Training

The Conservation Translocation Specialist Group now runs training courses to enable sound application of the IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations.  Held annually in various parts of the globe, the aim of the workshops is to support conservation biologists and managers in designing and managing the complexities surrounding conservation translocations in terms of multi-stakeholder interests, biological uncertainties, and risk. We thereby hope to ultimately increase knowledge to plan, courage to act, certainty to secure resources, skill to respond to challenges, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. Workshop presenters are leading experts in the field. The four-day courses are a mix of lectures, tools training sessions, and small group activities to enable application to imminent, real-world conservation challenges.

Reflecting both the high demand for our in-person training courses and the challenges to travel posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are aiming to expand our offer to include shorter courses and remote training opportunities.

The following videos provide short “teaser” versions of some of our full in-person training modules, delivered by the same lecturers on our team. They cover several sections of the Guidelines, and introduce some key principles and tools for rational decision-making.

We will continue to add short lecture videos and case studies to this collection, to showcase best practices in translocation planning worldwide, and eventually provide a fully structured remote training course.

1.1 Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations

In this video, Dr Axel Moehrenschlager briefly illustrates the history of conservation translocations, recounts the evolution of the IUCN/SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group (now Conservation Translocations Specialist Group) and the development of the Guidelines from 1988 to present.

1.2 Definitions and Classifications: The Conservation Translocation Spectrum

In this video, Dr. Stefano Canessa explains the scope of the Guidelines and the taxonomy they use, from the overarching term of conservation translocation to more specific terms like reinforcement, reintroduction or assisted colonization.

1.3 Motivations for Translocations

In this video, Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager explains the different reasons why we do conservation translocations, with examples of acceptable and inappropriate motivations, and of the complexity they can create.

2.1 Framing Translocations as Decisions

In this video, Dr. John Ewen introduces the idea of seeing translocation management as a series of decisions, explains the key factors that complicate those decisions, and introduces a rational approach to translocation planning.

2.2 Setting the Objectives of Conservation Translocations

In this video, Dr. John Ewen talks about translocation objectives, with emphasis on recognizing values, separating means and fundamental objectives, and setting the right performance indicators to compare alternatives and evaluate success.

2.3 Developing Alternatives

In this video, Dr. Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton highlights the need to consider creative but realistic alternative strategies, explains what makes a good alternative, and introduces tools like influence diagrams and consequence tables.

3.1 Making predictions

In this video, Dr. Liz Parlato explains why and how we need to explicitly predict the outcomes of translocation to choose the best strategy, and illustrates how to inform those predictions using models and expert elicitation.

3.2 Translocation Risks

In this video, Dr. Stefano Canessa walks through the different types of risk involved in conservation translocations, both to focal species and donor or source ecosystems, and suggests some key considerations for mitigating risk.

4.1 Monitoring Translocations

In this video, Dr. Sarah Converse illustrates how different sources of uncertainty can affect our translocation decisions, and how we can and should use monitoring to collect useful information for both translocation planning and success evaluation.

4.2 Adaptive Management of Translocations

In this video, Dr. Stefano Canessa explains the principles of adaptive management, using learning within planning to improve recurrent decisions, highlighting how it relies on well-planned monitoring and how it differs from unfocused trial-and-error.

SPEAKERS

University of Bern

Stefano Canessa
Senior Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Bern

Stefano is a senior postdoc in the Division of Conservation Biology at the University of Bern, and an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. His research focuses on demographic modelling, risk analysis and decision-making for endangered species management, particularly conservation translocations. He has been involved in species recovery plans across the globe, ranging from frogs and turtles to birds and bats.

WACFWRU

Sarah Converse
Unit Leader and Associate Professor, USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Washington

Sarah is the Unit Leader of the USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research program is built around two themes – quantitative population ecology of endangered species and decision analysis applications in endangered species management.

ZSL

John Ewen
Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London

John’s research focuses on reintroduction biology and threatened species recovery. He is co-chair of New Zealand’s Hihi (Stitchbird) Recovery Group and of the Sihek (Guam kingfisher) Recovery group, and is involved in a growing number of projects including birds and mammals spanning New Zealand, Australia and Mauritius.

University of Bern

Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton
Environmental Consultant at Biodiversify

Thalassa is a conservation scientist and decision analyst with over ten years’ experience working with NGOs, government and in academic research, with particular focus on seabird management and conservation translocations. Her principal interest is how to make more robust, transparent and inclusive decisions by leading diverse stakeholder groups through structure decision making (SDM) processes that integrate scientific evidence with social and cultural values.

Wilder Institute

Axel Moehrenschlager
Chair of the IUCN SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group

Axel is motivated to amplify translation, policy integration, training, and application of the IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations to help more species, ecosystems, and people worldwide. He is the Director of Conservation & Science at the Wilder Institute, Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary in Canada, Adjunct Associate Professor at Clemson University in the United States, Erskine Fellow at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, and Research Associate at Oxford University in the UK where he received his D.Phil. (Ph.D).

Massey

Liz Parlato
Post-doctoral Fellow at Massey University

Liz is a Post-doctoral Fellow at Massey University in New Zealand. She has previously worked in conservation-related positions in Ireland and Canada. Liz is passionate about wildlife reintroductions, and a strong focus of her research has been improving methods for predicting reintroduction outcomes. She is currently working on a 4-year research project utilizing data from multiple reintroduced populations to investigate the importance of individual variation for population dynamics.

These following videos are excerpts of longer lectures from the first Conservation Translocation Training workshop, delivered by the IUCN SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in August, 2016.  These excerpts are offered here to give a basic introduction to Conservation Translocation planning. 

Introducing the 2013 Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations

Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager
Chair of the IUCN SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group
Director of Conservation and Science, Calgary Zoological Society

Planning a Translocation

Dr. John Ewen
Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London

Feasibility and Design

Prof. Doug Armstrong
Professor of Conservation Biology at Massey University, New Zealand

Multi-stakeholder Needs and Interests: Tools for Engagement and Collaborative Decision-making

Jamie Copsey
Director of Training for the IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group

Whether and How to Proceed With a Conservation Translocation

Dr. Sarah Converse
Associate Professor and Unit Leader, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Washington

Risk Assessment

Dr. Stefano Canessa
Post-doctoral Fellow at Ghent University