What is the aim of the review?
Re-introductions are considered by some conservation practitioners to be a controversial management option for mitigating threatened plant declines. The use of translocations (including re-introductions) has been criticised for the lack of monitoring and central recording, inappropriateness of the action due to genetic considerations, a lack of knowledge of the demography of the donor populations and inadequate information on the habitat requirements of the species. Despite these arguably justified criticisms, re-introductions are growing in use as practitioners see no other option for meeting management plan targets. Re-introductions have been proposed as options for overcoming habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and reproductive isolation. An extension of this increasingly interventionist approach, often termed assisted colonisation, is being considered as a potential method for preventing extinctions due to climatic shifts too rapid to allow corresponding species’ distribution changes.
This review evaluates the effectiveness of re-introductions as a conservation tool by using the available evidence to determine in what context plant translocations have improved the status of threatened species.