Maximizing the success of assisted colonizations


  • Editor: Matthew Gompper


Aliénor L. M. Chauvenet, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, London NW1 4RY, UK.



Climate change is causing spatio-temporal shifts in environmental conditions, and species that are not able to track suitable environments may face increased risks of extinction. Assisted colonization, a form of translocation, has been proposed as a tool to help species survive the impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, translocations generally have a low success rate, a well-documented fact that is not considered in most of the recent literature on assisted colonization. One of the main impediments to translocation success is inadequate planning. In this review, we argue that by using well-known analytical tools such as species distribution models and population dynamics modelling we can maximize the success of assisted colonization. In particular, we present guidelines as to which questions should be investigated when planning assisted colonization and suggest methods for answering them. Finally, we also highlight further implementation and research issues that remain to be solved for assisted colonizations to be efficient climate change adaptation tools.