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19 March 2021 Temperament Assessment and Pre-Release Training in a Reintroduction Program for the Turquoise-Fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva
Ramona Soares Silva, Ricardo Evangelista Fraga, Laize Tomazi, Thatiana Souza Andrade, Magnólia Silveira Silva, Alexandre Schiavetti
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Abstract

The Turquoise-fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva is one of the most extensively poached species as a result of illegal trade in Brazil. Reintroduction programs have been increasingly used in the management of these animals in captivity. Several preparatory procedures should be carried out during the pre-release period to characterize the group of animals and subsequently increase the success of reintroduction programs. The most important procedures are temperament assessment and environmental enrichment training, which is expected to influence the behavior of the released birds. This study aimed to assess the temperament of the amazons in captivity and its influence on a reintroduction program. The temperaments of 50 parrots were classified from shy to bold and monitored during five phases of activity throughout the study: environmental enrichment training in captivity, a period of acclimatization in an aviary placed in the release area, the offer of fruit from the release region, dependence on the aviary after it was opened, and post-release food supplementation. Once the animals were released, they were monitored for 18 months. Temperament assessment supported the reintroduction project, because through this information it was possible to predict the individual behaviors of reintroduced animals when dealing with environmental challenges. The purpose of the pre-release environmental enrichment training was to encourage individual amazons to increase exploratory behaviors, and was effective in enhancing the natural behavior of the species and reducing stereotypies. Animals classified as shy required a longer intervention period to achieve the same results since they exhibited greater dependence on the aviary and, consequently, took longer to explore the release area. In the medium term, no significant difference was observed between shy and bold parrots in their departure after opening the aviary, use of supplementary feeding, or survival. Therefore, the activities performed prior to release adequately promoted similar habituation conditions for both profiles.

Ramona Soares Silva, Ricardo Evangelista Fraga, Laize Tomazi, Thatiana Souza Andrade, Magnólia Silveira Silva, and Alexandre Schiavetti "Temperament Assessment and Pre-Release Training in a Reintroduction Program for the Turquoise-Fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva," Acta Ornithologica 55(2), 199-214, (19 March 2021). https://doi.org/10.3161/00016454AO2020.55.2.006
Received: 1 April 2020; Accepted: 1 November 2020; Published: 19 March 2021
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