Translocations often play an important role in the recovery of endangered species. To assess feasibility for translocation of endangered `Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei), we conducted an experimental translocation of I`iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) from east to west Maui. Mist-netting, veterinary screening of candidate birds, and helicopter transport of healthy I`iwi were successful, resulting in no injuries or mortalities. Translocated birds were assigned to two types of release. Hard release birds were radio tagged and released on the day of translocation. In contrast, soft release birds were held in large cages for 7 days and fed artificial nectar. During holding soft release I`iwi feeding rates, fecal production, and mass were monitored. Soft release birds suffered 33% mortality during the holding period. At the end of the holding period, soft release survivors were outfitted with a radio transmitter and released. All translocated I`iwi were followed by radio telemetry for an average of 21 days. Once released, soft release birds showed higher rates of movement, possibly reflecting conflict with established hard released I`iwi. Our results suggest that translocation efforts for wild `Akohekohe will be successful if hard release protocols are followed.
The entire report can be downloaded from the University of Hawaii Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit website.
The Laysan Teal or Duck (Anas laysanensis) is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, where it was restricted to Laysan Island (land area ca. 4 km2; 25º 46’N, 171º 44’W) for the last 150 years. In 2004 and 2005, teal were translocated to two islands of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (land area ca. 6 km2; 28° 12’ N and 177° 22’ W), part of their presumed prehistoric range, to reduce high risk of extinction. Post-release monitoring with the aid of radio telemetry was used to determine the success of the re-introduction attempt during October 2004-2007. The population has increased after three breeding seasons from forty-two founders caught and transported directly from Laysan. 150 independent F1 and F2 juveniles were marked with unique colour band combinations July-November 2007. Laysan Island, the only source population, currently supports approximately 600 Laysan Teal. Contact Michelle Reynolds. See Reynolds et al. (2007) and/or http://biology.usgs.gov/pierc/Native_Birds/Laysan_ducks.htm.