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Evidence for Aviculture: Identifying Research Needs to Advance the Role of Ex Situ Bird Populations in Conservation Initiatives and Collection Planning

by 1,2
1
Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, Psychology, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QG, UK
2
WWT, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BT, UK
Academic Editor: Jukka Jokimäki
Birds 2021, 2(1), 77-95; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2010005
Received: 11 December 2020 / Revised: 29 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 5 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2021)
Birds of a whole range of species are housed in zoological collections globally; they are some of the most frequently seen of species in animal populations kept under human care. Research output on birds can provide valuable information on how to advance husbandry and care for particular species, which may further feed into conservation planning. Linking birds housed in human care to those in the wild adds value to these zoo-housed populations; this paper provides areas of research that could be conducted to add value to these zoo-housed birds and suggests increasing the conservation focus and conservation relevance of birds housed by humans.
Birds are the most speciose of all taxonomic groups currently housed in zoos, but this species diversity is not always matched by their inclusion in research output in the peer-reviewed literature. This large and diverse captive population is an excellent tool for research investigation, the findings of which can be relevant to conservation and population sustainability aims. The One Plan Approach to conservation aims to foster tangible conservation relevance of ex situ populations to those animals living in situ. The use of birds in zoo aviculture as proxies for wild-dwelling counterparts is considered from this integrated conservation approach. This paper considers the relevance of ex situ bird populations to field-based conservation action and it illustrates how “added value” to captive populations can be gained from their inclusion in conservation efforts. Current trends in scientific publications that focus on birds are provided to identify patterns in species focus and identification of areas of study that could be relevant to advancing avicultural practices, bird husbandry standards, animal welfare and conservation relevance of such populations. Research into wild birds is extremely useful for furthering how birds are managed in zoological collections. Collaboration between field-based projects that have involved zoo professionals are reviewed, to showcase information transfer from the field to the zoo and vice versa, and the ultimate benefits to aviculture and the added value that can be brought to zoo bird populations. Suggested ideas for research into specific areas of ex situ population management and conservation, and avicultural practices are provided to guide future researchers in their endeavors to ensure we have the evidence needed to care for and conserve birds as appropriately and as viably as possible.
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Keywords: One Plan Approach; zoo research; bird conservation; zoo collection planning; husbandry evidence; best practice husbandry One Plan Approach; zoo research; bird conservation; zoo collection planning; husbandry evidence; best practice husbandry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rose, P. Evidence for Aviculture: Identifying Research Needs to Advance the Role of Ex Situ Bird Populations in Conservation Initiatives and Collection Planning. Birds 2021, 2, 77-95. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2010005

AMA Style

Rose P. Evidence for Aviculture: Identifying Research Needs to Advance the Role of Ex Situ Bird Populations in Conservation Initiatives and Collection Planning. Birds. 2021; 2(1):77-95. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2010005

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rose, Paul. 2021. "Evidence for Aviculture: Identifying Research Needs to Advance the Role of Ex Situ Bird Populations in Conservation Initiatives and Collection Planning" Birds 2, no. 1: 77-95. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2010005

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