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Quantifying drivers of supplementary food use by a reintroduced, critically endangered passerine to inform management and habitat restoration

Maggs, G; Norris, K; Zuël, N; Murrell, DJ; Ewen, JG; Tatayah, V; Jones, CG; (2019) Quantifying drivers of supplementary food use by a reintroduced, critically endangered passerine to inform management and habitat restoration. Biological Conservation , 238 , Article 108240. 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108240. Green open access

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Abstract

The provision of supplementary food is widely used in the management of endangered species. Typically, food is provided ad libitum and often without a planned exit strategy, which can be costly. The role supplementary food plays within population demography can be challenging to identify and therefore any reduction must be carefully considered to avoid negative impacts. Here we investigate the role supplementary food plays within a reintroduced population of a Critically Endangered passerine species by quantifying its use alongside intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Specifically, we illustrate how the provision of supplementary food could be refined in response to breeding stage and the time of food provisioning and, via habitat restoration, create a long-term exit strategy based on influential plant species. The consumption of supplementary food increases during energetically expensive phases of the breeding cycle, during the morning provision of food and when natural plant resource availability is low. We also show a pattern whereby supplementary food could act as a buffer during periods of low natural resource availability during breeding. Based on these findings short-term management could take a reactive approach; refining supplementary food supply in response to breeding stages of pairs and potentially removing the provision of food in the afternoon. In the long-term key plant species, found to correlate with a decrease in supplementary food consumption, could be incorporated into habitat restoration efforts which could create a continuous natural food supply and contribute to creating a self-sustaining population and a potential exit strategy.

Type: Article
Title: Quantifying drivers of supplementary food use by a reintroduced, critically endangered passerine to inform management and habitat restoration
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108240
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108240
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Breeding behaviour, Exit strategy, GLMM, Island restoration, Mauritius, Plant phenology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083895
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