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We report first-year survival for 34 captive-reared Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata) released in the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico between 2000 and 2002. The purpose of the releases were to increase population size and the potential number of breeding individuals of the sole extant wild population, and to refine release protocols for eventual reintroduction of a second wild population elsewhere on the island. After extensive prerelease training, we released 10 parrots in 2000, 16 parrots in 2001, and eight parrots in 2002 ranging in age from 1-4 years old. All birds were equipped with radio-transmitters to monitor survival. The overall first-year survival estimate for the 34 parrots was 41% (CI = 22%-61%). Only one parrot died within the first week postrelease, with most (94%) surviving for at least eight weeks after release. Most (54%) documented mortalities were due to raptor predation, which claimed 21% of all released parrots. A captive-reared bird (male, age one), released in 2001, paired with a wild female and fledged two young in 2004. We also calculated survival based on 0% and 50% of observed predation losses and found hypothetical survival rates of 72% and 54%, respectively. Rigorous prerelease training and acclimation was believed to have improved initial postrelease parrot survival, and releasing mixed age-class groups suggests the potential for shortening the time to recruitment. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2005.
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Survival of captive-reared Puerto Rican Parrots released in the Caribbean National Forest