Relocation or Translocation?
Every profession has its share of technical jargon. Sometimes that jargon prevents learning and understanding, but usually it helps clarify thoughts. Relocation and translocation are two terms that help rather than hinder understanding.
Relocation refers to the movement of an animal from one place to another but within it’s home range. For example, if you remove a skunk trapped in a window-well and let it go in the backyard, then you have “relocated” the skunk from the window-well to the backyard. You moved the skunk but he is still in the area he is familiar with.
Translocation refers to to the movement of an animal from one place to another but outside its homerange. For example, trapping a gray squirrel in your backyard and then driving 20 miles and dumping it off, is an example of translocation. You have moved the squirrel to an entirely new area that it is NOT familiar with.
As you can see, most people, including professionals use the term relocation to refer to translocation. I am hopeful that with more education we can help both professionals and the public can begin to use the correct terms.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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