Airborne translocation of mammals using parachutes

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of airborne translocation of mammals using parachutes. This study was in the USA.



  • Survival (1 study): A study in the USA found that at least some North American beavers translocated using parachutes established territories and survived over one year after release.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 1948–1949 in a forest in Idaho, USA (Heter 1950) found that at least some North American beavers Castor canadensis translocated using parachutes established territories and survived over one year after release. Seventy-six beavers were dropped from an airplane over the translocation area using parachutes. All but one survived the drop. After one year, an unspecified number of beavers had built dams and constructed houses. In the autumn of 1948, seventy-six beavers were parachuted into a remote forest area. Animals were dropped in pairs, inside wooden boxes (76 × 40 × 30 cm), using 7.3-m rayon parachutes of war surplus stock. Boxes consisted of two sections fitted together as a suitcase, with 2.5-cm ventilation holes. A system of ropes snapped the box open with the collapse of the parachute. The system had been tested on an old male beaver named "Geronimo”. Observations were made of the surviving beavers in late 1949 (details not reported).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

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Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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