Translocation of urban Gila monsters: a problematic conservation tool

  • Published source details Sullivan B.K., Kwiatkowski M.A. & Schuett G.W. (2004) Translocation of urban Gila monsters: a problematic conservation tool. Biological Conservation, 117, 235-242.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate problem reptiles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Translocate problem reptiles

    A controlled study in 2000–2002 in an urban desert setting in Arizona, USA (Sullivan et al. 2004) found that no translocated problem Gila monsters Heloderma suspectum moved >1 km returned to their point of capture, but individuals translocated <1 km all returned. Zero of seven lizards translocated 2–25 km returned to their point of capture, whereas all 18 lizards translocated 0–1 km returned within 1–30 days. Two of 25 died during the 1–24-month monitoring period (1: translocated 2 km, survived 15 months; 2: translocated <1 km, survived 19 months) and five were lost (translocated 7–22 km). Home ranges of long and short distance translocated individuals were statistically similar (long-distance: 8–190 ha; short-distance: 2–37 ha). In 2000–2001, problem Gila monsters were obtained following calls from residents. Lizards were surgically implanted with radio-transmitters and translocated 0–25 km from their point of capture (< 1 km: 18 lizards; > 1 km: 7 lizards). Lizards were located every 2–3 days in March–October and 3–5 days in November–February in 2000–2002.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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