Translocate crop raiders away from crops (e.g. elephants) to reduce human-wildlife conflict

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • Two studies evaluated the effects on mammals of translocating crop-raiding animals away from crops to reduce human-wildlife conflict. One study was in Kenya and one was in the USA.



  • Survival (1 study): A controlled study in Kenya found that translocated crop-raiding African elephants had a lower survival rate after release than did non-translocated elephants at the same site.



  • Human-wildlife conflict (1 study): A study in the USA found that most American black bears translocated from sites of crop damage were not subsequently recaptured at sites of crop damage.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A controlled study in 2005–2006 of savanna in and around a national park in Kenya (Pinter-Wollman et al. 2009) found that translocated crop-raiding African elephants Loxodonta africana had a lower survival rate than non-translocated elephants at the same site. Twenty-four of 150 translocated elephants died within 55 days of translocation; from dying during translocation (six elephants), poaching (one), shooting by problem animal control officers (two) and unknown causes (three), whilst 12 calves went missing and were presumed to have died. Out of 103 elephants that survived this period and were successfully monitored, four (4%) died over year following release, compared to 77 out of 6,395 (1%) during the same time period from the non-translocated population in the same park. One hundred and fifty elephants were translocated 160 km to a national park, in September 2005, to reduce human-elephant conflicts related to crop damage at the source location. Locations of translocated elephants and resident elephants were monitored 4–5 times/week at the receptor site from road transects and 2–3 times/week by aerial surveys.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A study in 2006–2007 across a large portion of northern Wisconsin, USA (Shivik et al. 2011) found that most American black bears Ursus americanus translocated away from sites of damage to corn crops were not subsequently recaptured at sites of crop damage. Out of 520 translocated bears, 20 (4%) were recaptured during subsequent capture activities at sites of crop damage (including the original capture site). Average time to recapture was 45 days. Recaptured bears had been moved 40–64 km following initial capture. Of the total of 21 recaptures of 20 recaptured bears (one was recaptured twice), nine (43%) were at the original capture site and 15 (71%) were within 10 km of the original capture site. Bears were captured on 55 farms from 11 August to 9 October 2006 and 50 farms from 3 August to 12 October 2007. Skin samples were taken using a biopsy dart and 541 out of 567 samples produced genetic material that enabled identification of 520 individuals.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

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Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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