Experimental Release of Endemic Partula Species, Extinct in the Wild, into a Protected Area of NaturaI Habitat on Moorea

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2004-07
Authors
Coote, Trevor
Clarke, Dave
Hickman, Carole S.
Murray, James
Pearce-Kelly, Paul
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University of Hawai'i Press
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Extinction of tree snails of the genus Partula on Moorea, following introduction of the predatory snail Euglandina rosea, has challenged conservation biology during years of successive captive breeding of small rescued populations. An experimental release of three Partula species into a predator-proof patch of native forest on Moorea was designed to test effectiveness of physical and chemical methods of predator exclusion and to evaluate behavior of animals bred for up to six generations in highly artificial environments. At the close of the experimental release, there had been multiple incursions of E. rosea, and too few Partula spp. remained to assess effects of captive breeding on ecological responses. However, results demonstrated the effectiveness of the exclosure under ideal maintenance and monitoring. Captive breeding methods were validated by reproduction and growth to sexual maturity in the wild as well as retention of genetic variability in the form of persistent color polymorphism in one species.
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Coote T, Clarke D, Hickman CS, Murray J, Pearce-Kelly P. 2004. Experimental release of endemic partula species, extinct in the wild, into a protected area of natural habitat on Moorea. Pac Sci 58(3): 429-434.
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