Efforts to restore the endangered masked bobwhite (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi) to its former range have required 1) habitat acquisition, restoration, and preservation; 2) captive propagation; and 3) reintroduction .bf captive-bred stock. In its role to recover the masked bobwhite, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (U.S. Fish and Wildli e Service) has refined captive breeding techniques; provided captive-produced stock for release; conducted field research on the distribution, limiting factors, and habitat characteristics of this species; and developed release methods. Techniques for the husbandry and captive management, breeding, artificial incubation and hatching of eggs, and rearing of young of the masked bobwhite have been developed. Successful reintroduction techniques for the masked bobwhite have included prerelease conditioning and/or cross-fostering of captive-reared masked bobwhite chicks to a wild-caught, related, vasectomized bobwhite species and their release to the wild as family units. In addition, the establishment by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in 1985 has further enhanced the potential for establishing a self-sustaining population of the masked bobwhite in the U. S. Through continued releases and active management of habitat, therefore, it is believed that the masked bobwhite can become permanently established at the refuge to ensure its continued survival in the wild.
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Captive breeding and reintroduction of the endangered masked bobwhite