Achieving conservation outcomes in plant mitigation translocations: the need for global standards

Chantelle A.T. Doyle, Thomas Abeli, Matthew A. Albrecht, Joe Bellis, Bruno Colas, Sarah E. Dalrymple, Andreas Ensslin, Jaime Espejo, Paul L.A. Erftemeijer, Margaux Julien, Wolfgang Lewandrowski, Hong Liu, Axel Moehrenschlager, Mark K.J. Ooi, Deborah M. Reynolds, Bertrand Schatz, Mari Sild, Timothy J. Wills, Guillaume Papuga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Many countries have legislation intended to limit or offset the impact of anthropogenic disturbance and development on threatened plants. Translocations are often integral to those mitigation policies. When translocation is used exclusively to mitigate development impacts, it is often termed a ‘mitigation translocation.’ However, both the terminology and processes vary regarding interpretation and application, resulting in inconsistent standards, often leading to poorly planned and implemented projects. These mitigation projects rarely achieve the intended ‘no net loss’ of protected species due to issues with timelines and procedures that result in the mortality of translocated individuals. Instead, such projects are often process driven, focused on meeting legislative requirements which enable the development to proceed, rather than meaningful attempts to minimise the ecological impact of developments and demonstrate conservation outcomes. Here, we propose to reframe mitigation translocations as conservation driven, ensuring best practice implementation and hence, a quantified no net loss for impacted species. These methods include redefining the term mitigation translocation to include conservation objectives and outlining issues associated with the mitigation translocation processes worldwide. We also nominate global standards of practice to which all proposals should adhere, to ensure each project follows a trajectory towards quantified success, with genuine impact mitigation. These proposed standards focus on building efficient translocation plans and improving governance to facilitate a transition from project centred to ecology-driven translocation. Employment of these standards is relevant to development proponents, government regulators, researchers, and translocation practitioners and will increase the likelihood of conservation gains within the mitigation translocation sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-763
Number of pages19
JournalPlant Ecology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Compensation
  • Conservation translocation
  • Environmental legislation
  • Environmental offsetting
  • Plant conservation
  • Plant ecology
  • Salvage


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