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 landscapes in Australia are fire-prone, and increasingly so. Altered fire regimes can have a serious negative impact on threatened plant species and ecological communities. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project is working to better understand the effects of different fire regimes on threatened flora in order to improve fire management strategies and conservation outcomes.
Almost a quarter of Australia’s possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law, and many more are showing signs of decline. Dr Rochelle Steven from The University of Queensland believes people in the community can do a lot to support conservation, especially in urban areas.
The detection and monitoring of threatened species have been a strong area of research in the National Environmental Science Program and also the two national environmental research programs which preceded it. Hub Director Professor Brendan Wintle takes a look at what we’ve been achieving and why it is so important to the conservation of Australia’s threatened species.
In 2009, the Christmas Island blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko were headed for imminent extinction. Parks Australia acted quickly to collect remaining wild individuals in order to establish captive breeding programs on Christmas Island and at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, which have been highly successful. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project team is working closely with Parks Australia to help secure a future for the two lizards beyond captivity.
The silver-headed antechinus and black-tailed dusky antechinus are carnivorous marsupials found in high-elevation forests in parts of central-eastern and south-eastern Queensland. They were only described in the past six years, but they are already listed as Endangered. Knowing where they occur is essential for effective conservation, but current distribution knowledge is patchy. To address this, PhD candidate Stephane Batista in partnership with the Queensland Herbarium and Queensland Department of Environment and Science is modelling the habitat where these threatened species are likely to occur, and is using detection dogs to rapidly survey these sites.