• Automated telemetry reveals post-reintroduction exploratory behavior and movement patterns of an endangered corvid, ʻAlalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) in Hawaiʻi, USA

      Smetzer, Jennifer R.; Greggor, Alison L.; Paxton, Kristina L.; Masuda, Bryce M.; Paxton, Eben H. (2021)
      Continuous movement monitoring is a powerful tool for evaluating reintroduction techniques and assessing how well reintroduced animals are adjusting to the wild. However, to date, continuous monitoring has only occurred for large-bodied species capable of carrying heavy tracking devices. In this study we used an automated VHF radio telemetry array to investigate the exploratory behavior and movement patterns of critically endangered ?Alal? (Corvus hawaiiensis), reintroduced to the Island of Hawai?i in 2017. The 11 juvenile ?Alal? we tracked exhibited high site fidelity and initial survival. Over time the birds showed decreased time spent at the supplemental feeders, and transitioned to more focused use of the landscape, suggesting increased foraging on wild food items. Birds with seemingly less spatial neophobia at release also made larger post-release exploratory movements. This study provides the first evidence that 1) supplemental feeding can support site fidelity for reintroduced ?Alal? without restricting a transition to independent foraging, and 2) that pre-release personality metrics may be useful predictors for predicting post-release movements of ?Alal?. Our work is the first to demonstrate the utility and power of automated telemetry for monitoring the reintroduction of small species.