Review of translocation of threatened species within Australia
This project, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry, compiled 380 translocations of 102 species of native mammal, bird, reptile
and amphibian within Australia to 2009. Of these 51% were of threatened species.
Reintroductions, typically for conservation, were the most common form of translocation
making up 65% of the total.
For those translocations for which there was a definite outcome, the success rate
was 54%. However, some 40% of translocations had no clear outcome. South Australia
had the highest reported success rate of the states and territories; Victoria and
Western Australia the lowest.
Species with ten or more translocations included Brush-tailed Bettong, Koala, Tammar
Wallaby, Bilby, Brushtail Possum, Numbat, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Burrowing Bettong,
Malleefowl and Noisy Scrub Bird. There were comparatively few translocations of
reptiles and amphibians, but these appeared to be on the increase.
Over 18,000 individuals of all species have been moved, evenly spread between threatened
and non-threatened species (excluding the > 10,000 Koalas that were translocated
in Victoria in the period 1923 to 1988).
Factor implicated in the failure of translocations differed between taxa. Predation
was a key factor for medium-sized terrestrial mammals and ground dwelling birds;
the typically smaller size of release group was important for birds.
A report to DAFF was delivered in mid-2009, but research is continuing to resolve
the many translocations of indeterminate outcome.
Client: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.