Managed relocation: Integrating the scientific, regulatory, and ethical challenges

Mark W. Schwartz, Jessica J. Hellmann, Jason M. McLachlan, Dov F. Sax, Justin O. Borevitz, Jean Brennan, Alejandro E. Camacho, Gerardo Ceballos, Jamie R. Clark, Holly Doremus, Regan Early, Julie R. Etterson, Dwight Fielder, Jacquelyn L. Gill, Patrick Gonzalez, Nancy Green, Lee Hannah, Dale W. Jamieson, Debra Javeline, Ben A. MinteerJay Odenbaugh, Stephen Polasky, David M. Richardson, Terry L. Root, Hugh D. Safford, Osvaldo Sala, Stephen H. Schneider, Andrew R. Thompson, John W. Williams, Mark Vellend, Pati Vitt, Sandra Zellmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Managed relocation is defined as the movement of species, populations, or genotypes to places outside the areas of their historical distributions to maintain biological diversity or ecosystem functioning with changing climate. It has been claimed that a major extinction event is under way and that climate change is increasing its severity. Projections indicating that climate change may drive substantial losses of biodiversity have compelled some scientists to suggest that traditional management strategies are insufficient. The managed relocation of species is a controversial management response to climate change. The published literature has emphasized biological concerns over difficult ethical, legal, and policy issues. Furthermore, ongoing managed relocation actions lack scientific and societal engagement. Our interdisciplinary team considered ethics, law, policy, ecology, and natural resources management in order to identify the key issues of managed relocation relevant for developing sound policies that support decisions for resource management. We recommend that government agencies develop and adopt best practices for managed relocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-743
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, USA 2School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA 3Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 4School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA 5Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA Correspondence Joanna Malukiewicz, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287. Email: Funding information This research was supported by the following grants: National Science Foundation DDIG (to A.C.S. and J.M.) (1061508), Fulbright Fellowship (to J.M.), Brazilian Ministry on Science, Technology, and Innovation Young Talents Postdoctoral Fellowship (to J.M.) (407535/2013-6), Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowship to KG (LT000800/ 2011-L), and Arizona State University Faculty Exemplar Funding (to A.C.S.).


  • conservation
  • ethics
  • law
  • policy
  • translocation


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