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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 8:25-31 (2009)  -  DOI:

Translocation of bats as a conservation strategy: previous attempts and potential problems

Jay Ruffell, Joshua Guilbert, Stuart Parsons*

School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Translocation is an increasingly popular conservation tool from which a wide range of taxa have benefited. However, to our knowledge, bats have not been translocated successfully. Bats differ behaviourally, morphologically and physiologically from the taxa for which translocation theory has been developed, so existing guidelines may not be directly transferable. We review previous translocations of bats and discuss characteristics of bats that may require special consideration during translocation. Their vagility and homing ability, coloniality, roost requirements, potential ability to transmit diseases, susceptibility to anthropomorphic impacts, and cryptic nature have implications for establishing populations, effects of these populations on the release site, and ability to monitor translocation success following release. We hope that our discussion of potential problems will be able to supplement the existing, more generic guidelines to provide a starting point for the planning of bat translocations.

KEY WORDS: Bat · Chiroptera · Translocation · Reintroduction · Relocation · Guidelines · Release strategy

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Cite this article as: Ruffell J, Guilbert J, Parsons S (2009) Translocation of bats as a conservation strategy: previous attempts and potential problems. Endang Species Res 8:25-31.

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