Wildlife reintroduction: considerations of habitat quality at the release site
Wildlife Research Group, Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
BMC Ecology 2006, 6:5 doi:10.1186/1472-6785-6-5Published: 13 April 2006
Assessing the suitability of a habitat prior to the release of animals is vital. Proper assessment of the flora will allow reintroduction programmes to determine whether the area will be capable of supporting the released animals in the long-term. Here data are presented from an island in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia which has been used as a release site for agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis albibarbis) since January 2003.
Methods and results regarding fruit abundance, fruit productivity, tree density and diversity are presented. This information is then analysed in the context of the island's suitability to sustain released gibbons and without impact on the resident fauna. Based on the above ecological characteristics, the final carrying capacity of the island is estimated to be between 3 and 19 gibbons.
These data highlight the need to survey areas being considered for release of gibbon prior to the release taking place. For reintroductions to be successful, long-term habitat assessment is vital, both pre- and post-release.