Species reintroductions and translocations are fast becoming familiar techniques in conservation – but is this always the right approach? Having been heavily involved with past reintroduction projects, Ian Carter takes a step back to look at some of the issues associated with reintroductions and raises some philosophical considerations.
There has been a surge of interest in species reintroductions and translocations in recent decades and it shows no sign of abating. The winner and both runners-up in this year’s ‘Wildlife Success of the Year’ category in the BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Awards were reintroduction projects. Moving animals and plants from place to place is becoming the norm, rather than the exception, in conservation management; many nature reserves now support at least a handful of species that are present only because someone has put them there.