A Meta-analysis of Animal Survival Following Translocation: Comparisons Between Conflict and Conservation Efforts

Posted on May 2, 2018


by Blake STUPARYK, Collin J. HORN, Sofia KARABATSOS, and Josue ARTEAGA TORRES CWBM 7 (1): 3–17

Correspondence: Collin J. Horn, University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, 11455 Saskatchewan Drive, CW 405, Biological Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada.

Email: chorn@ualberta.ca


Wildlife management balances conservation goals with meeting societal objectives. It incorporates scientific disciplines such as ecology, animal behaviour, geography, and sociology to determine management practices and make policy recommendations. Two major areas of contemporary management are conservation (protecting animals in at risk environments) and conflict management (mitigating human-animal conflict). Translocation, the targeted movement of animals to a new location, is a method that can be used for conservation or conflict management. When dealing with conflict animals, translocation offers several advantages over culling. It can allow for the survival of the animal, a particular concern with threatened species, and has relatively low impact on its non-problem conspecifics. However, there is ambivalent evidence regarding the effectiveness of translocations. We conducted a series of categorical and continuous model meta-analyses to assess the effect of translocation on the survival of terrestrial vertebrates. For all cases combined, translocation reduced mean percent survival relative to rates observed in reference populations. Overall, animals moved for conflict purposes had significantly reduced mean percent survival, while animals moved for conservation purposes did not. Large mammal mean survival is significantly reduced by translocation, but small mammals did not experience this reduction. Although translocation has been implemented for several decades, improvements over time have only been made in conservation efforts. Based on our review, we discuss opportunities and challenges in the management of problem animals through translocation.

Key Words: Conservation, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mitigation, Nuisance Animal Problem Animal, Translocation.


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