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Welcome to Lincoln Park Zoo's Avian Reintroduction and Translocation Database

The increasing risk of extinction for species around the globe is an alarming issue for conservation biology. Many wildlife populations are suffering dramatic declines in size or are already locally extinct. Habitat loss and degradation, introduction of non-native species, and the consequences of climate change are likely to further reduce the survival of many populations, disrupt their distributions and disturb ecological function. Reintroduction programs where animals from other wild populations or from zoo, aquarium, or government-sponsored breeding programs are released to their native range are an established conservation strategy to enhance the restoration of locally extinct populations. Birds are among the most commonly reintroduced species; more than a hundred avian species have been released in over 400 sites around the globe. At Lincoln Park Zoo, we developed the Avian Reintroduction and Translocation Database (ARTD) to enhance the ability of mangers and scientists to evaluate and plan these reintroduction programs.

More than one thousand release events of avian species have occurred throughout the world in the last two decades. Studies of these releases can inform managers and scientists who are planning future releases. Yet gathering this information is a challenge as it is dispersed over many different reference sources. The ARTD, a centralized, comprehensive, and standardized database, addresses this challenge by organizing data on factors that impact the efficacy of releases including information on species' biology and ecology, habitat suitability, and release design (e.g., demographic, genetic, and management-related factors). Data on the species, source populations, release sites and the release events are collected from a wide range of reference sources including peer-reviewed literature, less accessible publications and collaborators.

Armed with information on the methods applied in past reintroductions, managers and scientists can more readily design successful future reintroductions. If you are developing a reintroduction program, we encourage you to explore and use this database to inform your planning process (The Data). If you just have curiosity about avian reintroduction programs, we hope you gain knowledge from our website (The Data). Because this database is a collaborative process, we welcome avian reintroduction managers who want to add and edit data related to their programs (Contact Us); as the data increase and improve, the database will be an even richer resource for reintroduction programs.

Database Summary

Number of species: 201
Number of release sites: 766
Number of release events: 2,359
Most recent species edit: Puerto Rican Parrot
Date of most recent edit: 07/31/12 09:59:18 AM


Message from Joanne Earnhardt, ARTD Administrator and Director of the Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology, Department of Conservation and Science, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL U.S.A.

"This website, the design of the database and the data collection are products of the Alexander Center. We feel that applied population biology approaches are becoming more and more important for wildlife populations as they become smaller and more isolated. The objective of the zoo's research program in applied population biology is to understand what factors put animal populations at risk of extinction or decline as well as how management actions can impact that risk. For reintroductions, we specifically assess and develop science-based approaches to improve the success of release programs. We will continue to support this project and pursue others as we seek to apply scientific approaches to conservation."

Sample Citation

Lincoln Park Zoo. Avian Reintroduction and Translocation Database. Available at: http://www.lpzoo.org/ARTD. Accessed April 1, 2008.

Acknowledgement

We want to thank Eric VanderWerf and the Pacific Islands office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for contributing to the database design and for their support as we developed the original database during 2001-2003. Many Lincoln Park Zoo staff have contributed over the years to database design, data collection and analysis; they are Lisa Faust, Steve Thompson, Dennis Rentsch, Starr McKinney, Amy Wolf, Amanda Spratt, Nicki Gerlach, Liza Watson, Carrie Schloss, Kristen Kovar and Laurie Lauer.