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Hand-rearing, release and survival of African penguin chicks abandoned before independence by moulting parents.

Sherley RB, Waller LJ, Strauss V, Geldenhuys D, Underhill LG, Parsons NJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Hand-rearing of abandoned penguin chicks is recommended as a conservation tool to limit mortality and to bolster the population at specific colonies.The feasibility of conservation translocations for the creation of new colonies for this species using hand-reared chicks warrants investigation.Any such programme would be predicated on adequate disease surveillance programmes established to minimise the risk of disease introduction to wild birds.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Animal Demography Unit and Marine Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Western Cape, South Africa; Bristol Zoological Society, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The African penguin Spheniscus demersus has an 'Endangered' conservation status and a decreasing population. Following abandonment, 841 African penguin chicks in 2006 and 481 in 2007 were admitted to SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) for hand-rearing from colonies in the Western Cape, South Africa, after large numbers of breeding adults commenced moult with chicks still in the nest. Of those admitted, 91% and 73% respectively were released into the wild. There were veterinary concerns about avian malaria, airsacculitis and pneumonia, feather-loss and pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Post-release juvenile (0.32, s.e.  = 0.08) and adult (0.76, s.e.  = 0.10) survival rates were similar to African penguin chicks reared after oil spills and to recent survival rates recorded for naturally-reared birds. By December 2012, 12 birds had bred, six at their colony of origin, and the apparent recruitment rate was 0.11 (s.e.  = 0.03). Hand-rearing of abandoned penguin chicks is recommended as a conservation tool to limit mortality and to bolster the population at specific colonies. The feasibility of conservation translocations for the creation of new colonies for this species using hand-reared chicks warrants investigation. Any such programme would be predicated on adequate disease surveillance programmes established to minimise the risk of disease introduction to wild birds.

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Map of the Western Cape, South Africa, showing the locations of the main African penguin breeding colonies (black circles) mention in the text and the location of SANCCOB (black square) in relation to Cape Town (white circle).
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pone-0110794-g001: Map of the Western Cape, South Africa, showing the locations of the main African penguin breeding colonies (black circles) mention in the text and the location of SANCCOB (black square) in relation to Cape Town (white circle).

Mentions: The African penguin Spheniscus demersus is ‘Endangered’ following a decrease in the global population of >70% between 2001 and 2013 [3], [4]. Decreases in the Western Cape of South Africa (Figure 1) conform to an altered distribution of their main prey species, sardine Sardinops sagax and anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus[3], [5]. Adult survival, juvenile survival and breeding productivity of African penguins have been influenced by the availability these two forage fish species [3], [6]–[9] and competition with the local purse-seine fishery has been noted [3], [10]. In addition, growth rates and body condition of chicks at Robben Island decreased between 2004 and 2009 [11]–[13], while fledging periods increased concurrently in apparent response to a decline in the availability of sardine [8]. Spatial management of the fishery has been recommended [3], [8]–[10] and the potential benefits of alternative approaches are being investigated [10], [14].


Hand-rearing, release and survival of African penguin chicks abandoned before independence by moulting parents.

Sherley RB, Waller LJ, Strauss V, Geldenhuys D, Underhill LG, Parsons NJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Map of the Western Cape, South Africa, showing the locations of the main African penguin breeding colonies (black circles) mention in the text and the location of SANCCOB (black square) in relation to Cape Town (white circle).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4206437&req=5

pone-0110794-g001: Map of the Western Cape, South Africa, showing the locations of the main African penguin breeding colonies (black circles) mention in the text and the location of SANCCOB (black square) in relation to Cape Town (white circle).
Mentions: The African penguin Spheniscus demersus is ‘Endangered’ following a decrease in the global population of >70% between 2001 and 2013 [3], [4]. Decreases in the Western Cape of South Africa (Figure 1) conform to an altered distribution of their main prey species, sardine Sardinops sagax and anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus[3], [5]. Adult survival, juvenile survival and breeding productivity of African penguins have been influenced by the availability these two forage fish species [3], [6]–[9] and competition with the local purse-seine fishery has been noted [3], [10]. In addition, growth rates and body condition of chicks at Robben Island decreased between 2004 and 2009 [11]–[13], while fledging periods increased concurrently in apparent response to a decline in the availability of sardine [8]. Spatial management of the fishery has been recommended [3], [8]–[10] and the potential benefits of alternative approaches are being investigated [10], [14].

Bottom Line: Hand-rearing of abandoned penguin chicks is recommended as a conservation tool to limit mortality and to bolster the population at specific colonies.The feasibility of conservation translocations for the creation of new colonies for this species using hand-reared chicks warrants investigation.Any such programme would be predicated on adequate disease surveillance programmes established to minimise the risk of disease introduction to wild birds.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Animal Demography Unit and Marine Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Western Cape, South Africa; Bristol Zoological Society, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The African penguin Spheniscus demersus has an 'Endangered' conservation status and a decreasing population. Following abandonment, 841 African penguin chicks in 2006 and 481 in 2007 were admitted to SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) for hand-rearing from colonies in the Western Cape, South Africa, after large numbers of breeding adults commenced moult with chicks still in the nest. Of those admitted, 91% and 73% respectively were released into the wild. There were veterinary concerns about avian malaria, airsacculitis and pneumonia, feather-loss and pododermatitis (bumblefoot). Post-release juvenile (0.32, s.e.  = 0.08) and adult (0.76, s.e.  = 0.10) survival rates were similar to African penguin chicks reared after oil spills and to recent survival rates recorded for naturally-reared birds. By December 2012, 12 birds had bred, six at their colony of origin, and the apparent recruitment rate was 0.11 (s.e.  = 0.03). Hand-rearing of abandoned penguin chicks is recommended as a conservation tool to limit mortality and to bolster the population at specific colonies. The feasibility of conservation translocations for the creation of new colonies for this species using hand-reared chicks warrants investigation. Any such programme would be predicated on adequate disease surveillance programmes established to minimise the risk of disease introduction to wild birds.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus