Study

Re-establishment of a breeding population of Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica following translocation of nestlings to Eastern Egg Rock, Muscongus Bay, Maine, USA

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate auks

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Control avian predators on islands

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Use decoys to attract birds to safe areas

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Translocate auks

    A replicated study reviewing a 1973-81 translocation programme for Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica (Kress & Nettleship 1998) found that less than 0.3% of 774 nestlings moved from Newfoundland, Canada, to Maine, USA, died during the move, with 95% of the remaining 772 birds successfully fledging.  Twelve percent (87 birds) were re-sighted at the release site, with a further 8% (60 birds) seen elsewhere in the Gulf of Maine. Translocated birds were first recorded as breeding in 1981, with at least 36 translocated birds and six other birds being confirmed as breeding at the release site in 1985, with 17 more birds breeding on other islands nearby. Seventy eight percent of these breeding attempts (49 attempts) produced chicks surviving for at least 21 days. Nestlings between two and 40 days old were taken from their burrows and moved to the release site within 17 hours. They were then confined to artificial burrows and fed two meals of 50 g of fish and vitamins daily for seven days. They were then allowed to leave the burrows to begin flying. From 1977 onwards, puffin decoys were placed on the island to encourage birds to return, and herring gull Larus argentatus and great black-backed gull L. marinus were culled and nests destroyed in 1974-5.

     

  2. Control avian predators on islands

    An Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica translocation programme in 1973-81 (Kress & Nettleship 1988) found that almost all of the 774 puffin nestlings moved from Newfoundland, Canada, to Maine, USA, survived. In 1974-5 herring gulls Larus argentatus and great black-backed gulls L. marinus were culled and their nests destroyed during 1974-5 in an attempt to reduce predation. This study is discussed in ‘Translocate individuals’.

     

  3. Use decoys to attract birds to safe areas

    A study of an Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica translocation programme in 1973-81 (Kress & Nettleship 1988) found that a puffin population was established in Maine, USA, after 774 puffin nestlings were translocated from Newfoundland, Canada, and decoys were used to help attract fledged birds back to the release site. This study is discussed in ‘Translocate individuals’.

     

Output references

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