Changing climate and introduced species are placing an increasing number of species at risk of extinction. With mounting evidence that species may go extinct as a consequence of environmental change, managers in some agencies and organizations are increasingly considering measures such as managed relocation of species—also known as assisted dispersal or assisted migration--intended to protect species by relocating them to locations with more favorable biotic or climatic conditions. Such actions entail risks to both the organisms being moved, and to the recipient ecosystems. Understanding the nature of risks involved should be a key step to inform decision-making in considering relocation actions.
This report and an accompanying worksheet describe risk-assessment protocols to help managers of parks and other agencies evaluate the ecological risks of species managed relocation as part of planning and decision making. This is a tool for managers that does not dictate a decision; rather, the protocols and accompanying spreadsheet seek to help a decision maker structure a process to inform decisions. Actual decisions regarding potential relocation actions will require additional analysis of a variety of topics including policy, and environmental, social, and economic effects of managed relocation.
Managed Relocation in ActionWant to see a real-world example of managed relocation? Check out the video below featuring bull trout at Glacier National Park.
In Glacier National Park, bull trout are threatened by both invasive species and increasingly warming waters. Explore how park managers are using a bold strategy to provide conditions better suited for the survival of the species.
- 5 minutes, 28 seconds
Last updated: March 6, 2022