Guam Micronesian Kingfisher, Micronesia

The Guam Micronesian Kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus cinnamominus) is endemic to the island of Guam (13°48’N, 144°45’E).  Once widespread throughout the forested areas of the island, the introduction of the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) resulted in the extinction of the Guam Kingfisher in the wild in the 1980’s.  Twenty-nine founder individuals were brought into captivity prior to extinction.  The current captive population is now approximately 130 birds housed in 21 institutions.  Recent breeding efforts have resulted in the apparent ability to produce offspring for release into the wild.  However, Brown Tree Snakes are still widespread on Guam despite extensive eradication efforts.  Therefore alternative introduction sites are being identified using Bayesian network modeling and site visits.  Introduction sites will be chosen in 2011 and there is hope that the first individuals will be released in 2014.  Pre-release studies will be conducted to evaluate release methods and site suitability, and post-release monitoring will inform ongoing work.  Contacts for this project Dylan Kesler and Rebecca Laws (lawsr@missouri.edu).