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Saving the warbler through Science and Conservation

The Seychelles Warbler is a world famous example of how science and conservation can go hand-in-hand. This endemic bird provides an exceptional, natural system in which to study important questions relating to animal health, evolution and ecology.

Working in conjunction with Nature Seychelles, research on the Seychelles warbler is led by Profs. David Richardson (University of East Anglia, UK), Jan Komdeur (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), Terry Burke (University of Sheffield, UK) and Dr Hannah Dugdale (University of Leeds). Jan Komdeur has been working on the Seychelles warbler since 1988 and, with BirdLife International, was instrumental in their translocation to Aride and Cousine. Since 1997 David Richardson has been running the fieldwork and managed this component of the warbler translocations to Denis and Fregate Islands. Thus the warbler’s conservation is also a key part of the groups work. Learn more: http://seychelles-warbler-project.group.shef.ac.uk/

Continuous intensive monitoring and research spanning over 30 has allowed the team to investigate many aspects in the warbler, including:

The evolution and ecology of cooperative breeding

  • Inbreeding problems and inbreeding avoidance
  • Mate choice and infidelity
  • Disease resistance
  • The causes and consequences of ageing
  • The genomic impact of translocations

The Seychelles Warbler Research Group has given scientific and public talks both locally and throughout the world and has published more than 80 papers in leading journals on aspects of the warblers’ biology. This is now the most extensive, productive and high-profile research program to be undertaken on an island bird

See the default Seychelles Warbler Species Action Plan (71 KB)

News items:
The most amazing conservation success story in Seychelles

Universities invest in Seychelles Warbler research 

Seychelles warbler: infidelity increases offspring survival 

Seychelles Warbler: saved from extinction

Return of the Seychelles Warbler


Publications Nature Seychelles eLibrary

Van de Crommenacker et al. 2011. default Spatio-temporal variation in territory quality and oxidative status: a natural experiment in the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) (553 KB) . Journal of Animal Ecology 2011 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01792.x

J. Komdeur et al.. 2004. default Why Seychelles Warblers fail to recolonize nearby islands: unwilling or unable to fly there? (164 KB)  2004 British Ornithologists’ Union

Thor Veen, David S. Richardson, Karen Blaakmeer, and Jan Komdeur. 2000. default Experimental evidence for innate predator recognition in the Seychelles warbler (246 KB) . Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B (2000) 267, 2253^2258

Richardson et al. 2003. default Sex-specific associative learning cues and inclusive fitness benefits in the Seychelles warbler (110 KB) . J . EVOL . BIOL. 16 ( 2003) 854–861

Diamond, A.W. 1980. default Seasonality, population structure  and breeding ecology of the Seychelles Brush Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis. (1.05 MB)  Proc. V Pan- Afr. Orn. Congr.: 253-266


See also an extensive publications list at the University of Sheffield

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