|Town/Region||Champion and Gardner-by-Floreana Islets|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||14 Oct 2019|
Floreana Mockingbird is one of the four endemic Mockingbirds of the Galapagos Islands. But is the only one species that has been extirped of its formal range (Floreana Island) due to the combination of several factors where the introduction of the black rat in an island that never held a native rat population seems to be the main reason of the local extinction of the bird. Currently, the species survives in the islets of Champion and Gardner-by-Floreana on the coast of Floreana. The inaccessibility of the islets and the endangered status of the birds has been the main cause of the lack of information about the natural history of this species. Only have been detailed different census method to estimate its global population and some studies about the genetic issues.
The Floreana Mockingbird is a target species for the reintroduction program to Floreana Island after the eradication of invasive mammals and restoration of the Floreana Islands carried out by the Galapagos National Park and Island Conservation. But the lack of information of most of the biological aspects makes the reintroduction a risky task especially when the ecology of the bird differs from other cases of reintroductions, due to Floreana Mockingbird is a cooperative breeder with a complex social structure hierarchy and territoriality.
The main objective of this project is to understand the ecology and biology of the Floreana Mockingbird and elaborate on an adequate plan that ensures the reintroduction of the bird to Floreana Island. I will investigate the social structure of the family groups in each islet through behavioural observations. This behavioural component will allow me to answer the questions of what kind of birds into the family group are essential to keep the social cohesion of the family group. Furthermore, the behavioural observation will allow me to identify dominants and submissive individuals into the family group using these birds as a target individual to understand the habitat used by the whole family groups in the islets.
The information generated by this research will be used not only to plan an adequate selection of birds to be reintroduced. Also, it will help to identify possible suitable habitats on Floreana Island where the birds can be reintroduced, maximizing the chances of success in an upcoming reintroduction.
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