Creature Feature – Incoming!

Posted by  //  October 12, 2021  //  Articles, Creature Feature

‘Translocation’ is a conservation strategy that takes wild or captive raised animals and releases them in areas where their species needs repopulating.  This strategy has helped vulnerable species recover in places where they were previously wiped out.  Wild turkeys, gray wolves, fishers and wolverines – to name just a handful — have been successfully reintroduced to parts of their historical range.  

In places where conflicts arise with humans, translocation can also be used to remove animals by live-trapping and releasing them into other suitable habitats.  Back in the 1940’s, Idaho’s Fish and Game Department opted to relocate nuisance beavers rather than kill them because they recognized the animal’s value to the environment and the economy; but the process of loading them onto pack mules and trekking long distances to wilderness areas was costly, and many beavers were perishing on the difficult journey.  

A new plan was developed which proved safe, economical and highly successful – but most unusual.  The beavers, 76 in all, were put by pairs into wooden crates and loaded onto planes.  Next, using leftover parachutes from WWII, the live cargo was dropped from the sky over remote habitats where the specially rigged boxes opened upon landing, releasing the beavers to start life anew.  Imagine that!

Article:  Margie Manthey

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