Wildlife restoration: Mainstreaming translocations to keep common species common

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In most urban and agricultural landscapes, remnants of native vegetation are surrounded by an inhospitable matrix. Although vagile species come and go, many reptiles, amphibians and small mammals are effectively stranded and declining towards local extinction. In the same landscapes, other areas where these species are absent are improving in habitat quality, both through natural regeneration and active restoration efforts. So, for many species in many domesticated landscapes, there are too many individuals in some patches of decreasing quality and no individuals in patches of increasing quality. One solution to this situation is to move animals from those areas where there are plenty to suitable areas where there are none. These targeted translocations apply lessons learned from revegetation to dispersal-limited animals to in-fill distributional ranges, increase population size and improve both demographic and genetic connectivity, pushing nonequilibrial metapopulations away from extinction via an imposed mass effect. In contrast to conventional reintroduction schemes—expensive, reactive interventions involving highly-trained specialists and captive-raised endangered species—these inexpensive, proactive, community-driven initiatives aim to avert future declines by keeping common species common. Having introduced the wildlife restoration vision, we use two scenarios to illustrate the benefits of the approach—to species, ecosystem function, ecological understanding, restoration practise and public engagement. As well as adhering to best-practise reintroduction techniques to ensure animal welfare is not compromised and avoid detrimental effects to source populations or release sites, we emphasize community participation, data quality and long-term accessibility as paramount to maximize learning opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-838
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume191
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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translocation
wildlife
extinction
reintroduction
community service
ecological restoration
natural regeneration
land restoration
small mammals
animal welfare
reptiles
amphibians
animals
population size
demographic statistics
learning
local extinction
animal
local participation
revegetation

Cite this

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title = "Wildlife restoration: Mainstreaming translocations to keep common species common",
abstract = "In most urban and agricultural landscapes, remnants of native vegetation are surrounded by an inhospitable matrix. Although vagile species come and go, many reptiles, amphibians and small mammals are effectively stranded and declining towards local extinction. In the same landscapes, other areas where these species are absent are improving in habitat quality, both through natural regeneration and active restoration efforts. So, for many species in many domesticated landscapes, there are too many individuals in some patches of decreasing quality and no individuals in patches of increasing quality. One solution to this situation is to move animals from those areas where there are plenty to suitable areas where there are none. These targeted translocations apply lessons learned from revegetation to dispersal-limited animals to in-fill distributional ranges, increase population size and improve both demographic and genetic connectivity, pushing nonequilibrial metapopulations away from extinction via an imposed mass effect. In contrast to conventional reintroduction schemes—expensive, reactive interventions involving highly-trained specialists and captive-raised endangered species—these inexpensive, proactive, community-driven initiatives aim to avert future declines by keeping common species common. Having introduced the wildlife restoration vision, we use two scenarios to illustrate the benefits of the approach—to species, ecosystem function, ecological understanding, restoration practise and public engagement. As well as adhering to best-practise reintroduction techniques to ensure animal welfare is not compromised and avoid detrimental effects to source populations or release sites, we emphasize community participation, data quality and long-term accessibility as paramount to maximize learning opportunities.",
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Wildlife restoration : Mainstreaming translocations to keep common species common. / Watson, David; Watson, Maggie J.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 191, 12.2015, p. 830-838.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Watson, David

AU - Watson, Maggie J

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