Law, College of



Mark W. Schwartz, University of California, DavisFollow
Jessica J. Hellmann, University of Notre Dame
Jason M. McLachlan, University of Notre Dame
Dov F. Sax, Brown University
Justin O. Borevitz, Australian National University, Canberra.
Jean Brennan, Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University
Alejandro E. Camacho, University of California, IrvineFollow
Gerardo Ceballos, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Jamie R. Clark, Defenders of Wildlife
Holly Doremus, University of California, Berkeley
Regan Early, University of Évora, Portugal
Julie R. Etterson, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Dwight Fielder, US Bureau of Land Management
Jacquelyn L. Gill, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Patrick Gonzalez, US National Park Service
Nancy Green, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Lee Hannah, Conservation International’s Center for Applied Biodiversity Science
Dale W. Jamieson, New York University
Debra Javeline, University of Notre Dame,
Ben A. Minteer, Arizona State University
Jay Odenbaugh, Lewis and Clark College
Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
David M. Richardson, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Terry L. Root, Stanford University
Hugh D. Safford, US Forest Service
Osvaldo Sala, Arizona State University
Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University
Andrew R. Thompson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, La Jolla, CA
John W. Williams, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Mark Vellend, Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec
Pati Vitt, Chicago Botanical Garden
Sandra Zellmer, University of Nebraska LincolnFollow

Date of this Version



BioScience 62:8 (August 2012), pp. 732-743; doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.8.6


U.S. government work.


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.