‘Community’ or ‘habitat translocation’ is widely used to move communities which are to be destroyed by a change in land use. Controversy over the efficacy of community translocation reflects confusion over, and poor setting of, objectives. This paper examines alternative objectives for translocations and in a review of 24 British translocations shows that changes in plant and animal communities following translocation were ubiquitous. In some cases these changes were minor, but many showed major changes which were linked to disturbance during translocation, environmental differences between the receptor and the donor sites, and poor aftercare and management. Invertebrate communities always showed large post-translocation changes. There is a high risk that community translocation will not achieve the preservation, unchanged, of a complete community and thus cannot replace insitu conservation. With care however, one should be able to use this technique to create a community which resembles the pre-translocated state in mitigation for the loss of the original community and which retains many of the species found at the donor site.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 1998
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