Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Headquarters
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Nichols, J.D., Hollmen, T.E. and Grand, J.B., 2016. Monitoring for the Management of Disease Risk in Animal Translocation Programmes. EcoHealth, pp.1-11.


Monitoring is best viewed as a component of some larger programme focused on science or conservation. The value of monitoring is determined by the extent to which it informs the parent process. Animal translocation programmes are typically designed to augment or establish viable animal populations without changing the local community in any detrimental way. Such programmes seek to minimize disease risk to local wild animals and to translocated animals. Disease monitoring can inform translocation decisions by (1) providing information for state-dependent decisions, (2) assessing progress towards programme objectives, (3) permitting learning in order to make better decisions in the future, and (4) providing parameter estimates for process models. Here we discuss specific decisions that can be informed by both pre-release and post-release disease monitoring programmes. We specify state variables and vital rates needed to inform these decisions. We then discuss monitoring data and analytic methods that can be used to estimate these state variables and vital rates. Our discussion is necessarily general, but hopefully provides a basis for tailoring disease monitoring approaches to specific translocation programmes.