The conservation of Australia’s biodiversity is founded on an extensive reserve system, good environmental legislation and stable governance. Our community is relatively affluent and interested, and our human population density is comparatively low. Yet, more plant and mammal species have been rendered extinct in Australia than any other country.

Since European settlement, 30 Australian native mammals have become extinct. To put this in a global context, one out of every three mammal extinctions in the past 400 years have occurred in Australia.

And the rate of decline continues unabated. More than 1,700 species of animals and plants are listed by the Australian Government as being at risk of extinction.

The $60 million Threatened Species Recovery Hub is supported by funding through the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), and matched by contributions from 10 of the country’s leading academic institutions and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

It works closely with more than two dozen collaborating organisations, including management agencies and conservation groups, to ensure its research has an on-ground impact in threatened species management.

The National Environmental Science Programme

The National Environmental Science Programme is a long-term commitment to environment and climate research. It will build on its predecessors—the National Environmental Research Program and the Australian Climate Change Science Programme - to support decision-makers to understand, manage and conserve Australia’s environment with the best available information, based on world-class science.

The $142.5 million National Environmental Science Programme is being delivered through six research hubs:

  • the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub supports environmental quality in urban areas
  • the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub is furthering our understanding of the drivers of Australia’s climate
  • the Marine Biodiversity Hub is researching Australian oceans and marine environments, including temperate coastal water quality and marine species
  • the Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub is supporting the sustainable development of our northern landscapes
  • the Tropical Water Quality Hub is researching coastal water quality and coastal management focused on the Great Barrier Reef and other tropical waters
  • the Threatened Species Recovery Hub is supporting the management of threats and improving recovery of threatened species