U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Biodivers Conserv (2011) 20:607–623; DOI 10.1007/s10531-010-9969-8


Several studies have argued that principal factor in determining the fate of bird introductions is introduction effort. In large part, these studies have emerged from analyses of historical records from a single place—New Zealand. Here we raise two concerns about these conclusions. First, we argue that although many bird species were introduced repeatedly to New Zealand, in many cases the introductions apparently occurred only after the species were already successfully naturalized. The inclusion of such seemingly superfluous introductions may exaggerate the importance of propagule pressure. And second, we question the reliability of the records themselves. In many cases these records are equivocal, as inconsistencies appear in separate studies of the same records. Our analysis indicates that species were successful not because they were introduced frequently and in high numbers, but rather it is likely that they were introduced frequently and in high numbers because the initial releases were successful.