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Morphological changes in European goldfinches ( Carduelis carduelis ) released by bird trappers

By J. Dominguez, M. Vidal, L. Tapia

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In Spain, several Autonomous Communities have granted licenses to capture European goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis parva) during the post-breeding period, from August to December. In Galicia (NW Spain) and other Autonomous Communities, after 5-7 months of captivity, many birds are released. We tested the hypothesis that captivity results in biometric and body condition changes which affect the post-release survival of these birds. We used two groups captured in Galicia, the first made up of birds captured for ringing and the second consisting of birds captured by bird-trappers, kept in captivity for 5-7 months and then released. Two-way ANOVA tests were used to test the effect of group and sex on the wing, bill, head, tarsus and tail measurements. Birds held in captivity had shorter wings and longer bills than those captured for ringing. The significance of these morphometric changes is unknown but it is possible that they could have a detrimental effect on foraging behaviour and post-release survival. In light of this, those involved in keeping wild birds in captivity should review their husbandry techniques.

Date 2010
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 385-389
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Campus Sur s/n, 15782 Galicia, Spain.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal husbandry
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Birds
  6. Body condition
  7. Communities
  8. Developed countries
  9. Europe
  10. Feet
  11. Foraging
  12. Head
  13. Husbandry
  14. Licenses
  15. Licensing
  16. Mediterranean region
  17. Methodologies
  18. morphology
  19. OECD countries
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. Spain
  22. survival
  23. Techniques
  24. Wild animals
  25. wings
  26. Zoology
  1. peer-reviewed