Posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2010
Issue 152 of the journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union, ‘Ibis’, contains a precautionary paper (abstract available here) on the impact of releasing captive-bred Little Bustards from Spain (from an essentially non-migratory population) in western France (where the rapidly declining population is mainly migratory). While the authors stress that their sample size is statistically very small (just a handful of birds), their conclusion – which found that captive-breeding doesn’t appear to influence migratory movements but “calls into question a strategy of collecting eggs in Spain to enhance French populations” as this could imperil the biological characteristics of the target population – could be important to all bustard reintroduction projects.
Source: Ibis (2010), 152, 254–261 “Migration of wild and captive-bred Little Bustards Tetrax tetrax: releasing birds from Spain threatens attempts to conserve declining French populations”. Villiers et al