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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.

Client: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Report: The characteristics and success of vertebrate translocations within Australia (pdf)

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