Publication Details

Bain, D. & French, K. (2009). Impacts on a threatened bird population of removals for translocation. Wildlife Research, 36 (6), 516-521.


The removal of individuals from a population may occur for several reasons and responses of populations will vary depending on the magnitude and nature of the removal and the life history of the species. An understanding of the effects of loss of individuals on these populations, and the mechanism of replacement, will be important to conservation. This maybe particularly important where wild individuals are used for the increasingly popular conservation strategy of translocation. During the recent translocation of the endangered eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus), two monitoring sites were established in the wild source population, one where removals were to take place and another as a control to assess the impact of the removals on the population. The removal of 44 eastern bristlebirds across 3 years from a single area in the source population had no significant detectable impact in the numbers of individuals surveyed. Individuals that were removed appeared to have been replaced within 6 months of their removal, although to a lesser extent in the later part of the study. The origin of the replacement eastern bristlebirds was unknown and the quick recovery was suggested to be a result of juvenile dispersal, perhaps combined with territory uptake by previously non-territorial and non-calling (thus undetectable) individuals within the population. Such a surplus may be a result of insufficient suitable habitat for population expansion, and will also have implications for monitoring populations of rare and cryptic species. It is also suggested that some territorial species may have several mechanisms that can replace losses of individuals from a population.



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