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Title: Experimental translocations: Pitfalls and alternatives for quantifying animal movement in fragmented landscapes
Authors: Powell, Luke L.
Stouffer, Philip C.
Keywords: Age
Anthropogenic Effect
Conservation Management
Data Set
Experimental Study
Habitat Fragmentation
Homing Behavior
Mark-recapture Method
Spatio-temporal Analysis
Terrestrial Environment
Wild Population
Issue Date: 2014
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 22, Número 4, Pags. 311-316
Abstract: As anthropogenic change continues to fragment terrestrial habitats, conservation biologists are increasingly concerned with how wild animals move through fragmented landscapes. Experimental translocations have recently gained popularity as a technique to determine landscape permeability by wild animals in fragmented landscapes. In experimental translocations, researchers capture individuals — usually adults — and release them elsewhere in order to determine whether they are able to cross the landscape and return to their original location. We argue that most experimental translocations have two inherent confounding factors — age of the individual and homing ability — and that the narrow spatiotemporal scale of the technique may give it limited ability to address the most important conservation and management questions in fragmented landscapes. We discuss three alternative techniques (telemetry, capture-mark-recapture, and landscape genetics), and recommend that experimental translocations only be undertaken if: 1) they avoid confounding factors; 2) they are validated by other techniques; and 3) no other options are available for obtaining the data. We stress that researchers that do proceed with experimental translocations must acknowledge that they are using an indirect proxy to quantify natural animal movement. © 2015 Sociedade Brasileira de Ornitologia. All rights reserved.
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