Using familiar individuals is unlikely to improve the outcome of translocations of North Island robin Petroica australis longipes , Tiritiri Matangi, Auckland, New Zealand
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Ensure translocated birds are familiar with each other before releaseAction Link
Ensure translocated birds are familiar with each other before release
A controlled trial during 1992-3 on two islands (one offshore, one in a lake) in North Island, New Zealand (Armstrong 1995), found no evidence that a translocation using North Island robins Petroica australis longipes familiar with one another was more likely to succeed than a translocation using unfamiliar birds. Known female survival was similar for the two groups (three females from familiar groups and four from unfamiliar groups alive at the start of the breeding season, a total of 14 females released). All surviving females formed pairs. Aggression between territorial pairs was similar between treatments although it declined with the amount of time pairs had spent in proximity to each other. The lack of treatment effect may therefore have been due to rapid dispersal from the release sites (only 15 birds remained at their release site two weeks after release), meaning that birds did not interact for long with the birds they were released with. A total of 44 birds were moved in four groups: two groups totalling 21 birds were moved as ‘intact neighbourhoods’ comprising almost all birds from two locations; the remaining 23 birds were in two groups of similar sex ratios and sizes, but with birds from different areas.