Conservation translocations: a review of common difficulties and promising directions

O. Berger-Tal, D. T. Blumstein, R. R. Swaisgood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Translocations are a common conservation and management strategy, but despite their popularity, translocations are a high-cost endeavor with a history of failures. It is therefore imperative to maximize their success by learning from our collective experience. The Global Re-introduction Perspectives Series is a collection of conservation translocation case studies, generated by the IUCN’s Conservation Translocation Specialist Group, and presented in a structured format with an emphasis on practical information. All 293 animal translocation case studies to date include a section in which the authors list the difficulties they have faced during the translocation project, with over 1200 difficulties described so far. We reviewed all difficulties reported in the series to get insights into the common perceived difficulties faced by wildlife managers during animal translocations. The most reported-upon problems had to do with animal behavior, followed by monitoring difficulties, lack of funding, quality of release habitat, lack of baseline knowledge and lack of public support. We scrutinized each of these difficulties to highlight future research directions that are most likely to improve translocation success, and put a special emphasis on difficulties stemming from animal behavior, and on solutions that may alleviate these problems and improve conservation translocation success world-wide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Conservation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Global Re-introduction Perspectives Series
  • IUCN
  • adaptive management
  • conservation behavior
  • habituation
  • long distance dispersal
  • post-release monitoring
  • reintroductions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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