Nature conservation

Native animals

Policy for the translocation of threatened fauna in NSW

Translocation involves taking living organisms from one area, and releasing them into the wild in another area. There are three types of translocation:

  • introducing a species into an area where it has not previously been found
  • re-introducing a species into an area where it used to live but has become locally extinct
  • supplementing an existing population, by adding new individuals of that species from another area.

Translocation has often proved to be an effective strategy for managing threatened animals. It is used in various parts of the world, including Australia.

In NSW, OEH regulates translocation programs. OEH has prepared this policy to guide the planning and implementation of translocation programs for threatened fauna in NSW. Although the policy was specifically written as a guideline for proposals to translocate threatened species, the principles explained in the policy apply equally to all species.

Key elements

Translocation should not be used as a substitute for protection of high quality natural areas and conservation of wild populations in situ.

Each translocation program must be undertaken in accordance with a translocation proposal which has been prepared following the guidelines in the policy and is licensed by OEH.

Translocations of threatened fauna should only be undertaken where:

  • the removal of individuals is unlikely to pose an unjustifiable risk to the source population (except in the case of emergency transfers)
  • the species being translocated is likely to have no unjustifiable adverse impact, including the spread of disease or parasites, on the host environment
  • the factors which caused the species extinction in the host environment have been identified and reversed and are unlikely to occur in the future (except in the case of research programs)
  • other potential threats are unlikely to compromise the success of the translocation
  • the host environment has suitable and sufficient habitat for the survival of the species.

To save a species from imminent extinction or for the welfare of individual animals, an emergency transfer and the holding of individuals may be permitted while a translocation proposal is prepared.

Documents to download

This page only gives a summary of the policy. For detailed information, please download the full policy below:

Page last updated: 05 March 2014