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Exciting research and on-ground outcomes for threatened species

Almost 20 years ago the (then) Environment Minister Senator Robert Hill asked me:

“Why do we have so many threatened species recovery plans but none of them have recovered? Should we be writing plans or saving species?”

Senator Hill's questions were good ones, and his frustration reflected the complexity of the issue. While the recovery planning process is expensive and there have been several tragic losses of species since that conversation, it has almost certainly stopped many threatened species from declining further. 

We welcome the current Australian Government’s determination to halt the loss of species, and hopefully hasten some recovery.

Key components of this commitment include:

  • Creation of a Threatened Species Strategy
  • Establishment of the position of Threatened Species Commissioner
  • $30 million in funding for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub in the National Environmental Science Programme.

Through this newsletter, you will be informed of the latest research, news, events and achievements coming from the National Environmental Science Programme’s (NESPThreatened Species Recovery Hub. I look forward to sharing the exciting research and on-ground outcomes that will follow.

I would like to quickly acknowledge the efforts of all the leaders, researchers, support staff, stakeholders and partners thus far, and thank them for the energy and enthusiasm they have brought to the Hub.

It’s an exciting time.

Professor Hugh Possingham

More species prioritised

The Minister for the Environment has listed more mammals and birds for priority conservation action, supported by research from the TSR Hub.

The mahogany glider, eastern quoll, western ringtail possum, woylie, black-footed rock-wallaby, Gilbert’s potoroo, northern hopping-mouse and Christmas Island flying-fox have joined the list of 20 priority mammal species.

The cassowary, swift parrot, eastern curlew, Australasian bittern, malleefowl, south-eastern red-tailed black cockatoo, white-throated grasswren and golden-shouldered parrot were included in the list of 20 priority bird species.

Read more.

National safe haven network

Australia is closer to designing a national network of ‘safe havens’ for threatened mammals, following a recent workshop with 24 leading conservation specialists.

The approach will also be useful for state governments, NGOs and conservation groups, working at national, state or regional levels, by providing another tool for their translocation programs.

The workshop formed a key part of the TSR Hub’s Project 4.1, which will examine the most cost-effective and feasible strategies for creating, increasing and maintaining wild populations of threatened animal species – focussing on translocation.

Read more.

Hammering out solutions

TSR Hub researchers presented at the recent Species on the Move International Conference in Hobart, including Hub Director Hugh Possingham.

“The conference brought together managers, researchers and policy makers from across Australasia to tackle contentious issues in conservation science and management in a rapidly changing world,” said Professor Possingham.

"There is nothing like face-to-face talks, panels and discussions to hammer out solutions to difficult problems.”

Read more.

Data to support Feral Cat Taskforce

Deputy directors Sarah Legge and John Woinarski are providing support to the Threatened Species Commissioner’s Feral Cat Taskforce.

One of their immediate tasks is to assess the size of the feral cat population in Australia, which will inform feral cat management targets.

“The feral cat taskforce is a great opportunity for the Hub to identify research gaps, as well as opportunities to collaborate with agencies responsible for managing feral cats,” said Doctor Sarah Legge.

Read more.

The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is supported through funding from the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Programme.

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Threatened Species Recovery Hub

Our mailing address is:
Room 532, Goddard Building
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia

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