Translocation of carnivores as a method for managing problem animals: a review
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- LINNELL, J.D.C., AANES, R., SWENSON, J.E. et al. Biodiversity and Conservation (1997) 6: 1245. doi:10.1023/B:BIOC.0000034011.05412.cd
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Translocation of individual carnivores has been a standard management tool for decades in North America and southern Africa in response to livestock depredation and other conflict behaviours. As carnivore populations across Europe begin to increase it is expected that management problems will also increase. Before translocation becomes established as a management tool in Europe its success needs to be reviewed. In general, there has been very little follow-up of translocated animals. Almost no data exist on the subsequent levels of damage after translocation. Large carnivores have shown a consistent ability to return to the site of capture over distances of up to 400 km. Even those individuals that do not succeed in returning home roam over very large distances, best measured in units of hundreds of kilometres. Very few individuals remain at the release sites. Survival of translocated animals has occasionally been shown to be poor, often as a result of the large movements. In general, there needs to be a large area (hundreds or thousands of square kilometres) without conflict potential where the individuals can be released for the strategy to work. When such areas are not available, management efforts should concentrate on reducing conflict potential, or, where this is not practical, lethal control.