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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Guidelines for large herbivore translocation simplified: black rhinoceros case study

Published source details

Linklater W.L., Adcock K., du P.P., Swaisgood R.R., Law P.R., Knight M.H., Gedir J.V. & Kerley G.I.H. (2011) Guidelines for large herbivore translocation simplified: black rhinoceros case study. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48, 493-502


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in larger unrelated groups Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1981–2005 of 81 reserves across Namibia and South Africa (Linklater et al. 2011) found that releasing translocated black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis in larger groups did not affect survival in the first year post-release. Seventy-four of 682 translocated black rhinoceroses died during the first year post-release, but the number of individuals released together did not affect survival in the first year (data reported as statistical result). First-year post-release mortality was higher when animals were released into reserves occupied by other rhinoceroses (restocking, 13.4% mortality of 268 animals) than releases into new reserves (reintroduction, 7.9% mortality of 414 animals). At least 243 rhinoceroses survived at least 10 years after release. For restocking events, first-year post-release mortality was higher in rhinoceroses less than two years old (59%) than in all other age classes (9–20%), but there was no difference for reintroductions. Data on 89 reintroduction and 102 restocking events of black rhinoceroses into 81 reserves from 1981–2005 were compiled from the Namibia and South Africa Rhino Management Group reports. Animals were released in groups of one to 30 individuals, and reserves received up to five releases. Translocations were considered as different if the releases of individuals to the same reserve were more than 1 month apart. Deaths were detected by reserve staff. The location of reserves included in the study is not provided.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1981–2005 in reserves across Namibia and South Africa (Linklater et al. 2011) found that 89% of translocated black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis released into fenced reserves survived over one year and 36% at least 10 years post-release. Seventy-four of 682 translocated black rhinoceroses died during the first year post-release. First-year post-release mortality was higher when animals were released into reserves occupied by other rhinoceroses (restocking, 13.4% mortality of 268 animals) than releases into new reserves (reintroduction, 7.9% mortality of 414 animals). At least 243 rhinoceroses survived at least 10 years after release. For restocking events, first-year post-release mortality was higher in rhinoceroses less than two years old (59%) than in all other age classes (9–20%), but there was no difference for reintroductions. Data on 89 reintroduction and 102 restocking events of black rhinoceroses into 81 reserves from 1981–2005 were compiled from the Namibia and South Africa Rhino Management Group reports. Animals were released in groups from 1 to 30 individuals, and reserves received up to five releases. Translocations were considered as different if the releases of individuals to the same reserve were more than 1 month apart. Deaths were detected by reserve staff. The location of reserves included in the study is not provided.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)