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The efficacy of hand-rearing penguin chicks: evidence from African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) orphaned in the Treasure oil spill in 2000

  • Peter J. Barham (a1), Les G. Underhill (a2) (a3), Robert J. M. Crawford (a3), Res Altwegg (a2) (a3), T. Mario Leshoro (a4), Duncan A. Bolton (a5), Bruce M. Dyer (a6) and Leshia Upfold (a6)...

Abstract

Some 2,000 orphaned chicks of African Penguins Spheniscus demersus were hand-reared and released back into the wild on Robben and Dassen Islands following the Treasure oil spill in June 2000. Of these chicks, 1,787 were flipper banded. This paper reports on the subsequent survival rate and breeding success of those individuals seen on Robben Island from 2001–2006. Survival to breeding age and their subsequent breeding success of hand-reared chicks was no different from that of naturally-reared chicks. Over a four-year period, pairs where at least one partner was a hand-reared chick produced an average of more than 1.6 chicks per year. Combining the data on survival with that on breeding success indicates that 1,000 hand-reared chicks will produce around 1,220 chicks themselves over their lifetimes, making this a worthwhile conservation intervention.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence. e-mail: peter.barham@bristol.ac.uk.

The efficacy of hand-rearing penguin chicks: evidence from African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) orphaned in the Treasure oil spill in 2000

  • Peter J. Barham (a1), Les G. Underhill (a2) (a3), Robert J. M. Crawford (a3), Res Altwegg (a2) (a3), T. Mario Leshoro (a4), Duncan A. Bolton (a5), Bruce M. Dyer (a6) and Leshia Upfold (a6)...

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