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IUCN SSC Guidelines for Reintroductions Now Available

26 November 2012: The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) Reintroduction Specialist Group has published its revised Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations.

Conservation translocations are defined as the deliberate movement of organisms from one site for release in another. They are aimed at bringing conservation benefits at the level of a population, species or ecosystem. They consist of reinforcement and reintroduction within a species' indigenous range, and conservation introductions. They can be an effective tool but require rigorous justification, the Group notes. Since translocations pose many risks for other species, the ecosystem and humans, proposed translocations should be preceded by a comprehensive risk assessment. Where risk is high, the report finds, a translocation should not proceed.

Translocations of organisms outside of their indigenous range are considered to be especially high risk, given the examples of those species becoming invasive. Social, economic and political factors also should be considerations in decisions about translocations.

According to the publication, the design and implementation of conservation translocations should follow specific guidelines, be fully documented, and their outcomes made available to inform future conservation planning. Finally, translocated species will need to comply with international requirements, as for example the movement of species on Appendix I, II or III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) must comply with CITES requirements. [IUCN/SSC Re-Introduction Specialist Group Website] [IISD RS Sources]