Research outputs from Project 2.1 formed an important part of the Minister for the Environment’s Threatened Species Strategy, and supported the listing of 20 threatened birds and 20
threatened mammals as targets for priority conservation actions.
In January 2016, the Minister announced that the mahogany glider, eastern quoll, western ringtail possum, woylie, black-footed rock-wallaby, Gilbert’s potoroo, northern hopping-mouse and Christmas Island flying-fox had joined the list of 20 mammal species prioritised for action under Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy.
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.
Professor John Woinarski from Charles Darwin University, who leads Project 2.1 alongside Professor Stephen Garnett, explained that providing such advice is a key role for the Hub.
“Through this project we’ve undertaken assessments of those threatened bird and mammal species that are in the most urgent need of attention because of their high extinction risk.
The additions completed priority lists which were started six months earlier, when the first tranche of eight bird and eight mammal species targeted for action were named at Australia’s first Threatened Species Summit.
The species were added to the lists by the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner after expert input from and consultation with the scientific community, and assessment against the prioritisation principles in the Threatened Species Strategy.
Image: Paul Sullivan (CEO Birdlife Australia) with Professor John Woinarski (TSR Hub Theme 2 Leader).
New Hub research has quantified the extent of predation by cats on Australia’s birds and identified the species and types of birds most vulnerable to cats. The team found that cats kill over 1 million birds per day in Australia. The total is made up of an estimated 316 million birds killed by feral cats and 61 million killed by pet cats each year.
Sound recorders have been installed across farm land in south-western Victoria and on Kangaroo Island in research to help threatened glossy black-cockatoos and south-eastern red-tailed black-cockatoos, by learning more about their breeding.
As cats and foxes have spread across Australia, islands have prevented the extinctions of several mammals like the boodie. Associate Professor Sarah Legge discusses the importance of safe havens and also summarizes the highlights of a recent 'safe-haven' symposium held at the International Mammalogy Congress in Perth.
The TSR Hub is one of six National Environmental Science Programme hubs and each is making its own important contribution to the national effort to recover our threatened species. Hub Director Brendan Wintle takes a look beyond the TSR Hub to highlight the good work being done on threatened species by our sister hubs.
On sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island a multi-million dollar eradication program removed cats in 2000 and rabbits, rats and mice in 2013. In the aftermath of this effort, beautiful things are emerging. Dr Justine Shaw is leading a TSR Hub project to learn from this experience and monitor how ecosystems respond.