Is Australia ready for Assisted Colonization? Policy changes required to facilitate translocations under climate change

Burbidge A.A., Byrne M., Coates D., Garnett S.T., Harris S., Hayward M.W., Martin T.G., McDonald-Madden E., Mitchell N.J., Nally S. and Setterfield S.A. (2011) Is Australia ready for Assisted Colonization? Policy changes required to facilitate translocations under climate change. Pacific Conservation Biology, 17 3: 259-269.

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Author Burbidge A.A.
Byrne M.
Coates D.
Garnett S.T.
Harris S.
Hayward M.W.
Martin T.G.
McDonald-Madden E.
Mitchell N.J.
Nally S.
Setterfield S.A.
Title Is Australia ready for Assisted Colonization? Policy changes required to facilitate translocations under climate change
Journal name Pacific Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-2097
Publication date 2011-01-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 17
Issue 3
Start page 259
End page 269
Total pages 11
Place of publication Baulkham Hills, NSW Australia
Publisher Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd.
Subject 2303 Ecology
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Formatted abstract
Assisted Colonization (AC) has been proposed as one method of aiding species to adapt to the impacts of climate
change. AC is a form of translocation and translocation protocols for threatened species, mostly for reintroduction,
are well established in Australia. We evaluate the information available from implementation of translocations to
understand how existing policies and guidelines should be varied to plan, review and regulate AC. While the risks
associated with AC are potentially greater than those of reintroductions, AC is likely to be the only available method,
other than germplasm storage and establishment of captive populations, of conserving many taxa under future climate
change. AC may also be necessary to maintain ecosystem services, particularly where keystone species are affected.
Current policies and procedures for the preparation of Translocation Proposals will require modification and expansion
to deal with Assisted Colonization, particularly in relation to risk management, genetic management, success criteria,
moving associated species and community consultation. Further development of risk assessment processes, particularly
for invasiveness, and guidelines for genetic management to maintain evolutionary potential are particularly important
in the context of changing climate. Success criteria will need to respond to population establishment in the context
of new and evolving ecosystems, and to reflect requirements for any co-establishment of interdependent species.
Translocation Proposals should always be subjected to independent peer review before being considered by regulators.
We conclude that consistent approaches by regulators and multilateral agreements between jurisdictions are required
to minimize duplication, to ensure the risk of AC is adequately assessed and to ensure the potential benefits of AC
are realized.
Keyword Assisted Colonization
Assisted migration
Managed relocation
Translocating associated species
Translocation genetic management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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