Moving I`iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) as a surrogate for future translocations of endangered `Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei)

Date
2010-04
Authors
Becker, Dusti
Massey, Greg
Groombridge, James
Hammond, Ruby
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Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
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Abstract
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.
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Keywords
Vestiaria coccinea, Palmeria dolei, avian translocation, Akohekohe
Citation
Becker D, G Massey, J Groombridge, Hammond R. 2010. Moving I`iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) as a surrogate for future translocations of endangered `Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei). Honolulu (HI): Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Technical Report, 172. 13 pg.
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CC0 1.0 Universal
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