Survival and reintegration of rehabilitated Carnaby’s cockatoos Zanda latirostris into wild flocks.

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Release into the wild is the preferred outcome for rehabilitated animals, but often little is known about what happens to individuals following their release. Increased knowledge of post-release survival and reintegration into the wild could improve release and rehabilitation strategies. To assess the survival and reintegration of rehabilitated Endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoos Zanda latirostris into wild flocks we studied the movements and behaviour of 23 birds fitted with satellite tracking devices. We assessed longer term survival by collating records of leg-banded birds over eight years. Rehabilitated birds had an estimated annual survival rate of 0.73. The band recovery rate for all rehabilitated Carnaby’s Cockatoos banded between 2005 and 2013 was not significantly different to those fitted with tracking devices (10.3% versus 13.0% respectively, P = 1). Physical, social and behavioural indicators of fitness were used to assess the success of the reintegration of rehabilitated birds. Released birds flew, roosted and foraged with wild birds. Whilst pair bond formation and breeding of study birds could not be confirmed during this study, behaviours associated with pair bonding were observed, including allo-preening and male courtship displays. The rehabilitation process and pre-release procedure for identifying individuals ready for release was effective at selecting suitable release candidates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-99
Number of pages14
JournalBird Conservation International
Issue number1
Early online date6 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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