Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Developing new translocation code for Scotland - a community driven approach?

I have recently begun a contract working with Scottish Natural Heritage, the government agency for nature conservation, and the National Species Reintroduction Forum (NSRF), also in Scotland.  The NSRF is chaired by SNH but consists of a real mix interested parties including conservationists that want to explore ambitious translocation projects, and land owners who are cautious about reintroductions and the implications this has for how they manage their properties.  I've been contracted to produce a code for conservation translocations and a document that details what makes best practice when moving plants and animals for conservation purposes.

In my preparations so far, I've gone back to the IUCN guidelines that I co-authored, and looked in detail again at the best practice guidelines for plant reintroductions presented by Joyce Maschinski and co-authors (in Maschinski & Haskins 2012). These, and other guideline documents I've seen, use a combination of a document containing the key principles with an often longer document or detailed sub-sections, that contain more of the explanatory and/or contextual detail.  In some published literature, decision trees are used to simplify the justification of a reintroduction attempt, in other sources, a simple list of yes/no questions does the same job.

Part of my contract is to ensure that the NSRF is involved in the production of the code and guidance document.  I want to make sure that this is a genuine process of stakeholder engagement and that the NSRF has a sense of ownership of the outputs.  However, all the guidance documents I've been involved in have resulted from a group of conservationists (admittedly including biologists, social scientists, and ethics and legislation experts) producing the guidance and not involving stakeholders such as community groups and land owners/managers until a more or less complete draft has been written.  In some cases, the guidelines are simply aimed at other conservation practitioners and the stakeholders aren't involved except to be consulted when a specific translocation is planned.  The most inclusive example I've seen is the New Zealand guidelines which are the most community-friendly because they make translocations accessible to anyone who would like to explore the feasibility of moving a plant or animal into their local area.  Again though, this isn't a case of involving stakeholders in the development of the actual guidelines themselves - they are still issued by the government department with responsibility for conservation.

So, what works best?  How do you get a diverse group of people and organisations to agree on a code of conduct? And how do we genuinely incorporate their views when we can only meet all interested parties on one occasion?  My first idea is to ask exactly what format would suit the NSRF by presenting some of the examples I've described above but if anyone has any other ideas, please contact me!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Translocation digest - February 2013

Translocation projects:

Sariska to get another tiger after gap of two years
Daily Bhaskar
But, in the last two years, no tiger was translocated to Sariska. Now, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given a green signal to move a tigress from Ranthambhore.

Cattlemen ask Obama Administration to delay ferret reintroduction plan
WASHINGTON, January 15, 2013 - The United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) and other agricultural groups say they need more time to study a controversial plan toreintroduce black-footed ferrets in 12 western states through an "enhancement of 
of survival" permit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

A predator's tale: Reintroducing wolves to Oregon has a history that's as ...
La Grande Observer
The road to reintroducing the wolf has been a long and often bumpy one.

Rule Change Designed To Help With Steelhead Reintroduction - KlCC
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is changing a designation to help with thereintroduction of Steelhead to Central Oregon. The NOAA rule ...

Appeals court upholds Colo. wolf reintroduction decision || Red ...
The overgrown elk population of Rocky Mountain National Park has been kept in check for years by volunteers who shoot the animals, and it's likely to stay that ...

reintroduction news | The Return of Native Nordic Fauna
European bison (aka the wisent, Bison bonasus) are now in the wild in Germany for the first time since 1746, according to a news article from Christmas Eve.dolly.jorgensenweb.net/nordicnature/?cat=5


Causes of reintroduction failure of the brown treecreeper ...

Victoria A. Bennett1,*,; Veronica A. J. Doerr2,4,; Erik D. Doerr2,4,; Adrian D. Manning1,; David B. Lindenmayer1,; Hwan-Jin Yoon3. Article first published online: ...

Turlure, C., Radchuk, V., Baguette, M., Meijrink, M., Van den Burg, A., De Vries, M. W., & Van Duinen, G.-J. (2012). Plant quality and local adaptation undermine relocation in a bog specialist butterfly. Ecology and Evolution, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1002/ece3.427
Freemantle, T. P., Wacher, T., Newby, J., & Pettorelli, N. (2013). Earth observation: overlooked potential to support species reintroduction programmes. African Journal of Ecology, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1111/aje.12060

Naish, K. A., Seamons, T. R., Dauer, M. B., Hauser, L. and Quinn, T. P. (2013), Relationship between effective population size, inbreeding and adult fitness-related traits in a steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population released in the wild. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12185


Assisted Migration: A primer for Reforestation and Restoration ...

Title: Assisted Migration: A primer for Reforestation and Restoration Decision Makers Location: World Forestry Center, Portland, OR Date: February 21, 2013 ...