Biodiversity Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (4): 364-371.doi: 10.17520/biods.2016378

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A review of the use of active seabird restoration techniques

Xiao Zhou1, Dongdong Chen1, Stephen W. Kress2, Shuihua Chen1, 3, *()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004, China
    2 Seabird Restoration Program, National Audubon Society, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
    3 Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, Hangzhou 310014, China
  • Received:2016-12-30 Accepted:2017-03-20 Online:2017-04-20
  • Chen Shuihua E-mail:chensh@zmnh.com

Most seabird species are threatened or endangered. To restore their populations and breeding habitats, ornithologists have developed two major active seabird restoration techniques: social attraction and chick translocation. With social attraction, decoys and acoustic vocalization playback are used to lure breeding seabirds to the restoration site. In chick translocation, the chicks of focal species are translocated and reared at the restoration site with the goal that they will return and breed at the release site. We conducted a worldwide search and found 171 projects conducted in 16 countries/regions to restore 64 seabird species. These techniques are used either independently or in combination, depending on the breeding biology of the target species. For both methods, managers are encouraged to understand the species’ breeding ecology and preferred nesting habitat. Habitat management, predator control and close monitoring are key steps to assure the success of the restoration. The breeding seabirds of China’s coast face many threats and their populations and habitats have decreased rapidly in recent decades. Active seabird restoration techniques can help to expand ranges and provide resilience to threats by starting new nesting colonies along the coast of China.

Key words: seabird, breeding habitat, population restoration, social attraction, chick translocation

Table 1

Comparisons between the two major techniques of active seabird restoration"

雏鸟转移技术 Chick translocation 社群吸引技术 Social attraction
原理
Overview
转移雏鸟至目标岛屿, 人工饲育直到飞行离开。利用海鸟对生长地的依恋倾向, 吸引这些雏鸟长大后回归目标岛屿繁殖
Transfer seabird nestlings to the target island, and rear them until they fledge. The released birds may return to the restoration site. This method is best for species that demonstrate strong natal site philopatry.
在目标岛屿上布置模型诱饵和声音回放设备, 利用集群海鸟的社群吸引行为吸引附近海鸟前来栖息繁殖
Decoys and audio playback systems are deployed at the restoration site to attract adult colonial seabirds, which select their breeding site by using social information.
技术要点
Key techniques
雏鸟人工抚育及野外放飞
Chick rearing and release
假鸟的布设及声音回放设备的安放
Decoys and audio playback system deployment
适用范围
Preferred species
具有恋家倾向的、易于人工饲养、穴居型海鸟, 如信天翁和海燕等
Species with strong natal site philopatry such as albatrosses and storm-petrels
集群性较强, 雏鸟需双亲后期抚育的海鸟, 如燕鸥和海鸥等
Colonial breeding species with weak natal site philopatry such as terns and gulls
局限性
Limitations
需投入较大人力物力用于雏鸟饲育; 不恰当的饲育和运输可能对雏鸟造成伤害; 取得成功周期相对较长
Labor intensive and expensive because of the need for chick tending stewards; great care during transport and chick rearing to reduce mortality to chicks; may take many years to achieve restoration because most species do not breed until they are five or more years old.
见效快, 繁殖群的形成有滚雪球效应, 但除了燕鸥和海鸥等集群性较强的海鸟, 其他海鸟招引成功率相对较低
Colonization around decoys and audio speakers may happen quickly as the first breeders help to advertise the location of the colony, but a relatively lower success rate for other species except for terns and gulls.
见效期
Establishment period
5-10年
5-10 years
1-5年
1-5 years

Table 2

Distribution of active seabird restoration projects worldwide"

国家/地区 Country/region 项目数 Number of projects 国家/地区 Country/region 项目数 Number of projects
加拿大 Canada 6 威尔士 Wales 1
美国 United States 91 法国 France 1
墨西哥 Mexico 24 南极洲 Antarctica 3
厄瓜多尔 Ecuador 1 日本 Japan 2
百慕大群岛 Bermuda 3 中国大陆 China mainland 4
英属维尔京群岛 British Virgin Islands 3 中国台湾 Taiwan, China 2
苏格兰 Scotland 1 澳大利亚 Australia 2
爱尔兰 Ireland 4 新西兰 New Zealand 23
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