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The Journey of Species Survival is Durrell's main tool for planning and tracking how we deliver our mission of saving species from extinction. We monitor each species through 13 management stages and four main phases as our actions drive its population recovery from the brink of extinction back to safer levels.

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Phase I: Assessment & Planning

Phase I: Assessment & Planning

The first phase of the survival journey focuses on gathering the information required to plan our approach to effectively manage the recovery of the species.

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment

1997/2009

Durrell’s John Hartley visits Montserrat at the request of the Government to investigate the implications of the recently active volcano on the endemic mountain chicken. John gets in contact with representatives from RSPB, Kew gardens and FFI and protocols are established to assess the impacts of the volcano on the island’s rich biodiversity. / The Government of Montserrat alerts Durrell to the suspected arrival of chytrid to the island and requests urgent help. Durrell send staff out to Montserrat as part of an emergency mission and confirms an outbreak of chytridiomycosis and a mass die-off of mountain chickens is underway.

About the Rapid assessment stage
Field missions are used to assess species conservation status, key threats and initial actions needed to kick start the programme.

Rapid response

Rapid response

1999/2009

With large areas of habitat destroyed by the volcano, Durrell sends bird keeper Andrew Owen to Montserrat to collect a number of mountain chickens (as well as the endemic Montserrat oriole) to bring to Jersey and establish captive breeding programmes to ensure the long-term survival of the two species. / Durrell staff travel to Montserrat to collect 50 disease-free mountain chickens in an emergency operation to export the animals to biosecure facilities set up at three European institutions, including Durrell, ZSL and Parken Zoo Sweden. The biosecure facilities will protect the frogs from diseases including chytrid and will maintain their viablility for possible future reintroductions.

About the Rapid response stage
If extinction risk is very high, captive breeding programmes or rapid field interventions might be used to avert an immediate risk of extinction.

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement

NA/2009

After the captive populations were established, no further formal stakeholder engagement took place on Montserrat. Routine monitoring of the mountain chickens is conducted by the local forestry department. / Further engagement of stakeholders takes place when Durrell approaches other institutions with capacity to provide biosecure facilities for the captive population. The Mountain Chicken Recovery Programme is also formed between partners including ZSL and Chester and including represtentatives of the Government of Dominica, the only other island with a surviving mountain chicken population but which is also infected with chytrid.

About the Stakeholder engagement stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Full assessment

Full assessment

2005/2013

Durrell’s Head of Herpetology visits Montserrat to conduct a study on the ecology and population dynamics of the surviving mountain chicken population. The use of micro-chips are trialled as a method of monitoring individual frogs, and health checks are performed to establish their disease status. / Durrell leads a three year Darwin Initiative project to design field-based management strategies by investigating the impacts of the chytrid fungus on the surviving wild population of mountain chickens as well as studying the disease in other frog species.

About the Full assessment stage
Intensive research into ecological, environmental and socio-ecological factors affecting the species provides a baseline to inform the planning stage.

Planning & partnership

Planning & partnership

2008/2014

Durrell leads the development of a 5 year Species Action Plan for the mountain chicken in Montserrat. Conservation priorities are focussed around island biosecurity to prevent the arrival of the chytrid fungus (Bd), which causes the deadly disease chytridiomycosis. Other actions include habitat restoration and  improving legislation to reduce the pressures of hunting. / Through a Darwin Initiative project led by Durrell, the Mountain Chicken Recovery Programme comes together to develop a 20 year long-term restoration strategy for the species. The strategy includes research into the disease dynamics and the development of field intervention methods which will enable the effective management of surviving populations in both Montserrat and Dominica and prevent the species extinction in the wild.

About the Planning and partnership stage
Conservation targets and detailed action plans are developed to guide the programme's efforts. Partnerships and governance are also outlined to ensure the programme remains on track.

Phase II: Intensive Care

Phase II: Intensive Care

This phase involves the testing and implementation of intensive management actions to tackle the main threats to a species in order to stabilise its population and promote recovery. It often requires the most resources as it lays the foundation for a species’ long-term recovery.

Trialling actions

Trialling actions

Ongoing

Various management methods have been trialled in Montserrat to promote recovery of the population following the arrival of the chytrid fungus. These include treatment of the wild population with an anti-fungal agent and releases of captive bred animals to study the interaction between the frogs and fungus. This management stage is ongoing as the development of an effective management method has not yet been achieved.

About the Trialling actions stage
Conservation actions are tested on the ground, results are monitored and techniques are adapted to develop effective management actions.

Scaling up actions

Future Target

About the Scaling up actions stage
Once effective management actions are developed they can be rolled out across the intervention zone.

Intensive management

Future Target

About the Intensive management stage
After actions have been scaled up they are then intensively implemented to bring primary threats under control, enabling the start of the species' recovery.

Adaptive management

Future Target

About the Adaptive management stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Phase III: Long-term Management

Phase III: Long-term Management

Once a species reaches this phase the population recovery is well underway but the sustainability and long-term robustness of the programme needs to be ensured.

Minimum management

Future Target

About the Minimum management stage
Moving towards sustainability, the intensive actions are scaled back to minimum levels of effort required to meet conservation targets.

Capacity-building

Future Target

About the Capacity-building stage
The capacity building activities within the programme enter the final stage and local partner(s) lead the strategic and operational management of programme.

Final evaluation

Future Target

About the Final evaluation stage
A detailed programme evaluation reviews progress towards conservation targets, final responsibilities are passed onto local partners and a new long-term action plan is agreed.

Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase IV: Watching Brief

This phase signals the exit point for Durrell as a species reaches the end of its survival journey.

Watching brief

Future Target

About the Watching brief stage
Durrell steps back from the programme and provides technical support to local partners on request.

Population numbers

1997/2009


Rapid assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1999/2009


Rapid response


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

NA/2009


Stakeholder engagement


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

2005/2013


Full assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

2008/2014


Planning & partnership


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

Ongoing


Trialling actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future Target


Scaling up actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future Target


Intensive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future Target


Adaptive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future Target


Minimum management


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future Target


Capacity-building


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future Target


Final evaluation


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future Target


Watching brief


Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase I


Assessment
& Planning


Stages 1 - 5

Phase II


Intensive
Care


Stages 6 - 9

Phase III


Long-term Management


Stages 10 - 12

Phase IV


Watching
Brief


Stage 13