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Translocation as a Conservation Tool for Agassiz’s Desert Tortoises: Survivorship, Reproduction, and Movements

Released: 2012
Nussear,K. E., C. R.Tracy, P. A. Medica, D. S. Wilson, R. W. Marlow, and P. S. Corn.2012. Translocation as a conservation tool for desert tortoises:Survivorship, Reproduction, and Movements. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 76(7):1341–1353. DOI:10.1002/jwmg.390.

With growing urbanization and associated infrastructure that affect wildlife habitat, translocation is increasingly proposed as a conservation option for mitigation for threatened and endangered species. While translocations are common and have been used successfully for many animals, its use for reptiles and amphibians has been viewed as less successful, and with differential success among taxa. Accordingly the use of translocation as a conservation strategy has had mixed acceptance, and there has been a call for more detailed research to fully understand species-specific impacts and potential for success. In this research we investigated three components important to judging the success of translocation in desert tortoises that could be measured in the near term: survivorship, reproduction, and movements. The protocol by which we have translocated desert tortoises has been successful by all reasonable short-term measures, and we found translocation to be a successful technique in dealing with desert tortoises displaced from their habitat.

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