Translocate crop raiders away from crops (e.g. elephants) to reduce human-wildlife conflict
Overall effectiveness category Trade-off between benefit and harms
Number of studies: 2
Background information and definitions
Where wild mammals cause unacceptable damage to crops, they may be translocated from their point of capture and released some distance away. The release site may be an area away from where agricultural crops are grown. The intervention can fail if translocated animals continue to raid crops or if survival of translocated animals is low. If the intervention succeeds, it may reduce incentives for carrying out lethal control of such animals. Several other interventions cover translocations that are primarily for conservation of rare or threatened species, such as Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A controlled study in 2005–2006 of savanna in and around a national park in Kenya (Pinter-Wollman et al. 2009) found that translocated crop-raiding African elephants Loxodonta africana had a lower survival rate than non-translocated elephants at the same site. Twenty-four of 150 translocated elephants died within 55 days of translocation; from dying during translocation (six elephants), poaching (one), shooting by problem animal control officers (two) and unknown causes (three), whilst 12 calves went missing and were presumed to have died. Out of 103 elephants that survived this period and were successfully monitored, four (4%) died over year following release, compared to 77 out of 6,395 (1%) during the same time period from the non-translocated population in the same park. One hundred and fifty elephants were translocated 160 km to a national park, in September 2005, to reduce human-elephant conflicts related to crop damage at the source location. Locations of translocated elephants and resident elephants were monitored 4–5 times/week at the receptor site from road transects and 2–3 times/week by aerial surveys.Study and other actions tested
A study in 2006–2007 across a large portion of northern Wisconsin, USA (Shivik et al. 2011) found that most American black bears Ursus americanus translocated away from sites of damage to corn crops were not subsequently recaptured at sites of crop damage. Out of 520 translocated bears, 20 (4%) were recaptured during subsequent capture activities at sites of crop damage (including the original capture site). Average time to recapture was 45 days. Recaptured bears had been moved 40–64 km following initial capture. Of the total of 21 recaptures of 20 recaptured bears (one was recaptured twice), nine (43%) were at the original capture site and 15 (71%) were within 10 km of the original capture site. Bears were captured on 55 farms from 11 August to 9 October 2006 and 50 farms from 3 August to 12 October 2007. Skin samples were taken using a biopsy dart and 541 out of 567 samples produced genetic material that enabled identification of 520 individuals.Study and other actions tested