restored as well as inform reintroduction efforts in other great apes. [7]

Lucy Kemp(1)
1. Mabula Ground Hornbill Project

Viable reintroduction strategies for long-lived co-operative breeding species: lessons learnt from the Southern Ground-Hornbill
The Southern Ground-Hornbill is Endangered in both South Africa and Namibia, with a loss of over 60% of the historic range. One of the conservation strategies currently underway so reintroduction into areas where the species has become locally extinct, due to a combination of k-selected life-history traits preventing recovery from a growing number of anthropogenic threats. Over two decades of conservation effort and research have been conducted in South Africa, during which valuable lessons about conservation strategies have emerged for such long-lived, slow-breeding and socially complex species. These include how to conduct successful reintroductions using 'bush-school's' and extended mentorship, using redundant second-hatched chicks as stock, providing artificial super-nest breeding sites, and to use experimental reintroductions for improving our understanding of the structure and functioning of wild groups and populations in terms of their ecology and the threats they face. It is hoped that these lessons will aid reintroduction efforts for other species that share these characteristics, none of which make them an easy species to manage. [16]

Tony King(1), Amos Courage(1)
1. Aspinall Foundation

Restoring the megafauna of the Batéké Plateau in Congo and Gabon: progress and opportunities
The Batéké Plateau region of Congo and Gabon in Central Africa is probably the first major wilderness area where western lowland gorillas have been driven to extinction. The Aspinall Foundation has been reintroducing gorillas here for over twenty years. Over 50 wild-born orphan gorillas rescued from the illegal bush-meat trade have been released, as have a smaller number of gorillas transported from the Howletts and Port Lympne wild animal parks in the UK. The two reintroduced gorilla populations are now well established, with over thirty births recorded in the past ten years. However the gorilla is not the only species to have been lost from the Batéké Plateau. In an ambitious expansion of the ongoing programme we are currently embarking on a new multi-species approach to restoring the large mammal community, or "megafauna" as we are marketing it. Chimpanzees and mandrills should soon be released in the gallery forests, while we hope the surprising recent discoveries of a male lion and a lone spotted hyena, the first records for the region in 20 years, will facilitate the return of several lost species to the unique and isolated Batéké savannahs - not only lions and hyenas but with time waterbuck, reedbuck, and hunting dogs. We look back at two decades of progress, and forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. [52]

Rachel A. Kingsley(1), Jackie M. Gaudioso-Levita(2), Dan W. Dennison(3), T. Colleen Cole(4), Lea A. Kaʻahaʻaina(4)
1. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaiʻi - Manoa, Honolulu, HI
2. State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hilo, HI
3. State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honolulu, HI
4. Three Mountain Alliance, Hawaiʻi National Park, HI

Outreach and Education Supporting ʻAlalā, Corvus hawaiiensis, Reintroduction Efforts: A Model for Reintroduction Programs and Conservation Actions
The ʻAlalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) is a critically endangered corvid species found on Hawaiʻi Island that went extinct in the wild in 2002. Through a partnership of agencies, conservation and reintroduction efforts for this species were developed. A universal foundation for a successful reintroduction is community understanding and support, prior to reintroduction actions. Starting in 2010, The ʻAlalā Project began community outreach and education efforts, six years before ʻAlalā were released. A multifaceted approach was developed to help broaden the reach and scope of the information presented. Multiple modes of communication are integrated, such as in-person presentations (public presentations, school and community organization visits), news media and communications (local and national media outlets), an online presence (project website and social media), and printed materials (posters, brochures, flyers, and promotional items), with each mode targeting different audiences. Efforts incorporate multiple disciplines including art, habitat restoration, ecology, animal behavior, history, and Hawaiian culture, reaching audiences varying in age from young to old. The number of outreach events was summarized determining audience reach covering each of the two release efforts. Social media output was categorized into video/audio, biological facts, project milestones, event notifications, and interactive posts. We used this analytical information to determine effectiveness, audience reach, and location in order to tailor information presented to the audience. Our overall approach to outreach and education has proven to be an important and supportive step to the reintroduction strategy for the ʻAlalā, allowing conservation actions to continue through the perpetuation of community support and involvement. [Wednesday 14 November 8:40-9:10]

Lindsey Sterling Krank(1), Noelle Guernsey(1)
1. Humane Society of the US

Black-tailed prairie dog translocation methods on the North American Grassland
Worldwide, grasslands represent one of the most imperiled ecosystems with less than 2% having permanent protection. Land use conversion, climate change, and the loss of native herbivores are principle causes of grassland loss. North America's grasslands were once ecologically rich, but remain a threatened biome with declines being greater than 80% (White and Vanasselt). Biodiversity found within such grasslands have also declined substantially, with keystone species such as prairie dogs and bison being reduced by 98% of their historical ranges (Hoogland 2006, Sanderson et al. 2008). North American grassland bird species have declined by 50%- the highest rate of decline in any biome in North America (With et al. 2008).

The Prairie Dog Coalition and our partners translocate nearly 1,000 prairie dogs every year out of imperiled situations and into protected habitat. Active recovery of a keystone species, such as the black-tailed prairie dog which plays a disproportionate role in grassland ecosystems relative to their abundance, can provide a suite of benefits that include but are not limited to increased occurrence of a plethora of associated species, protection from shrub encroachment and increased soil water infiltration and productivity (Davidson, Ceballas, and Kotliar). [53]

Catharina Kreischer(1), Anna Landim(1), Marcelo L. Rheingantz(1)
1. Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) reintroduction in Tijuca National Park: testing new management tools
Many reintroductions fail to achieve medium and long term success. Therefore, knowing its causes is paramount to define future management actions. Since 2010, 31 adult red-humped agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina) have been reintroduced in Tijuca National Park, an Atlantic Forest reserve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Agoutis are medium-sized scatter-hoarding rodents and important large seed dispersers as they contribute to the recruitment of seedlings by burying seeds. In 2018 two new releases will be held in different parts of the Park. Different management techniques will be tested in order to improve the species reintroduction program. Firstly, the effect of acclimatization on post-release survival will be tested. For that there will be two release groups in each area: the first will stay 15 days in an acclimatization pen and the second will be released immediately after being translocated. Secondly, the effect of regular long-term food supplementation will be evaluated: only one of the release sites will receive food supplementation, which will be distributed around 100 ha every three months for the period of at least one year. We believe this might affect the initial cohesion of the population and consequently the success of the reintroduction. Individuals' dispersal and their short-term survival will be monitored by radiotelemetry and population growth through camera-traps. We hope that: a) releasing the animals without acclimatization will increase their survival through the reduction of aggressive behaviour; b) sites with regular long-term supplementation may restrain the post-release dispersal, contributing to an increase in the population growth rate. [Thursday 15 November 8:40-9:10]

Loïc Lesobre(1), Yves Hingrat(1), Frédéric Lacroix(1)
1. Reneco International Wildlife Consultants, LLC

Houbara bustard species (Chlamydotis sp.) conservation breeding programmes: review of their genetic management, challenges and perspectives
Conservation Breeding Programme first aims to "maintain ex-situ populations to help the conservation of a threatened taxon, its genetic diversity, and its habitat". In terms of genetic management, this entails capturing the genetic diversity of wild populations, ensuring its efficient transfer to the captive population while maintaining it through the prevention of loss of genetic diversity, inbreeding and adaptation to captivity. Second, it aims to produce surplus compatible with translocation purposes, both in terms of genetic and numbers. However, translocations often require producing large numbers of individuals which are often considered as incompatible with the application of strict genetic guidelines, though achievement of large scale conservation breeding remain poorly documented. Here we present a long-term review of the genetic management progresses, challenges and perspectives of four large scale Conservation Breeding Programmes of Houbara bustard presenting differences in conservation status of populations, behaviour (resident vs. migratory) and translocation objectives. In 2017, these breeding programmes were housing between 2000 and 13250 adult breeders while the number of chicks hatched ranged from 1790 to 34500. Although our results in terms of founders' contribution, gene diversity or inbreeding emphasize the importance of pedigree and genetic management, they highlight the importance of implementing ex-situ conservation early enough 1) to effectively capture the genetic diversity of targeted populations, including rare alleles that constitutes the drivers of adaptation, and 2) to accommodate for the development of the required zootechnical knowledge to be able to transfer and maintain efficiently this genetic diversity on the long term. [55]

Travis M. Livieri(1), Marc R. Matchett(2), Paul E. Marinari(3), Rachel M. Santymire(4), Dean E. Biggins(5)
1. Prairie Wildlife Research
2. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
3. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
4. Lincoln Park Zoo
5. U.S. Geological Survey

Thirty years of black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) recovery: balancing conservation and science
The black-footed ferret (BFF) program has persevered through extreme habitat loss, political battles, bottlenecked population, introduced disease, human-wildlife conflict and obligate carnivore limitations. The progress of the program is due to its integration of science into management that has been ongoing for 30+years. Three research areas that contributed to this progress were preconditioning for reintroduction, assisted reproductive technology (ART) and disease mitigation. All BFFs experience a preconditioning period where they learn to live outside in prairie dog burrows and are given the opportunity to kill and eat live prairie dogs. Post-release survival rates increased 10-fold when BFFs were preconditioned. Since the late 1980's, scientists have been using ART, including semen collection, evaluation and cryopreservation and artificial insemination (AI), to ensure the long-term maintenance of genetic diversity. To date, 149 BFFs have been produced through AI from males who had not sired. Finally, the BFF recovery program has invested heavily into disease mitigation for canine distemper virus and sylvatic plague. Vaccines for both diseases have been developed for BFFs and a bait vaccine for plague is currently being tested in the field for prairie dogs. To successfully reintroduce the BFF, the program involves a diverse group of partnerships from private landowners, the public, non-profit agencies, zoos, several federal and state agencies and native peoples. The BFF program is a model for other reintroduction programs because it has managed to balance science and management without impeding recovery progress and is committed to using science to inform our conservation actions into the future. [17]

Natasha Lloyd(2), Lauren Harrington(1), Axel Moehrenschlager(2)
1. University of Oxford
2. Calgary Zoo

Animal welfare considerations in reintroductions
Despite differences in focus, goals, and strategies between conservation biology and animal welfare, both are inextricably linked in many ways, and greater consideration of animal welfare, although important in its own right, also has considerable potential to contribute to conservation success. Nevertheless, animal welfare and animal ethics are not always considered explicitly within conservation practice. Eight years ago, two of the authors of this presentation (LH and AM) carried out a systematic review of the literature on reintroductions of captive‐bred and wild‐caught animals (mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles) to quantify the occurrence of animal welfare issues in published reintroduction projects. We identified potential welfare issues (of variable nature and extent) in 67% of 199 projects reviewed; the most common were potentially high mortality rates, dispersal or loss of animals, disease, and human conflict. The aims of this presentation are twofold. First, we present a decision tree that outlines how practitioners can address animal‐welfare issues in reintroductions by considering the potential implications for individual animals at all stages of the release process. This is an aspect of reintroductions that we feel is still somewhat neglected. Second, we incorporate an interactive survey in which we seek the views of practitioners attending the conference on the most important potential animal‐welfare issues, mitigation actions they have used, and information on their efficacy. Moral dilemmas in reintroductions are common and our objective is to work towards transparent evaluation and thus to advance communal strategies for dealing with them. [56]

Kim Lovich(1), Steve Anstey(2), Jone Niukula(3), Robert Fisher(4), Sia Rosalato(2), Adam G. Clause(5), Nunia Thomas-Moko(6)
1. San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, USA
2. Ahura Resorts, Nadi, Fiji
3. National Trust of Fiji, Suva, Fiji
4. United States Geological Survey, San Diego, USA
5. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, USA
6. Nature Fiji-Mareqeti Viti, Suva, Fiji

Conservation of Fijian crested iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) on Malolo Levu Island through collaborative international partnerships
The Melanesian iguanas of the genus Brachylophus represent a highly threatened group of four described living species native to the Fiji Islands. Available genetic and morphological evidence suggests the existence of undescribed Brachylophus species in the northern and eastern islands of the Fiji, and additional western populations require further characterization as to species status. Most western isolates are currently assigned to the Fijian Crested Iguana, Brachylophus vitiensis, which is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Several remnant, recently rediscovered populations of B. vitiensis on Malolo Levu Island are severely imperiled due to wildfires and invasive mammalian predators, which has motivated substantial recent recovery work. Here, we discuss the contributions that each partner has brought to this recovery program under the umbrella of the IUCN SSC's Iguana Specialist Group. Our approach has been multifaceted, involving a unique collaborative team that includes members from the zoological, academic, government, NGO, and tourism sectors. A centerpiece of the program on Malolo Levu Island is an on-site iguana captive breeding and headstart project, which successfully produced its first offspring in 2017. Intensive local mitigation of non-native mammalian predators is also ongoing, together with protection of some wild iguana populations from wildfires. Multi-year monitoring has revealed a recent surge of wild juvenile recruitment, likely in response to these protections. Innovative restoration of the tropical dry forest habitat on which the iguanas depend has also seen remarkable progress. We offer our story as a model of the success possible for cooperative conservation in an international context. [57]

Tanya Martinez(1), David Logue(1)
1. Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources

Captive breeding and dialect formation in the Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata)
Mitigating the effects behavioral changes is a concern for many captive breeding and reintroduction programs. Culturally transmitted behaviors, such as learned vocal signals, are particularly prone to change because captive animals have limited opportunities to learn behaviors from wild animals. Changes in learned behavior could affect the success of reintroduction programs once captive animals are released into the wild. We tested for vocal divergence of learned calls in Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata). We recorded parrots from two captive populations and two wild populations, representing all extant populations of this species. We also recorded parrots that had been translocated between populations and evaluated their vocal changes over time. Fine-scale acoustic analysis revealed discrete vocal dialects in all four populations. This cultural evolution took place over a time span of ten to 40 years, demonstrating that dialects can evolve rapidly in managed parrot populations. Captive parrots that had frequent vocal interaction with wild parrots produced calls that were similar to wild parrot calls. Most parrots that were translocated between populations adopted the new dialect, but the time to adopt the new dialect varied among individuals. The emergence of dialects in this species likely resulted from a combination of historical rearing practices, cultural drift, and geographic separation. Managers in reintroduction programs for vocal learning species should consider strategies to facilitate the acquisition of foreign vocal signals prior to release. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of vocal dialect formation resulting from captive breeding practices. [18]

Joyce Maschinski(1)
1. Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global

Center for Plant Conservation Updated Guidelines for Rare Plant Reintroduction and Other Conservation Translocations
The Center for Plant Conservation, a consortium of over 45 botanical institutions dedicated to plant conservation, updated and consolidated the CPC Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild in 2018. This document reflects updated knowledge about the best scientific practice for plant conservation that will be available in a user-friendly online format. The document integrates reintroduction recommendations in the context of full-spectrum conservation. CPC Best Practices for Rare Plant Reintroduction and Other Conservation Translocations follows sections about wild collections of seeds that can withstand conventional seed banking, collections that require alternatives to conventional seed banking, and genetic considerations for collections, maintenance and reintroductions. All culminate in documentation and data sharing guidelines. New plant reintroduction recommendations address special considerations for using seeds as the founding population in comparison to using whole plants. We present new perspectives about appropriate source populations to use for a reintroduction - mixing population sources may sometimes be appropriate. Selecting the appropriate reintroduction site is key and when populations are highly threatened in situ, it may be necessary to move them outside of current range. We encourage practitioners to monitor long-term, as life history of the species may preclude fast establishment. Guided by these best practices, we aim to facilitate increased success of reintroductions and promote species' survival in the wild. [Thursday 15 November 8:40-9:10]

Bryce Masuda(1), Alison Greggor(1), Susan Farabaugh(1), Joshua Pang-Ching(1,2), Jackie Gaudioso-Levita(3), Donna Ball(4), Jay Nelson(4), Paul Banko(5), Colleen Cole(6), Alex Wang(2), John Vetter(4), Ron Swaisgood(1)
1. San Diego Zoo Global
2. Hawaii Natural Area Reserve System
3. DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
5. U.S. Geological Survey
6. Three Mountain Alliance

Reintroduction of the 'Alalā, or Hawaiian crow (Corvus hawaiiensis)
The critically endangered 'Alalā, or Hawaiian Crow, were once widespread on Hawaii Island but went extinct in the wild in 2002. Since then, successful conservation breeding efforts have increased the population from less than 20 birds to more than 125 individuals. As a result, reintroduction attempts were initiated in late 2016 to restore this species back to its native forest habitat. We discuss soft release techniques used, as well as post-release monitoring and support conducted to facilitate the transition of the 'Alalā from a captive to wild environment. Post-release monitoring includes in-person observations, remote camera observations at supplemental feeding stations, and VHF radio telemetry tracking. We share our field observations of movements, foraging behavior, and general activity of the released 'Alalā, including observations of interactions between the 'Alalā and their only endemic predator: 'Io. We also discuss how releases conducted thus far have informed and guided future release efforts for Hawaii's only remaining endemic corvid. [58]

Suzanne Medina(1)
1. Guam Department of Agriculture - DAWR

Applying lessons learned from releasing Ko'ko' (Guam Rail, Hypotaenidia owstonia) to upcoming Sihek (Micronesian Kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus) releases
Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR), in conjunction with AZA zoos, has an ongoing recovery program for the ko'ko' spanning over 30 years. Captive breeding began with 22 wild-caught birds in the mid-1980s, with releases of captive-bred birds shortly thereafter in 1989. Biologists started the program with little to no natural history known of the ko'ko' prior to its extinction in the wild. Initial success at breeding wild birds was short-lived as captive-bred birds proved difficult. It was over 15 years before biologists began to understand how to address the difficult behavior of captive-bred birds as well as determine the best method for pair selection that fulfills the needs of both captive breeding and release components. At the same time DAWR was tackling challenges with captive breeding, the release program began. It took many years and as many releases to determine habitat requirements needed to ensure release birds have the best chance possible for success in the environments they are released. Methods were dependent on results of previous releases as well as the behavior of released birds. At times, key findings, such as the behavior exhibited by one bird, were overlooked until such incidents were repeated years later. With 30 years of experience, DAWR will use lessons learned from the ko'ko' project to minimize risk when sihek releases begin. This presentation covers the strategy used for the ko'ko' and how it will be applied to sihek captive breeding and releases. [19]

Mahamat Hassan Hacha(1), Justin Chuven(2), John Newby(3), Marc Dethier(3), Tim Wacher(4), Katherine Mertes(5)
1. Ministry of Environment (Chad)
2. Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi
3. Sahara Conservation Fund
4. Zoological Society of London
5. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Restoring the mega-fauna of Chad's Sahel-Sahara ecosystem
In 2016, following a thorough preparatory phase, the Government of Chad and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), launched an ambitious project to reintroduce the scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) into the wild. With the technical assistance of the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF), the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), pre-release facilities were established in the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve, the last place oryx could be found before their extirpation in the late 1980s. On arrival in Chad from Abu Dhabi, the oryx are held in captivity for a few months before release into the wild. The majority of animals are fitted with GPS/VHF collars and their movements monitored remotely and by local, ground-based teams. To date (January 2018) 72 adult oryx have been released and these have started to breed, producing so far, a total of 24 offspring, of which 18 have survived. In the coming years, a further 150-200 captive-bred oryx will be injected into the population. Encouraged by the results so far, the project partners plan on extending the program to include other critically endangered or threatened species - the addax (Addax nasomaculatus), the dama gazelle (Nanger dama) and the North African ostrich (Struthio camelus). The long-term goal of this unique initiative is to restore a viable, secure and free-ranging community of Sahel-Saharan species along with the habitat required for its survival. [20]

Karl E. Miller(1), Alexis Cardas(1), Jay Garcia(2), Ralph Risch(3)
1. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
2. USDA Forest Service
3. Florida Forest Service

Testing assumptions about Florida scrub-jay translocation
Translocation of the threatened Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens; hereafter FLSJ) has been proposed as a strategy to maintain landscape connectivity, to assist populations in recolonizing suitable habitat, and to preserve genetic diversity. The few translocations that have occurred to date mostly involved small, nonviable populations located on private lands with federal incidental take permits. We are conducting research to evaluate assumptions about FLSJ translocation on conservation lands and its impact on source populations and recipient populations. During January 2017 - February 2018, we translocated 26 individuals from Ocala National Forest, including 8 family groups (18 individuals) moved to Seminole State Forest and 8 nonbreeding individuals moved to Rock Springs Run State Reserve. We found no evidence that "soft" release (i.e., housing the birds in an acclimation cage for 1-2 days at the recipient site pre-release) offered any short-term or long-term benefits over "hard" release (i.e., directly releasing the birds without an acclimation period). Short-term success with family groups was 100%, as all settled near their release site and quickly established breeding territories. Apparent survival rates for translocated adults and resident adults did not differ. In addition, some of the nonbreeding "helpers" that we moved paired up and established territories despite their lack of previous breeding experience. Many of these findings contradict previous assumptions about FLSJ translocations, which were based on limited data. Continued research in conjunction with ongoing translocations will determine the longer-term impacts of these manipulations on FLSJ demographics at recipient sites. Experiments planned for 2019-2020 are discussed. [21]

Pedro Mittelman(1), AS Pires(1), C Kreischer(1), FAS Fernandez(1)
1. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro

Return of a seed-dispersal process after scatter-hoarders' reintroduction

Reintroductions are a way to restore animal populations to their native range. Many reintroductions also aim to reestablish processes and interactions lost with animals' local extinction. Nevertheless, they are considered a success only by viable-population criteria, with their consequences on the community and ecosystem levels rarely assessed.

In Tijuca National Park agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina) have been reintroduced in 2010 and currently present a stable population, but their effects on the Park's flora are poorly known. As scatter-hoarders, agoutis can be significant seed dispersers and predators influencing many large seeded plants' populations. Here we evaluate the consequences of reintroduced agoutis in the local population of Joannesia princeps, an Atlantic Forest tree deemed vulnerable by the IUCN, by studying seed dispersal and recruitment processes.

We found that agoutis can act as seed predators or mutualists depending on their local abundance, and dispersal of J. princeps seeds only occurs in areas with D. leporina, evidencing the necessity of agoutis for this plant population. We believe that population dynamics of other large-seeded plants also might be affected by agoutis' presence. We suggest that reintroduction projects assess interactions to understand the importance of reintroductions to ecosystems as a whole. [Thursday 15 November 8:40-9:10]

Zymantas Morkvenas(1)
1. Baltic Environmental Forum

First attempt to translocate Aquatic warbler - Europe's most threatened passerine bird and long-distant migrant
Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) is the most threatened passerine bird species of continental Europe. Currently, the world population is considered to be 11 000 singing males. From 2014 it only breed in 4 countries in the world - in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania.

Following main reasons of population decline: a) damaged hydrological regime of habitats, b) abandonment or intensive farming in breeding habitats, c) eutrophication, d) big fragmentation of local populations, e) low breeding success in territories of intensive farming.

Fragmentation of population increases risk of aquatic warbler extinction in highly isolated territories and decreases vitality of population due to the lower genetic diversity. Observations on population dynamics show that aquatic warblers disappeared (so far irreversibly) in highly isolated populations.

To restore extinct populations that cannot recolonize themselves naturally despite of good quality habitats, translocation of individuals from a highly populated habitat to the restored habitat may be implemented. In the case of aquatic warbler (long distant migrant), translocation has never been tested in a full scale previously.

Pilot Aquatic Warbler translocation was implemented in summer 2018 cross-border transfer of 50 birds from Zvanec fen mire in Belarus (source site) to Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve (release site) in Lithuania. Following phases were implemented: a) collecting nests with young aquatic warblers; b) cross-border transport to the release site; c) raising chick in the nest-boxes and cages indoors; d) adaptation in the outdoor aviaries at the fenmire; e) soft-release to the wild. Intensive 6-week lasting process resulted 98% survival rate until birds release. [Wednesday 14 November 8:40-9:10]

Katherine Moseby(1,2), John Read(2,3), Dave Peacock(3), Anton Blencowie(4), Todd McWhorter(3)
1. University of NSW
2. Ecological Horizons
3. University of Adelaide
4. University of South Australia

New tools for targeted exotic predator control at reintroduction sites
Predation or disease transmission from exotic cats and foxes are the principal threat to populations of many threatened species, particularly in Australasia and island environments. We outline two novel control tools designed to provide targeted and sustainable exotic predator control.

Felixers are automated devices that use an array of sensors to distinguish unrestrained target predators from non-target wildlife and humans at distances of up to 4m. Targets are sprayed with a measured dose of toxin that is ingested when the predator leaves the area and grooms, while the Felixer automatically resets with another sealed cartridge. Images of all animals detected, designation of whether they are sprayed or not, along with the date, time, type of audiolure playing and battery voltage of the solar-powered system are automatically recorded. Felixers are currently being trialled at 14 Australian sites.

Population Protection Implants (PPIs) are microchip-sized, toxic implants inserted safely under the skin of threatened species or Trojan animals that have a special polymer coating that dissolves in the acidic environment of a predators' stomach. These PPIs target the 'catastrophic' predator that learns to target reintroduced or threatened species and hence removes the offending predator after its first kill. These ace hunters are also unlikely to be attracted to baits or baited traps and hence are typically very difficult to control using conventional techniques. We propose that reintroduced individuals and their progeny captured on subsequent monitoring surveys are implanted with a PPI to provide targeted predator control within the range of implanted Trojan animals. [54]

Hanna Mounce(1)
1. Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project

Kiwikiu (Pseudonestor xanthophrys) Recovery Efforts, Maui, Hawaii
Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill; Pseudonestor xanthophrys) are among the most endangered Hawaiian passerine. Recent population assessments estimate less than 312 individuals that occupy ~30 km2. The species in its current range continues to be under unmanageable threat from invasive mammalian predators and non-native disease. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has recommended establishing a second population on the leeward slope of Haleakalā to increase total population size and protect the species from severe weather events or other catastrophic loss in their small current range. Nakula Natural Area Reserve (NAR) was selected as the site of the first experimental releases of Kiwikiu. This forest exists in a deteriorated state as a result of a century of browsing and grazing damage from non-native ungulates. However, large, intact forest sections remain and the majority of this habitat is now either fenced and protected. Following fencing and eradication of ungulates, the forest in this area has begun to recover through natural regeneration and conservation restoration efforts. The first experimental releases of captive and wild Kiwikiu into Nakula NAR are proposed to begin in January 2019. This is the first step of a multi-year effort to implement actions explicitly identified in the USFWS species recovery plan to re-establish a population on southern Haleakalā. The short term goal of this project is to create a disjunct population of Kiwikiu that survives multiple years. The ultimate goal is to establish a self-sustaining population of Kiwikiu on the leeward slopes of Haleakalā. [Wednesday 14 November 15:10-15:40]

Steve Mullin(1)
1. CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Bird Conservation

Multi-species translocation efforts as a conservation tool against introduced predator threats
The brown tree snake has been responsible for the extinction or extirpation of nine species of native forest birds on Guam within the last half-century and has been identified as the single greatest threat to terrestrial ecosystems in the CNMI. Twelve endemic bird species and subspecies that occur in the CNMI could potentially become extinct if the snake is accidentally introduced to the inhabited islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. In response to this threat, biologists from the CNMI DFW, USFWS/WSFR, and Pacific Bird Conservation (PBC) developed an initiative using translocation to produce redundant populations of these endemic bird species on mostly-uninhabited islands. Since 2008, 100 bridled white-eye (BRWE), 74 golden white-eye (GOWE), 35 Mariana fruit-dove (MAFD), and 83 rufous fantail (RUFA) have been translocated to Sarigan and 100 Tinian monarch (TIMO), 98 BRWE, 24 MAFD, and 54 RUFA translocated to Guguan. To monitor long-term success, DFW biologists conducted post-translocation surveys on Sarigan in June 2016. Surveys were conducted at fifty point count stations located within native forest and scrubland/grassland habitats. Density for each species within each habitat type was estimated using detection functions derived in R using the Distance package. Populations (+/- SE) were estimated at 8,239 (6,197-10,955) for BRWE, 1,332 (932-1,903) for GOWE, 203 (154-268) for MAFD, and 2,471 (1,630-3,745) for RUFA. Based on observed population increases, Sarigan so far is an adequate target island for CNMI native birds. Continued monitoring in 5-year intervals and additional translocations to other target islands are scheduled to occur through 2032. [22]

Hisashi Nagata(1), Teruaki Yuta(1), Masao Takahashi(1), Hiromu Nakatsu(1)
1. Center for Toki and Ecological Restoration, Niigata University

Post-release survival and future population growth of re-introduced crested ibis in Japan
The Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) used to be widespread in Japan, but became extinct in the wild in 1981, when the last five birds were captured and put into a captive breeding program. In order to re-establish a wild population, a reintroduction program has been implemented on Sado Island since 2003. As of the end of December 2017, a total of 288 birds have been released into the wild since 2008. It is necessary to know factors affecting post-release survival and breeding performance for successful reintroduction of the ibis. Here, we analyzed how behavioral traits, experience in captivity and genetic traits will affect survival after release. We developed a data set of captive and reintroduced populations of the ibis by combining individual information, case history in captivity, and ecological information following release. Though survival rate at a year later after release is not different between birds fitted with and without PTT, birds with PTT suffered from higher mortality and showed shorter longevity than those without PTT. Survival of reintroduced ibis was also affected by age, gender, rearing manner, and case history in captivity. Parent-raised or host parent-raised birds showed higher survival and adaptability than handraised ones both in captivity and in the wild. Thus, young and parent-raised birds are suitable candidates for release to maximize post-release survival. As several constraints will exist in the captive population, we will discuss a releasing strategy to enhance the reintroduction success of the ibis. [59]

Ben J. Novak(1)
1. Revive & Restore, The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback

Restoring regenerative forest cycles in Eastern North America: the case for passenger pigeon de-extinction
It's widely recognized in forestry literature that, while forest cover increased extensively over the past century in eastern N. America, recovery of biodiversity has not followed; many animal and plant species are declining throughout eastern forests. Heterogenic oak-dominated disturbance forests of the Holocene are being replaced by maple-dominated, closed-canopy systems, which favor communities representing a subset of native biodiversity. The cause is a lack of consistent disturbance in forest ecosystems. Forest disturbance induces regeneration cycles, which in turn, increase forest heterogeneity. Forestry scientists assumed fire was the main agent that historically maintained disturbance/regeneration cycles by clearing the understory and causing canopy damage. To reproduce this process, current management strategies implement controlled burns and shelterwood treatments - processes difficult to scale to the needs of declining species. Still, without these interventions, it is expected that many species will become locally extinct in many regions, if not entirely throughout eastern woodlands. An additional and self-sustaining biological disturbance agent could be restored to achieve long-term forest conservation goals using paleogenomics, precise-hybridization, and reintroduction - i.e. de-extinction of the passenger pigeon. Historically, megaflocks of pigeons induced disturbances optimal for regeneration, clearing undergrowth (via guano deposition) and opening up the canopy (by collapsing branches from overcrowding). New research reveals these megaflocks persisted for tens of thousands of years, meaning that pigeons, more so than fire, were the major historic source of consistent disturbance, making passenger pigeons the former ecological engineers of heterogeneous woodlands. Passenger pigeon de-extinction offers a means to restore ecological processes vital to forest resilience. [60]

Mickey R. Parker(1), Toby Hibbitts(1), Wade Ryberg(1), Lee A. Fitzgerald(1)
1. Texas A&M University

Preliminary results from a conservation translocation of dunes sagebrush lizards (Sceloporus arenicolus) in West Texas
The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) is a habitat specialist that is restricted to the shinnery oak and dune blowout formations in the Mescalero Sands of southeastern New Mexico and the Monahans Sandhills of west Texas. The species' high level of habitat specificity, coupled with its reluctance to cross roads, makes it unlikely that it can colonize new areas of habitat or repopulate areas that have experienced local extinctions. In 2016, we began a project examining translocation as a conservation strategy for the lizard. Prior to this study, Dunes Sagebrush Lizards had not been detected in Crane County, TX since 1970. During the breeding season (April-June), we collected 36 adults (24 female, 12 male) from nearby populations and translocated them to a site in Crane County with suitable habitat that is contiguous with the historical locality. We used a soft-release strategy, keeping the newly translocated individuals in six temporary enclosures constructed from Animex® wildlife fencing. After an acclimation period, we removed the enclosures and monitored the translocated population using a trapping grid of 519 pitfall traps. In 2017, we conducted another round of translocation at the site with 34 adults and 6 hatchlings. Gravid females successfully laid clutches in both years. We will continue monitoring the incipient population over the next two years to examine growth, survival, reproduction, and dispersal. Here we will present findings to date and discuss factors that will likely affect the dynamics of the incipient population. [23]

Stesha A. Pasachnik(1,2), Milton Riebach(3), David Reid(4), Tandora Grant(1,5)
1. IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group
2. Fort Worth Zoo
3. Hope Zoo Jamaica
4. National Environmental Planning Agency Jamaica
5. San Diego Zoo Global

Preventing the extinction of the world's most endangered lizard, the Jamaican Rock Iguana
Caribbean Rock Iguanas, genus Cyclura, are among the most imperiled group of lizards in the world. Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Redlist, the endemic Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei) is arguably the most endangered among the Cyclura. Considered extinct by the 1940s, largely due to habitat conversion and Invasive Alien Species (IAS), the Jamaican Iguana was re-discovered in 1990, in the tropical dry forest of Hellshire Hills. This remote and ancient ecosystem occurs along Jamaica's southeast coast and is one of the most extensive tropical dry forests in the Caribbean. Early surveys of this area resulted in only a handful of positive iguana identifications in a small portion of the forest. These observations nonetheless galvanized the zoo and conservation community to develop an extensive international recovery effort, consisting of IAS monitoring and removal, nest site monitoring and protection, and a local headstart and release program. Today the Jamaican Iguana program is considered among the world's emerging conservation success stories with nearly 400 iguanas released back into the wild. However, despite over 25 years of recovery efforts, the Hellshire Hills continue to be threatened by encroaching development, habitat modification and destruction, and a plethora of IAS, that are known to depredate the iguanas in particular. Moving forward the management approach must be improved if this species is to be conservation independent. Future management strategies include expanding the control zone in Hellshire Hills to include a large buffer zone as well as restoring neighboring and off-shore sites for reintroduction. [Thursday 15 November 15:10-15:40]

Bushra Allah Rakha(1), Javeria Batool, Komal Shakeel, Faryal Akhter, Muhammad Sajjad Ansari
1. Department of Wildlife Management, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi-46000, Pakistan
2. Department of Zoology, University of Lahore, Sargodhar Campus, Sargodha-40100, Pakistan

Breeding biology of Himalayan Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys) in Margalla Hills National Park, Pakistan
The breeding biology of himalayan bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys) was studied in Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP), Pakistan. A total of 41 nests were marked in the study area and from which 12 active and successful nests for breeding activity. The maximum (33.3%) successful nests were placed at the top of the shrubs followed by fork (25%), middle (25%) and in between (16.6%). The preferred height for nest construction from ground was 1.1-2.0 m (75%) and only 25% nests were placed at 2.1-3.0 m height. Himalayan bulbul preferred to make nests on Carrisa opaca (58.3%) followed by Dodonia viscosa (25%) and Snatha (16.6%). Average clutch size of Himalayan bulbul was three eggs (41.6%) followed by two eggs (33.3 %), 4 eggs (16.6%) and one egg (8.33%) was recorded in the study area. A total of 32 eggs were found in the successful nests. However, the hatchling and fledgling success was found highly variable and maximum eggs were predated by red vented bulbul and hawks (66.6%) in the study area. Only 6 (18.7%) eggs were hatched, while remaining 18.74% eggs were either infertile or loss during harsh climatic conditions. Out of these six eggs, only 3 (50%) were fledged and other 3 (50%) were predated by hawks or fallen out from nests and died. It is concluded that red vented bulbul affects badly the breeding of Himalayan bulbul in the study area. It occupies nests built by the Himalayan bulbul, predate on eggs and even nest damages were also recorded. [Wednesday 14 November 15:10-15:40]

Jessica L. Roberts(1), David Luther(1)
1. George Mason University

The use and effectiveness of behavior as a captive management tool for threatened species reintroduction
Captive breeding is an essential component for the recovery of many threatened species. However, studies have shown poor success rates for captive breeding-for-release programs in terms of survivorship, establishment, and ultimately creating self-sustaining populations. One method to improve the success of captive breeding programs is the integration of behavior-based management (BBM), which teaches wild behaviors to captive animals before their release. Without natural environments, stressors, or conspecific parents, poorly implemented captive breeding programs can result in individuals with maladapted behaviors unfit for survival in the wild. BBM rearing protocols can be adjusted to raise individuals with behaviors more akin to their wild conspecifics. To assess the use and success of BBM we created a peer-reviewed literature database for all terrestrial vertebrates listed under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species that had captive breeding and reintroduction as action in place for the species. From these papers, we collected relevant data on each species' captive environment, the presence or lack of BBM, reintroduction techniques, and monitoring after release. The aim of our study is to look for patterns in the literature that indicate what types of BBM are associated with reintroduction success (high post-release survivorship and reproduction), and what species or taxa, if any, are most likely to benefit from BBM. By identifying what techniques aid specific captive-raised species to survive in their post-release environment, reintroduction science will become more efficient and effective, saving money and time while still restoring endangered species. [61]

Javier Romero(1,3), Marta López-Darias(1), Mariano Hernández(2), Gonzalo Albaladejo(2), Alejandro Suárez-Pérez(2), Manuel Nogales(1), Francisco J. Sosa(4), Aurelio Martín(2)
1. Island Ecology and Evolution Research Group (CSIC-IPNA), La Laguna, Spain
2. Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3. PhD student from the Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
4. Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Spain

Rethinking reintroduction as a valuable integral conservation tool: the case of an island pigeon
Islands tend to have lower species richness, more endemic species, and more pronounced extinction rates than mainland ecosystems. It makes island biota particularly vulnerable to habitat degradation, hunting and invasive species. As a consequence, many species have gone extinct on islands worldwide, especially on oceanic islands. The loss of these species also means a loss of interactions among species, such as those between plants and frugivores. Plant-frugivore interactions are important for the resilience of ecosystems to global change because frugivores disperse the seeds of many plants and thereby contribute to reproductive success, colonization ability and genetic structure of plant populations. Due to the frequent absence of large-bodied mammals on oceanic islands, these frugivore assemblages tend to be dominated by relative large birds such as pigeons.

Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain) is a highly populated sub-tropical oceanic island, where the most emblematic forest ecosystem was totally destroyed, causing the local extinction of the largest frugivorous species: two endemic pigeons. After decades of attempts to restore fragments of forest, the reintroduction of these birds has been a real encouragement to reforest the island and reconnect people with its lost natural heritage. In the absence of large mammals, the charisma of an endemic pigeons is mobilizing funds (and seeds) for the restoration of an entire ecosystem, providing multiple benefits -ecological, social and economics- on a local scale.

In this poster presentation, in addition to giving information about this reintroduction project, we highlight the conservation potential of pigeons as flagship-umbrella-key species for the restoration of oceanic island ecosystems. [Thursday 15 November 8:40-9:10]

Ana Carolina Rosas(1), Emanuel Galetto(1), Sebastian Di Martino(1), Magali Longo(1), Jorge Peña(1), Juan Pablo Vallejos(1), Talia Zamboni(1), Alicia Delgado(1), Gustavo Solis(1)
1. The Conservation Land Trust

Negative impact with use radio collar telemetry in Pecari tajacu reintroduction project, Corrientes, Argentina
In a collar peccary reintroduction a large number of factors need to be considered prior, during and after translocating individuals. Some of then affect post-release survival and therefore reintroduction success. In order to determine which factors influence, decide to apply or not in future reintroductions, intensive post release monitoring is required. Several authors and managers have proposed using radio collars telemetry for this specie. Nevertheless our team reported potential negative impacts using different type of radio collars for monitoring. The NGO The Conservation Land trust with the goal to restore a self sustaining population of collared peccaries in the Ibera Natural Reserve, has translocated 6 groups of peccaries, starting in 2015 with the first group. All the translocations were monitored. Of 51 reintroduced animals 37 had radio collar. 56,75 % of the animals registered problems linked to radio collar. 66,66 % of them reported a front limb hooked with the radio collar. The interventions were needed in 85,71 % the individuals with collar problems, to reduce the negative impact, unhook and heal the limbs and sometimes removing the collar. The monitoring in reintroductions projects are very important to evaluate the release success, learn lessons and applied to future reintroduction. In these case the radio collar telemetry can negatively affect the period of adaptation and the survival of Pecari tajacu individuals. [62]

Typhaine Rousteau(1), Jean-Baptiste Mihoub(1), Olivier Duriez(2), François Sarrazin(1)
1. Centre d'Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation (CESCO UMR7204), Sorbonne Université, MNHN, CNRS, CP135, 43 rue Buffon, 75005, Paris, France
2. Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE UMR5175), Université de Montpellier, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France

Long-term assessment of survival, dispersal and nest site suitability in a network of reintroduced populations: Cinereous vultures in France
Post-release monitoring is necessary to assess reintroduction outcomes and to identify causes of failure to prioritize management actions adaptatively. Recently, Robert et al. (2015) proposed to assess the success of reintroduction programs through viability criteria only once the restored populations reach the regulation phase. However, program assessments are important well before the regulation phase could be reached, and it remains unclear whether and how these criteria could be applied to metapopulation restoration. The three reintroduction programs of cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) conducted in France during the last two decades represent an opportunity to assess reintroduction toward success criteria in a restored metapopulation context and while populations are still in the phase of either establishment or growth. Focusing on demographic assessments, we first estimated post-release survival while accounting for dispersal in the other release areas using multi-event and multi-site Capture-Mark-Recapture analysis from 283 life histories of marked individuals between 1992 and 2016. Then, we assessed a component of population regulation by evaluating the availability of suitable breeding habitats across the distribution range. Quantifying habitat suitability is needed for anticipating the carrying capacity to be expected in the regulation phase. We conducted habitat suitability analysis taking into account the presence of 125 nest sites identified between 1996 and 2017 in the three reintroduced populations and a set of 12 environmental variables at various scales. Our results provide essential information to assess project outcomes of the reintroduction projects with respect to the viability of the (meta)population. [24]

Jane Rudebusch(1), Ellen Hines(1)
1. Estuary & Ocean Science Center, San Francisco State University

Using spatial risk assessments to inform reintroduction of the southern sea otter into a highly urbanized estuary
Despite decades of federal and state protection, the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)-today found solely in California-continues to experience sluggish population growth and has reclaimed only a fraction of its historic range. Managers of this threatened species have identified the growing need to facilitate range expansion via reintroductions in order to address the challenges facing southern sea otter recovery. San Francisco Bay has been identified as a candidate site for reintroduction, but despite having historic presence in the Bay, sea otters have been absent from this ecosystem for over a century and it is unknown whether they could live in this highly urbanized estuary today. Sea otters attempting to resettle San Francisco Bay will contend with threats from a diverse array of human uses in the Bay, at a magnitude far greater than is currently experience anywhere else within their current geographic range. To address this knowledge gap, we used a spatially-explicit risk assessment framework to assess the quality and availability of sea otter habitat given exposure to multiple anthropogenic stressors. By incorporating risk into predictive habitat suitability modeling we are able to provide critical information to managers about the potential threats sea otters will face that could undermine efforts to reoccupy their historic home range. [63]

Allison Sacerdote-Velat(1), Mary Beth Manjerovic(2), Rachel Santymire(3)
1. Chicago Academy of Sciences, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
2. Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA, 24450, USA
3. Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

Using habitat restoration and innovation to recover threatened amphibian species in Illinois
Amphibians are the most endangered taxonomic group with one-third of known species facing extinction. In Midwestern US, habitat degradation and disease have threatened once-common species. A 2008 reintroduction effort for extirpated Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) successfully established a breeding population in a hydrologically restored site. Local restoration focus shifted to promoting oak recruitment via canopy gap management and invasive understory removal. As restoration progresses, we are examining: 1) reintroduced and resident amphibian demography and community response, 2) changes in incidence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and 3) stress levels. As habitat improves, we expect increased catch per unit effort (CPUE) and diversity, and decreased mean cortisol (CORT) levels and Bd incidence. Using photo mark-recapture, Bd swabs and a novel, innovative method to collect CORT via dermal swabs, we are sampling five restoration sites and one control site. Three sites had both gap and understory management, while two had only gap management. Gap and understory treatment sites had greater CPUE and diversity than gap-only sites. Wood Frog representation in the reintroduction site increased from 5.6% of the total catch in 2016 to 20% in 2017. Resident amphibian representation varied across species. Bd sample prevalence decreased from 17.5% in 2016 (n = 194) to 13% in 2017 (n = 313). Bd was detected in four of six sites, and in six of nine species in both years. CORT levels of each species were similar across sites, and management treatments, but Bd-postive Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens) had greater CORT levels. [25]

Anne-Gabriela Schmalstieg(1), Corinna Esterer(1), Johannes Fritz(1)
1. Waldrappteam, Schulgasse 28, 6162 Mutters, Austria

Socially involved hand-rearing and training method for the human-led migration as part of the reintroduction of the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) in Europe
The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a migratory bird and is one of the most endangered bird species worldwide. A European LIFE+ reintroduction project aims to establish a population in Central Europe with a new migration tradition between breeding sites in Austria and Germany and a common wintering area in Italy. The major release method is the so called human-led migration with human-imprinted juveniles. For that need, the offspring of captive zoo breeding colonies are taken to be hand-reared by human foster parents and trained to follow them in a microlight. After the singular journey to the wintering area the juveniles are released into the wild. During hand-rearing a strong social bond between the juvenile birds and their human foster parents is established. In the course of a 13-year feasibility study the method of so called socially involved hand-rearing was continuously improved. Meanwhile, two foster parents raise and train groups of up to 32 birds per year and lead them to the South with daily flight stages of up to 360 km. The poster specifies our method of socially involved hand-rearing including the training to follow the microlight. The project is implemented with 50% contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union (LIFE+12-BIO_AT_000143, LIFE Northern Bald Ibis). [64]

Andrea Schreier(1), Daphne Gille(1), Amanda J. Finger(1), Melinda Baerwald(2), Brian Schreier(2), Ted Sommer(2)
1. Genomic Variation Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, University of California Davis
2. California Department of Water Resources

Experiments to inform a supplementation strategy for the endangered Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus)
The delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) is a state and federally listed species that is endemic to the San Francisco Bay-Delta, California. Delta smelt have been declining since the 1980s and recent abundance indices are the lowest on record. As part of a suite of other actions, managers are considering supplementing the wild population with individuals from an existing captive refugial population as a safeguard against extinction. We are conducting experiments to identify a supplementation strategy, should such action be necessary, that will maximize benefit to the wild population while minimizing risk. First, we are testing methods to reduce domestication selection such as using hatching frames developed for the closely related wakasagi (Hypomesus nipponensis) to hatch fertilized delta smelt eggs in a natural environment. Second, we are testing whether calcein dye can be used to mark fertilized delta smelt eggs before deployment of hatching frames to track post-release survival. Third, enclosure prototypes are being developed and tested to see if cultured delta smelt can survive under a variety of conditions both in the laboratory and in situ. Fourth, we are performing pathogen screening of both wild and cultured delta smelt as well as environmental samples from potential release locations to evaluate disease transmission risk. Finally, we are writing a hatchery and genetic management plan to provide additional recommendations for both refugial population management and genetic monitoring specific to supplementation efforts. Our poster will describe and provide preliminary results from these efforts to develop an optimal supplementation strategy for delta smelt. [65]

Karin Schwartz(1)
1. George Mason University

A One Plan Approach to Data Management for Species Conservation via the Species360 Zoological Information Management System
With anthropogenic factors accelerating the species extinction rate 100 to 1000 times the natural rate, biodiversity conservation is mandatory for sustainability of the natural world. Through a One Plan Approach, species conservation strategies would involve both in situ (in the wild) and ex situ (under managed care) communities where appropriate, for integrative conservation action planning, implementation, and adaptive management. Zoos and aquariums are centers committed to biodiversity conservation, with many involved in captive breeding for reintroduction, head-starting animals to increase post-release juvenile survival, wildlife health assessments, rescue/rehabilitation/release of injured wildlife or supplementation programs to increase wild populations. All scenarios require integration of ex situ and in situ components, including data management, for overall species conservation.

Species360 is the managing authority of the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), a global web-based database system for animal records for over 1100 zoological institutions worldwide. ZIMS includes leading-edge web-based technologies, data warehousing and veterinary care tracking functionality, enabling real-time global access to ex situ husbandry and health records for collaborative efforts in husbandry, health care, and population management. By investigating current data management practices for 10 threatened species recovery programs, the researcher identified types of in situ and ex situ data collected and databases used, how data were analyzed and explored how Species360 could integrate data management processes. This would make individual/group records accessible to both ex situ and in situ communities, facilitate information exchange for PHVA modeling, identify overall health trends, facilitate coordinated use of population management tools, and inform for adaptive management. [Thursday 15 November 15:10-15:40]

Gary Slater(1), Kathleen Foley(1), Genevieve Singleton(1), Jim Lynch(1)
1. Center for Natural Lands Management, San Juan Preservation Trust, Cowichan Valley Naturalists Society, Joint Base Lewis McChord Military Base

Reintroduction of Western bluebirds, a short-distant migrant, in the Pacific Northwest
Since 2007, numerous partners have been working to restore a regional population of Western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) to their former range in western Washington and southwestern British Columbia through reintroduction. This secondary cavity-nester and short-distance migrant was considered common in oak-prairie habitats during the early 1900's, but populations began disappearing in the mid-1900s due to habitat loss and fragmentation and competition for nesting cavities. We translocated and released 134 (99 adults) individuals on San Juan Island, WA and 110 (56 adults) individuals into the Cowichan Valley, BC during the periods from 2007 to 2011 and 2012 to 2016, respectively. JBLM in south Puget Sound served as the primary source population. At both reintroduction sites, initial results indicated reintroduction success: population sizes increased (max: 38 adults on San Juan Island and 29 adults in Cowichan Valley) and demographic rates were similar to other large populations in the region. However, both populations declined following cessation of translocations, and on San Juan Island emergency translocations were initiated in 2014. Unexpected barriers to project success include: high nest predation rates and adult female mortality from mesopredators and house sparrows and low juvenile recruitment rates. Active management to make nest boxes safer will be required for the long-term success of the project. Dispersal events have been recorded among the reintroduction sites and the donor population in south Puget Sound. Conservation actions that help expand the size of the South Sound population will also likely improve long-term viability of the regional reintroduced population. [Wednesday 14 November 15:10-15:40]

Sven Stadtmann(1)

1. University of Otago, Department of Zoology

Assessing habitat quality and management costs of species translocation sites
Selecting release sites with good habitat quality is one of the most critical steps in any reintroduction project. While good progress is being made by practitioners towards more systematic site assessments and translocation experiments, detailed descriptions of these approaches are rare in the literature. In addition, the term "habitat" remains, despite being a fundamental ecological concept, poorly defined and a potential source of confusion.

Reviewing a variety of definitions, I understand habitat not as vegetation associations, but as an area containing a species-specific set of resources and environmental conditions that allows a population to persist. I apply this understanding in an interdisciplinary case study on New Zealand's South Island Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri). My main objective is to develop a systematic approach for assessing both habitat quality and management costs of potential reintroduction sites.

I introduce a multi-scale methodology for identifying release sites that addresses the various scales at which species select habitat - beginning with a coarse investigation at landscape scale using geographic information systems. I then develop a system to estimate the management and establishment costs associated with reintroduction sites. These costs vary depending on factors such as land cover, remoteness, topography, and average land value. The integration of both ecological and economic aspects into a common analytical framework will help conservation practitioners to make better and sustainable management decisions about species translocation sites. [26]

Erik Runquist(1), Cale Nordmeyer(1), Tara Harris(1), Emily Royer(1), Seth Stapleton(1)
1. Minnesota Zoo

Planning and adapting prairie butterfly conservation interventions in the face of rapid population declines
Though historic prairie loss has driven population declines of numerous species, some North American prairie butterfly populations have dwindled over the past two decades even where habitat remains. The endangered Poweshiek skipperling has disappeared from >95% of its former range and may now number fewer than 500. The historically sympatric Dakota skipper has also experienced significant declines in recent years and is federally threatened in the US. The causes of these and other prairie butterfly population declines are not fully understood, though multiple hypotheses exist. With time running out to reverse these declines and prevent extinction, a group of prairie butterfly experts and agency staff convened in 2015 to weigh options. Facilitated by the Conservation Planning Specialist Group, the group used IUCN Ex situ Management Guidelines to make difficult decisions about whether to utilize the imperiled wild populations to create ex situ conservation programs. Recommendations included research to better understand threats to wild populations, a research and reintroduction program for Dakota skipper, and a head-starting program for Poweshiek skipperling. The Minnesota Zoo and partners have worked to develop the ex situ conservation programs and conduct threats research. IUCN Reintroduction Guidelines were also used to plan the recommended releases. A collaborative group of partners that is willing to adapt quickly to unexpected issues has proven to be very important. The Minnesota Zoo's first reintroduction of zoo-bred Dakota skippers began in 2017, with breeding and egg-laying observed among released butterflies. Our first release of head-started Poweshiek skipperlings is planned for 2018. [27]

Carolina Starling-Manne(1), A. Fernando(1), S. Fernandez(1)
1. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Tortoise reintroduction as a species conservation and rewilding tool: the Brazilian Atlantic Forest case
The loss of ecological functions due to defaunation is a pervasive phenomenon threatening ecosystems in the Anthropocene. Defaunated forests lack interactions vital to their long term conservation, notably the dispersal of large-seeded plants. The Atlantic Forest (AF) is a biodiversity hotspot of which only 12% remains, mostly as impoverished small fragments. The reintroduction of a forest tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus) can be a useful tool for both habitat restoration and species conservation, for this species is an important disperser of seeds up to 40mm diameter, causing ingested seeds very little damage. The tortoise's ecological history in the biome is unclear, but there are signs of its extirpation from most of the AF due to hunting pressure and habitat loss, as supported by naturalists' reports and the species' life history. We have mapped its extirpation through time, linking it to the chronology of human settlement. The credit of ecological interactions to be cashed with the reintroduction of the species in the AF was estimated, with plant species of special concern being highlighted. We recommend the reintroduction of this tortoise to restore dispersal of large seeded plants throughout its original range, as it is a far better candidate to perform this function in small fragments than its ecological equivalents. A tortoise reintroduction is currently underway in an AF fragment to test its effects and model the species' seed dispersal, as part of REFAUNA, a refaunation initiative in the Tijuca National Park, Rio de Janeiro. [66]

Zoe Stone(1), Martine Maron(1), Lynn Baker(2)
1. University of Queensland
2. NSW Office of Environment & Heritage

Getting it right from the start: pre-release habitat management and captive breeding of the northern Eastern Bristlebird
The northern population of the Eastern Bristlebird is at a critical stage in its conservation. With a wild estimated population of only 38 individuals, and only 5 known breeding pairs, intensive management actions are needed to avoid its extinction. Reintroductions will be a critical action needed to increase the population. The northern bristlebird occurs in grassy forest habitat on rainforest margin along the Queensland-New South Wales border of Australia. The dynamic nature of this habitat, along with the logistic complications of being found across a state border mean pre-release habitat management and stakeholder cooperation will be vital for the success of this project. As part of this work, the Eastern Bristlebird Recovery-Northern Working Group has begun pre-release habitat management and captive breeding initiatives based on collaborative research on habitat requirements, importance of fire and population genetics. This research has identified key habitat characteristics associated with long-term persistence of bristlebirds, and developed appropriate fire management strategies to improve habitat and avoid loss of grassy understorey from rainforest and weed encroachment. This presentation will provide an overview of the northern bristlebird recovery efforts, including how investment in pre-release research and management is aiding the conservation effort, and how genetic issues associated with the small, isolated population are being considered in the captive breeding program. [28]

Washington Tapia(1), James P. Gibbs(1), Linda J. Cayot(1)
1. Galapagos Conservancy; State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Reintroductions to restore a species complex: the first fifty years of giant tortoise restoration in Galapagos
Current aggregate numbers of Galapagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) are estimated to be a mere 20% of the historical population. Of the 11 extant species, five are considered Critically Endangered, three Endangered, and three Vulnerable. Tortoises were driven to extinction by humans on three islands. Over fifty years of conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands have initiated the restoration of giant tortoise populations across the archipelago through a combination of strategies developed "species by species" according to the status of each tortoise population and its threats. A head-starting program begun in 1965 has released over 8,000 juvenile tortoises into nine populations. This work includes both captive breeding groups and collection of eggs/hatchlings from nests in the wild that are reared to approximately five years old before released back into the wild. Field surveys indicate post-liberation survival rates over 50%. In 2010, a group of 39 adult hybrid tortoises were sterilized and released onto Pinta Island (tortoise species now extinct) to carry out the critical role of ecosystem engineer especially during the recovery of the vegetation following the eradication of goats in 2006. In 2015, a replacement species was used for the first time in Galapagos to reintroduce tortoises to Santa Fe Island, where the original species went extinct over 150 years ago. The long-term goal is to restore Galapagos giant tortoise populations to their historical distribution and numbers, a process now well underway. [67]

Helen R. Taylor(1), Neil J. Gemmell(1)
1. Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Lindo Ferguson Building, Great King Street, Dunedin, 9016, New Zealand

Are translocated males firing blanks? Sperm biology, genetics and reintroduction management in threatened birds
Reintroduced populations are often, by necessity, founded with relatively few individuals. A small founding population can lead to reduced genetic diversity, and increased mating between relatives (inbreeding), both of which can lead to reduced fitness. Specifically, inbreeding is known to negatively affect male fertility across numerous species of mammals, plants, and insects. Surprisingly, very little is known about the impact of inbreeding on sperm quality in birds - common subjects for reintroductions. We used a specially designed mobile sperm laboratory to measure sperm quality (speed, morphology, and DNA fragmentation) in hihi/stitchbirds (Notiomystis cincta), a vulnerable nectivore endemic to New Zealand. We sampled semen from 128 male hihi across four populations, all of which except one were founded via translocations. Inbred hihi are known to exhibit increased hatching failure compared to less inbred individuals, but the cause of this failure remains unknown. Our sperm quality data suggest at least some of these failures are due to poor male fertility, as a result of reduced genetic diversity and increased inbreeding. We are also measuring inbreeding in reintroduced hihi populations using >10,000 genetic markers. Establishing whether inbred male birds exhibit lower fertility will improve the management of reintroduced avian populations and help maximise breeding success. [68]

Sasha J. Tetzlaff(1), Jinelle H. Sperry(1), Bruce A. Kingsbury(1), Brett A. DeGregorio(1)
1. Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Effects of environmental enrichment and rearing duration on head-starting success for eastern box turtles
Releasing captive-reared animals into nature (head-starting) is a popular reintroduction tactic, but outcomes of such efforts can be variable. Two prevalent factors that may affect head-starting success are the conditions animals are housed in and for how long they are raised in captivity before release. To offset the deleterious effects of captivity and enhance post-release success, practitioners have reared animals with environmental enrichment, such as providing naturalistic enclosures with physical features simulating release sites. Using 32 captive-born eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina), half of which were raised in environmentally enriched enclosures, we employed a factorial design to explore how enrichment and time in captivity affected post-release movement, growth, and survival. Six enriched and six unenriched turtles were released and radio-tracked after nine months of rearing (cohort one), and 20 turtles (ten in each treatment) were released and tracked after spending an additional year in captivity (cohort two). We found no evidence that enrichment affected movement, growth, or survival post-release. However, cohort two had higher survival than cohort one, perhaps because their larger body sizes prevented predation (the main cause of death) from smaller predators. This group also dispersed farther from the release area overall than cohort one. Our findings suggest attaining larger body sizes over a longer captive-rearing period may be more effective than environmental enrichment for enhancing post-release survival, particularly for species like turtles that grow slowly and typically experience substantial juvenile predation. [29]

Charles Thévenin(1), Maud Mouchet(1), Alexandre Robert(1), Christian Kerbiriou(1), François Sarrazin(1)
1. Sorbonne Université, MNHN, CNRS, UMR7204 CESCO, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 43 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris

Reintroductions of birds and mammals involve evolutionarily distinct species at the regional scale
Reintroductions offer a powerful tool for reversing the effects of species extirpation. However this species-centered conservation approach has been criticized for its strong biases toward charismatic birds and mammals. Here, we investigated the potential contribution of reintroductions to the conservation of evolutionary diversity within these two groups at a continental scale (i.e., Europe, North and Central America). We found that reintroduced birds and mammals of the two subcontinents tend to be more evolutionarily distinct than expected by chance, despite strong taxonomic biases leading to low values of phylogenetic diversity. The selection of candidate species for reintroduction considers management constraints as well as the priority of a species for recovery, of which evolutionary history is only one component. While evolutionary considerations are unlikely to have explicitly driven the allocation of reintroduction efforts, our results illustrate an interest of reintroduction practitioners toward species with fewer close relatives. The recent exponential increase in the number of implemented programs provides opportunities to assess the relevance of the allocation of reintroduction efforts. However it is important to ponder the type of diversity that could be supported by reintroductions (e.g. phylogenetic, functional or taxonomic). Also, because reintroductions rely on a parochial approach of conservation, it is important to first understand how the motivations and constraints at stake in a local context can induce biases before trying to assess the relevance of the allocation of reintroduction efforts to the conservation of biodiversity at larger scales. [69]

Markus Unsöld(1), Johannes Fritz(1)
1. Waldrappteam, Bavarian State Collection of Zoology

Reintroduction of migratory birds: pros and cons of migratory and resident populations
With changing climate conditions, in various migratory bird species populations tend to shorten the migration route or even change from a migratory to a resident lifestyle. For example, Western European White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) populations successively shorten their migration journey and remain in Europe over winter, some of them even in the breeding area.

In the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita), the last remaining wild population at the Atlantic coast in Morocco is resident, while the majority of former wild populations all over the historic breeding range including Morocco were known to be migratory.

Currently, two Northern Bald Ibis reintroduction projects are going on in Europa. In Spain, Proyecto Eremita is on the way to establish a resident population, while Waldrappteam in Central Europe works on a migratory release population.

Using these two projects as examples, we discuss the pros and cons of both methods, resident and migratory release, with a migratory bird species. More overall, the major question is whether the maintenance of the migratory life style is essential for the conservation of migratory birds.

The project is implemented with 50 % contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union (LIFE+12-BIO_AT_000143, LIFE Northern Bald Ibis). [70]

Leonie Valentine(1), Catherine Ryan(1), Christopher Johnson(1), Richard Hobbs(1)
1. University of Western Australia & University of Tasmania

Reducing fire risk by reintroducing threatened ecosystem engineers
Many of the world's threatened species are considered ecosystem engineers due to the functional role they provide in landscapes, and the reintroduction of these species may assist in restoring ecosystem processes. Digging animals are increasingly recognised as important contributors to nutrient cycling, soil health and vegetation composition as they substantially disrupt and modify the ground's surface by creating foraging pits or burrows. We propose that the extensive disturbance to the soil and litter layer may also modify fuel distribution and availability, potentially altering fire intensity and extent in some environments. Inappropriate fires are a threatening process in Australian landscapes, presenting major management issues along a spectrum of protected areas, from urban reserves to remote national parks. Many of Australia's threatened digging mammals, such as bandicoots and bettongs, are the focus of reintroduction programs, and understanding how their reintroduction may alter fire risk will inform broader landscape management decisions. We develop a conceptual model for understanding the mechanisms by which reintroduced digging animals can contribute to altered fire regimes. In addition, we experimentally examined how the reintroduction of a marsupial bandicoot, quenda (Isoodon fusciventer), alters surface fuel loads in an urban bush reserve in Perth, Western Australia. Within four years of reintroduction, foraging activities of quenda had halved surface fuel loads compared to plots where quenda were absent (e.g. 3.4 c.f. 6.2 tonnes ha-1). Managing fire is a considerable concern for conservation managers around the globe, and the reintroduction of some threatened species may have added value for reducing fire risk. [30]

Gabriela Vigo Trauco(1), Janice Boyd(1), Donald Brightsmith(2)
1. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Texas A&M University
2. Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Texas A&M University. Tambopta Macaw Project

Increasing survival of macaw chicks using foster parents in the wild
The use of foster parents in avian population management is a technique with great potential to aid in the recovery of highly endangered species. However, few studies have studied how to accomplish this successfully. Our research shows that Scarlet Macaws in southeastern Peru hatch 2-4 chicks per nest but just 1.3 of them fledge. Here about 22% of all hatched chicks die of starvation and starvation is the most common cause of chick death. Parents always raise the first chick that hatches, but 45% of second chicks, 97% all of third and 100% of all fourth chicks are left to starve to death by their parents. Our goal was to develop and test new techniques to increase survival of wild Scarlet Macaw chicks by reducing chick starvation. We hypothesized that we could pull chicks at risk of starvation, raise them in captivity to about 18 days of age then move them to nests with only one chick to increase their chances of survival. Our results show that all translocated macaw chicks were successfully accepted by their foster parents (N=15 chicks, 2 consecutive breeding seasons) and 93% of the translocated chicks fledged successfully. Overall we increased fledging success per available nest from 18% (1999 - 2016 average) to 29% (2017 and 2018) and decreased chick death by starvation from 19% to 4%. These findings show that the use of foster parents in the wild is a promising management tool to aid wild parrot population recovery in areas with low reproductive success. [31]

Marcelo R. Vilarta(1), Linda N. Wittkoff(1), Nívia G. Pinto(1), William K. Wittkoff(1), Wallace C. Wittkoff(1), Claudia B. Wittkoff(2), William C. Wittkoff(2), Luis F. Silveira(3)

1. Fundação Lymington
2. IDEFLOR-Bio
3. Museu de Zoologia da USP

Reintroduction of the Golden Conure (Guaruba guarouba) in protected areas in Brazilian Amazon Forest
Brazil is the country with the highest number of parrots, but accounting for a large number of threatened species. The Golden Conure is a Brazilian endemic, occurring only in the Amazon forest. It is currently considered as threatened of extinction by deforestation and capture for the illegal market. However, it is fairly common in captivity. Lymington Foundation has a large expertise in captive breeding of this species, and through a partnership with IDEFLOR, a group of 14 birds were selected to start the first attempt to reintroduce this species. The birds selected for reintroduction were hand reared and after passed through standard health exams were sent to a protected area in Belém, where the species was extinct since the 1940's. The birds were trained during 5 months to recognize the local food items, identify and react against predators and also were used as catalysts to involve the local population on their protection through environmental education. By now, 11 golden conures have been released and are currently being monitored. Some live by the vicinity of the release site, others are far away. Current success milestones include: (1) couples recorded mating in the wild, (2) predator attacks successfully evaded and (3) many new food items consumed. This project aims to release over 30 more individuals until November. The data will be used to produce a release protocol for this species and for reintroduction of parrots in Brazil. [32]

Kerri Wolter(1)
1. VulPro NPC

The interface between vulture rehabilitation, translocation and conservation
Africa's vultures have declined by 80 to 90% over the past three decades from anthropogenic threats included but not limited to poisonings, collisions with electricity infrastructures and power line electrocutions, trade for cultural beliefs, lack of available and safe food and, direct human persecutions. In order to counteract the losses and prevent the extinction of Africa's vultures, VulPro engages a holistic approach incorporating both in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies. None-releasable vultures that come into VulPro for rehabilitation form part of the ex-situ population and are bred to produce individuals which form part of our pilot release study's. GPS transmitter units are placed on all our released individuals and this assists us to monitor individuals and enables us to relocate them to establish if they are successfully finding food and water. This transmitter data then forms part of our research programs to understand better spatial movement patterns and behavior e.g. breeding and roosting sites of vultures. We incorporate population monitoring through maintaining a re-sighting database utilizing camera traps, photographs and recordings from the general public and, monitoring wild vulture breeding sites. This information helps us to keep track of all our rehabilitated and ex-situ bred released individuals, past the point of transmitter failure. We have found that our presence in the field following vultures has increased our landowner engagement and has improved awareness of the plight of African vultures. This information assists us to keep up to date with anthropomorphic changes in the vulture's environment and enables us to keep up with threats and appropriate mitigation within different areas. This information then feeds into our investigative research and may lead to full blown research projects where necessary. The interface between the in-situ and ex-situ facets has engaged scientific and veterinary related research including but not limited to diseases, threats, toxicology to name just a few. VulPro's work is groundbreaking and showcases how each individual bird counts to saving wild populations in an all-encompassing, scientific and conservation manner. We have already released 29 captive bred vultures into the wild and over 278 rehabilitated vultures over the past 10 years. We have documented a 75% survival success rate from our released rehabilitated vultures and some successes but also some failures from our captive bred released vultures. Our aim is to always improve our methodology but to also transplant our methods into other countries where vultures have become scarce or have stopped breeding. The hope is to ensure that even where vultures are rare their presence will not be forgotten as it is much harder to re-introduce individuals then to translocate them into a population, however small it may be. [33]

Talía Zamboni(1)
1. The Conservation Land Trust Argentina

Population viability assessment for reintroduced giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) population in Iberá Reserve, Corrientes, Argentina
The use of post-release monitoring data in conservation translocation programmes is essential for predicting population trends over time, and for guiding management actions. This study aimed to update a pre-release Population Viability Assessment (PVA) from a giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) population reintroduced in the Iberá Reserve (Corrientes, Argentina), and to determine the availability of suitable habitat for its expansion. Using a 10 year post-release monitoring dataset, vital rates from the reintroduced population were estimated. Telemetry locations were used to analyse landscape variables affecting anteater's habitat selection. A map of habitat suitability was developed for the reserve and a potential expansion area, estimating its carrying capacity. A final PVA was developed using the estimated carrying capacity, in order to compare predicted parameters over 100 years (stochastic growth rate, extinction probability and genetic diversity) with previous scenarios. PVA results from post-release data showed an optimistic overlook of the population in the future, with no need of urgent management actions. The population has suitable habitat available for dispersing in the future, even outside the reserve where it is currently distributed. Nonetheless, additional aspects affecting anteater's habitat selection outside the reserve and potential human-wildlife conflict should be assessed in future studies of the population expansion. Recommendations from this study include the development of a well-designed monitoring programme for being applied in short-term PVAs projections, the continuity of a fire management programme inside the reserve, and the constant communication with neighbours to avoid human-wildlife conflict, considering the potential population expansion in the area. [34]

Zhongqiu Li(1)
1. School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, China

The population trends and behavioral research of Pere David's deer in Dafeng, China
The Dafeng Milu National Nature Reserve was formally established in 1986, when 39 elk were reintroduced from the United Kingdom. As of 2016, Dafeng population has reached 3,223, accounting for more than half of the world population. While Dafeng population has achieved rapid development, various constraints have also affected the future of the population. These factors include habitat degradation, high population density, and increased disease risk. With the help of Vortex 10, we analyzed population viability of Dafeng population. At the same time, we have conducted systematic research on the aspects of feeding behavior, alert behavior, grooming behavior, and interspecific relationships with sympatric species. These results showed that, as a reintroduced species, the deer have been adapted to their current environment, and have escaped from extinction risk on the whole. In the future, research should focus on the assessment and selection of potential habitats, establish and link up the two major populations along the coast of Yellow Sea and along the Yangtze River, so that the deer can truly return to the natural wetlands in the middle and lower Yangtze River. [35]