No evidence that using familiar individuals improves the outcome of translocations of North Island saddlebacks Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater, Mokoia Island (Lake Rotorua), Bay of Plenty, New Zealand


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Ensure translocated birds are familiar with each other before release

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Ensure translocated birds are familiar with each other before release

    A controlled trial during 1992-3 on an island in North Island, New Zealand (Armstrong & Craig 1995), found no evidence that a translocation using North Island saddlebacks Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater familiar with one another was more likely to succeed than a translocation using unfamiliar birds. A total of 36 birds were transferred in two groups of 18, one group (five pairs and eight juveniles) all from a single forest patch and the other (10 unmatched adults and eight juveniles) from multiple patches (all birds came from Tiritiri Matangi, a 135 ha offshore island). Familiar birds formed new pair bonds faster than unfamiliar pairs, although only one translocated pair remained together and overall pairing rates were similar between treatments. Survival (94% vs. 89% over six months for 18 familiar and 18 unfamiliar birds), dispersal (69% dispersal from the release site for 16 familiar birds vs. 59% for 17 unfamiliar birds) and reproductive output (3.1 fledglings/pair for seven familiar pairs vs. 4.0 fledglings/pair for six unfamiliar pairs) were similar between treatments. Birds were kept for two or three days during transport before being released 500 m apart.


Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust