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CARLSBAD FWO: Light-Footed Clapper Rail Recovery Effort Recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
California-Nevada Offices , May 6, 2009
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Sub-adult light-footed clapper rail. (photo: USFWS) 
Sub-adult light-footed clapper rail. (photo: USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Release of light-footed clapper rails illustrates partnership effort. Pictured: Dick Zembal, Clapper Rail Study Team (CRST); Mary Talle, SeaWorld San Diego (SeaWorld); Sue Hoffman (CRST); Richard Sardena, SeaWorld; Joyce Remp, Chula Vista Nature Center; Brian Collins, Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge; Laurie Conrad, SeaWorld. (photo: USFWS) 
Release of light-footed clapper rails illustrates partnership effort. Pictured: Dick Zembal, Clapper Rail Study Team (CRST); Mary Talle, SeaWorld San Diego (SeaWorld); Sue Hoffman (CRST); Richard Sardena, SeaWorld; Joyce Remp, Chula Vista Nature Center; Brian Collins, Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge; Laurie Conrad, SeaWorld. (photo: USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a

by Jane Hendron, Carlsbad FWO
A cooperative effort to recover the federally endangered light-footed clapper rail received one of the first-ever Plume Awards at the March 2009, Mid-Year meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the City of Chula Vista’s Nature Center, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, and SeaWorld have partnered to captive breed and release light-footed clapper rails in southern California.

The work of these partners goes beyond captive breeding, with additional efforts made to monitor breeding success of reintroduced clapper rails, and construction of artificial nest structures at release areas.

More than 200 captive bred clapper rails have been released to the wild and now inhabit coastal wetlands from Santa Barbara County south to Mission Bay in San Diego County.  However, there is still much to be done to achieve recovery of the light-footed clapper rail, which includes identifying factors that may be limiting the ability of the species to maintain greater numbers than are observed in the wild.  Researchers are currently conducting studies to obtain valuable data on contaminant exposure by the clapper rails, and if present, to determine if contaminants are adversely affecting the species.  

The Plume Awards were established by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Avian Scientific Study Group to recognize efforts to support captive avian population sustainability.  There are two categories that are currently eligible for Plume Awards - Achievement in Long-Term Propagation Program; and Noteworthy Achievement in Avian Husbandry.  The light-footed clapper rail partners received the Plume Award for Noteworthy Achievement in Animal Husbandry.

For more details for the light-footed clapper rail recovery effort, please check out this August 22, 2008, Journal story.
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More on the Web:

Species Profile: light footed clapper rail 

 


Contact Info: jane hendron, , jane_hendron@fws.gov



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