A global perspective on re-introduction

05 February 2014 | News story

From mangroves to spiders, trout to bobcat, the latest edition of Global Re-introduction Perspectives presents 52 case studies on re-introduction projects from around the world.

Re-introduction is a conservation technique that returns viable populations of animals and plants to an area they previously inhabited. Re-introduced populations are bred in captivity or translocated from one area to another; however, success is only achieved with a great deal of research and preparation.

The new publication provides a fascinating overview of re-introduction projects that are aiming to restore biodiversity. An interesting case is the Père David's Deer (Elaphurus davidianus) re-introduction in China, which involved the establishment of many parks and natural reserves across the country, some of which have now reached carrying capacity for the species. The record breaking mangrove rehabilitation project in the Indus Delta, Pakistan, involved over 800,000 seedlings being planted in 24 hours by a team of 300 volunteers from coastal communities. Other projects include the release of Northeast Bornean Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus ssp. Morio) from captivity to wildlife reserves in Malaysia.

Each project in the book is ranked as either ‘Highly Successful’ ‘Successful’ ‘Partially Successful’ or ‘Failure’, with an explanation about difficulties faced and lessons learned. Most of the featured projects have been successful, although the reporting of failed projects is equally important, helping to prevent repeated mistakes. A recurring limitation of many of the featured projects is lack of funding for post-release monitoring or site maintenance after a re-introduction has occurred.

Thanks to the financial support of the Environment Agency-ABU DHABI (EAD) and the Denver Zoological Foundation (DZF), the compilation and publication of these case studies was made possible. The new book follows the recent publication of the 2013 IUCN Guidelines for Re-introduction and Other Conservation Translocations, an essential guide for conservation practitioners and policy-makers.

“Whilst it is encouraging to see that re-introductions and translocations are widely used as conservation tools for many taxa, it is also an indication that the pressure on species is increasing, and that quality habitats and space available for species is decreasing; either through direct competition from alternative land-use or through climate change and its associated effects” said Frédéric Launay, Chair of the IUCN SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group.

The new book is the fourth edition in a series produced by the IUCN SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group.

For more information contact:
Pritpal Soorae, IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, psoorae@wildlife-services.com


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