These policy guidelines have been drafted by the Re-introduction Specialist Group of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission (1), in response to the increasing occurrence of re-introduction projects worldwide, and consequently, to the growing need for specific policy guidelines to help ensure that the re-introductions achieve their intended conservation benefit, and do not cause adverse side-effects of greater impact. Although IUCN developed a Position Statement on the Translocation of Living Organisms in 1987, more detailed guidelines were felt to be essential in providing more comprehensive coverage of the various factors involved in re-introduction exercises.
These guidelines are intended to act as a guide for procedures useful to re-introduction programmes and do not represent an inflexible code of conduct. Many of the points are more relevant to re-introductions using captive-bred individuals than to translocations of wild species. Others are especially relevant to globally endangered species with limited numbers of founders. Each re-introduction proposal should be rigorously reviewed on its individual merits. It should be noted that re-introduction is always a very lengthy, complex and expensive process.
Re-introductions or translocations of species for short-term, sporting or commercial purposes where there is no intention to establish a viable population - are a different issue and beyond the scope of these guidelines. These include fishing and hunting activities.
This document has been written to encompass the full range of plant and animal taxa and is therefore general. It will be regularly revised. Handbooks for re-introducing individual groups of animals and plants will be developed in future.