Translocation is increasingly being used in conservation to improve the outlook of threatened plants and animals. It is often supported by captive breeding or plant propagation programs to increase the number of individuals available for translocation.
The best approach for conserving threatened species is to protect them where they are naturally found. If this is not likely to be effective, it may be possible to integrate translocation with other conservation measures.
We generally use translocation in three circumstances:
- we move species to areas they have not previously occurred
- we move species to areas where they previously occurred, but are no longer found
- we move extra plants or animals to increase existing populations.
In Saving our Species (SoS), we have identified over 150 species where translocation, captive breeding or plant propagation will be important.
For example, SoS is working with a group of passionate volunteers and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan to save the Nielsen Park She-oak. Thanks to ongoing efforts, the population continues to grow.
SoS is also working with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and the University of New South Wales to reintroduce 13 animal species back into New South Wales. The animals will be collected from across Australia and released into fenced reserves following the removal of invasive predators (foxes and cats). In late 2018, the AWC released bilbies into Pilliga State Conservation Area, making them the first bilbies present in New South Wales for over 100 years.
Generally, the Office of Environment and Heritage is more likely to support translocation where:
- the benefits outweigh the risks
- the likelihood of success is high
- it is unlikely to increase the extinction risk for any species
- the recipient site can support a translocated population
- the cause of any past decline has been identified and managed.
Office of Environment and Heritage translocation operational policy
The Office of Environment and Heritage translocation operational policy guides the planning, assessment and implementation of translocations under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
Each translocation licensed under the BC Act should be undertaken in accordance with an approved translocation proposal.
If you are going to undertake a translocation, we recommend that you download and read the Office of Environment and Heritage translocation operational policy before you begin planning.