Biological Translocation Policies

 
Translocation is a term for the transfer by human kind of any organism from one place to another. It includes bringing non-native species into Britain, the movement of species for conservation purposes, and the transfer of assemblages of species together with their substrate, generally known as habitats translocation.
 
Biological translocations are of great significance for biodiversity conservation. This has been recognised both nationally within Britain and internationally, notably by the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). To fulfil Target 36 of Biodiversity the UK Action Plan (the UK response to the CBD), JNCC has prepared policy guidance dealing with species translocations for conservation purposes, and dealing with habitats translocation. This has been done in conjunction with the country conservation agencies in England, Scotland and Wales (a separate initiative is dealing with Northern Ireland). Translocation of non-native species has been recently covered by a policy review led by Defra, published in 2003.
 
JNCC has previously consulted over an earlier draft of a Biological Translocation Policy in 2001. This draft included a section on non-native species, which was subsequently used as one contribution by the statutory conservation agencies to the Defra Review of Non-native Species Policy. With the initiation of the Defra Review, it was decided that the other two strands of the Biological Translocation Policy (for conservation translocation of species, and for habitats) should be published separately on JNCC's website.
 
In A Policy for Conservation Translocations of Species in Britain, the policy adopted by the statutory conservation agencies is described, which conforms with the published international guidelines issued by The World Conservation Union (IUCN). A process for evaluating and undertaking species translocations for conservation purposes is also included within the policy, to give some practical guidance to those considering the use of such translocations.
 
In A Habitats Translocation Policy for Britain, the statutory conservation agencies reject habitats translocation as a substitute for in situ conservation of sites with significant biodiversity, notably Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The policy also advocates that the use of habitats translocations for habitat restoration should not damage important sites or ancient habitats, and that habitats translocations should only take place where it can be shown that there is a net gain for biodiversity conservation.
 
Review of information, policy and legislation on species translocation. This report reviews the available information concerning translocations, as background for a future policy statement to be drawn up by the statutory UK conservation agencies (the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland).