US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Biological Conservation 111 (2003) 1–9


We monitored the survival, dispersal, and home-range establishment of captive-bred, reintroduced puaiohi Myadestes palmeri, a critically endangered thrush endemic to the island of Kauai. Fourteen captive-bred, juvenile birds were released from hacktowers in January–February 1999 and monitored for 8–10 weeks using radiotelemetry. All 14 birds (100%) survived to 56 days post-release. Two birds (14.3%) dispersed greater than 3 km from release site within 1day of release. The remaining birds settled within 1week and established either temporary home-ranges (mean area=7.9 ± 12.0 ha, range 0.4–31.9) or breeding home-ranges (mean area 1.2 ± 0.34 ha, range 0.8–1.6). Temporary home ranges were abandoned by the beginning of the breeding season, and ultimately 6 of the 14 birds (43%) established breeding home ranges in the release area. The high survival rate bodes well for establishing additional populations through captive breeding and release; however, the 57% dispersal rate out of the target area means that several releases of birds may be necessary in order to repopulate a given drainage. Furthermore, observed dispersal and gene flow between the reintroduced and wild populations have important implications for management of the captive flock.