Translocation and Population Augmentation

Due to appreciable declines of tortoise populations across the range, in conjunction with multi-faceted interacting threats, population augmentation is another tool for conservation of the Mojave desert tortoise. Translocation (the movement of an animal from one location to another) can be used to augment or re-establish locally depleted or extirpated populations in conjunction with elevated threat management, habitat restoration, and/or directed research on the factors affecting success. Population augmentation in conjunction with threats management and restoration activities, as well as research designed to investigate the effectiveness of these actions is a means to gain insights into causes of declines and to increase the rate at which depleted populations could be recovered. It is important to realize that if the causes of tortoise population declines are not addressed, simply increasing tortoise numbers in the wild through augmentation will not be sustainable or result in species recovery. Augmentation will not be a long-term strategy for conservation of the Mojave desert tortoise, but rather an intermediate, experimental strategy aimed at increasing populations more rapidly than possible through natural processes.

Find guidance, plans, and reports for translocation and population augmentation projects in our Library.



Mojave Desert Tortoise facing out of burrow
The Desert Tortoise Recovery Office works to provide effective and coordinated recovery, research, and monitoring activities for the Mojave desert tortoise; provide a sound and defensible scientific basis for decision-making; assess the benefits of recovery actions; provide information and...