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Countering ecological misconceptions with strategic translocation and assessment of microhabitat use.pdf (1.85 MB)

Countering ecological misconceptions with strategic translocation and assessment of microhabitat use

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-06, 06:24 authored by KJ Smith, MJ Evans, Iain GordonIain Gordon, JC Pierson, S McIntyre, AD Manning
Wildlife translocations to human-modified and inferred formerly occupied habitats can be controversial when they involve a high degree of perceived risk of failure, often stemming from a large number of unknowns or misconceptions regarding the focal species' ecology. However, it is increasingly recognised that such translocations are necessary to guide effective conservation strategies, particularly for species that persist in a subset of the habitats they formerly occupied. As a step towards alleviating some of the perceived risks around these translocations, we suggest the focal species' microhabitat use in the recipient locality of a trial translocation be compared with that where they still persist. Using a case study of a threatened Australian rodent, the pookila (Pseudomys novaehollandiae, New Holland mouse), we demonstrate how such an assessment can shed light on ecological misconceptions that may need to be addressed, and bring about the revision of species-specific recommendations for restoration works and release tactics. Feeding this knowledge back into the decision-making process, practitioners may more confidently direct future conservation activities (including further trial translocations) across a broader diversity of habitats within the species' indigenous range. Widespread and systematic implementation of this approach may help to reverse the impacts of shifting baseline syndrome, and should ultimately aid the resilience of species to future environmental change.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Volume

284

Start Page

1

End Page

11

Number of Pages

11

ISSN

0006-3207

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Additional Rights

CC BY-NC-ND

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

Acceptance Date

2023-05-27

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Journal

Biological Conservation

Article Number

110143