Translocation of non-threatened native wildlife

While the removal of wildlife to a new location is often suggested as an alternative to destruction, this approach can rarely be successfully applied. For example, a Deakin University study has shown that the translocation of possums to new territory is usually fatal to the animal.

Limits on the availability of food and shelter often determine the number of individuals of a particular species that an area can support.  Release of an animal into an area already fully occupied will likely mean that the relocated animal will either not be able to find shelter or food, or be stressed by aggressive interactions with its own species over territory. While seeking new nesting places and territory, translocated animals are also extremely vulnerable to vehicles, predators including domestic animals and other threats to their safety and life.

Translocation also poses risks to the existing population at the recipient site. For instance, translocated animals may carry diseases such as chlamydia in koalas.

For these reasons, translocation of non-threatened native wildlife is generally not supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

There may be some limited circumstances under which translocation may be appropriate for the Eastern Grey Kangaroo specifically, where the expansion of urban development has effectively isolated (confined by a fence or on all sides by development) small mobs of these species. DELWP will consider proposals to translocate eastern grey kangaroos under these circumstances, providing that the proposal meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Translocation Policy for Isolated Wild Eastern Grey Kangaroo Populations in Victoria.

Translocation policy for isolated wild Eastern Grey Kangaroo populations in Victoria (PDF, 209.5 KB)Translocation policy for isolated wild Eastern Grey Kangaroo populations in Victoria (DOCX, 144.5 KB)

Translocation of wildlife requires approval under the Wildlife Act 1975. In assessing translocation proposals, DELWP will consider the likely impact on the welfare of the translocated animals, as well as the broader population of these animals at both the source and recipient sites, and whether these impacts can be properly managed.

Translocation of threatened wildlife

Although translocation of non-threatened wildlife is generally not supported by DELWP, translocation is an important conservation technique for threatened species.  For some species, it offers the only method to prevent their extinction or to establish new populations.

Translocation of threatened species can be used in a number of ways, including for the establishment or supplementation of captive breeding populations, reintroduction programs or for research.

Translocation programs must be carefully planned, implemented, monitored and documented to ensure they have the highest chance of success and to maximise their contribution to the conservation of a species.

Translocation Evaluation Panel and permits

Threatened wildlife are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and authorisation is required to translocate them. To obtain authorisation to translocate threatened wildlife, applicants must apply to the Conservation Regulator for a scientific research permit under the Wildlife Act 1975 and develop a translocation proposal which must be reviewed by DELWP's Threatened Fauna Translocation Evaluation Panel (TEP).

The TEP has been set up to provide expert, evidence-based advice to DELWP on proposals to translocate threatened wildlife for conservation or research purposes. Further information about the TEP application process is available in the Procedure Statement below.

Procedure Statement for Translocation of Threatened Native Fauna in Victoria (PDF, 1.5 MB)

A translocation proposal template is available below, the template must be used for applications to the TEP.

Translocation Proposal Template and Instructions (DOCX, 43.7 KB)

Information about scientific research permits and permit application forms are available from the Conservation Regulator's website.

Translocation Evaluation Panel meeting dates

The TEP meets up to four times a year, depending on the volume of translocation proposals received.

Translocation proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the meeting date in order for the proposal to be considered by the TEP at that meeting.

The dates of the Translocation Evaluation Panel meetings for 2023 are:

  • 16th February - proposals due by 2nd February
  • 22nd May - proposals due by 27th April
  • 10th August - proposals due by 27th July
  • 9th November - proposals due by 26th October

More information

Visit Possums to learn about restrictions on relocation of brushtail and ringtail possums and humane alternatives.

Visit Our wildlife for more information on Victorian native animals.

Page last updated: 25/01/23