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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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2008

Peter J. Barham
Affiliation:
HH Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL, U.K
Les G. Underhill
Affiliation:
Animal Demography Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa and Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
Robert J. M. Crawford
Affiliation:
and Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
Res Altwegg
Affiliation:
Animal Demography Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa and Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
T. Mario Leshoro
Affiliation:
Robben Island Museum, Robben Island 7400, South Africa
Duncan A. Bolton
Affiliation:
Birdworld, Holt Pound, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LD, U.K
Bruce M. Dyer
Affiliation:
Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
Leshia Upfold
Affiliation:
Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
Corresponding
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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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Birdlife International 2008

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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
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