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Climate suitability as a predictor of conservation translocation failure

Bellis, J, Bourke, D, Maschinski, J, Heineman, K and Dalrymple, SE Climate suitability as a predictor of conservation translocation failure. Conservation Biology. ISSN 0888-8892 (Accepted)

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The continuing decline and loss of biodiversity has caused an increase in the use of interventionist conservation tools such as translocation. However, many translocation attempts fail to establish viable populations, with poor release site selection often flagged as an inhibitor of success. We used species distribution models (SDMs) to predict the climate suitability of 102 release sites for amphibians, reptiles and terrestrial insects and compared suitability predictions between successful and failed attempts. We then quantified the importance of climate suitability relative to five other variables frequently considered in the literature to be important determinants of translocation success: number of release years, number of individuals released, life stage released, origin of the source population and position of the release site relative to the species’ range. We found that the probability of translocation success increased with predicted climate suitability and this effect was the strongest amongst the variables considered in our analysis, accounting for 48.3% of the variation in translocation outcome. These findings should encourage greater consideration of climate suitability when selecting release sites for conservation translocations and we advocate the use of SDMs as an effective way of doing this.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 05 Environmental Sciences, 06 Biological Sciences, 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2020 10:11
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2020 10:15
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12746

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