Last year provided us with much to be proud of and I would like to acknowledge the NESP TSR Hub’s significant contribution to the national effort. So much
of this work is directly relevant to the Threatened Species Strategy and helps me make the best decisions and investments possible.
The Strategy celebrated its first year of implementation last year and I am pleased to report that through our collective national effort, including the work of the Hub, we have met the majority of the Strategy’s targets for year one and are delivering some great outcomes for our threatened species.
The Hub has gone from strength to strength and is producing world-class science that informs my decisions, as well as the practitioners, managers and decision makers who are working to better understand, manage and conserve our threatened species.
There have been many highlights, but some that stand out include:
The first annual showcase held in Canberra that offered the Department of the Environment and Energy and a broader audience an insight into the wide-ranging and collaborative research underway in the Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
The tremendous results achieved by Professor Rob Heinsohn and his team to boost Swift Parrot breeding success.
Successful assisted climate change adaptation through the first translocation of the western swamp tortoise outside of their historical range.
We are now turning our attention to the years ahead and to meeting the Strategy’s challenging three and five year targets. The TSR Hub will continue to support decision-making, and the new Threatened Species Recovery Fund will open this year to help community groups undertake essential activities to protect and recover threatened species. We will be intensifying action where it is most needed, building the partnerships required to fight extinction and applying the knowledge gained in 2016 to enhance the effectiveness of the Strategy.
I am so proud and encouraged by the progress we have made in just one year and I am looking forward to continuing this important journey with Australia, and the Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
Threatened Species Commissioner
Top image: Gregory Andrews
Many of Australia’s possums and gliders are under threat. Good information about where different species are greatly assists conservation programs. Members of the public can play a valuable role in helping to collect this information in their own backyards, and surrounding parks and natural areas.
Red foxes are one of the greatest threats to Australia’s native mammals and pose a major risk to livestock. To combat this, Australia spends more than $16 million per year on red fox control, with much of that money directed to poison baiting.
An international study led by The Australian National University has found a fungal disease has caused dramatic population declines in more than 500 amphibian species, including 90 extinctions, over the past 50 years.
The world is changing. Some of this change is planned and desirable. But much else is an unwanted consequence of the expansion of the human species. Those unwanted impacts will affect our lives and those of our descendants.
After undergraduate majors in Geography, Environmental Science and Botany, I did my PhD on native grasslands. I was struck by how these Critically Endangered ecosystems existing right on the edge of my city were being lost without most people even knowing about them – or understanding what amazing, super diverse ecosystems they are.