Welcome to the Threatened Species Recovery Hub

We undertake research to support the recovery of Australia’s threatened species and ecological communities.

To do this we work closely with over 200 on-ground partners across the country, including government agencies, national parks, conservation groups, Indigenous land managers, farmers and community groups.

Our network includes around 150 of Australia’s leading environmental scientists who are delivering more than 100 research projects over six years (ending 2021).

We are supported by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program.

Latest News

Latest Videos

Latest Publications & Tools

Survival of an Extinct in the Wild skink from Christmas Island is reduced by an invasive centipede: implications for future reintroductions

The blue-tailed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) is endemic to Christmas Island but underwent rapid population declines in the 1990s and 2000s and was listed as Extinct in the Wild in 2017. As invasive giant centipedes (Scolependra subspinipes) were implicated as a cause of a failed reintroduction of captive bred skinks into a fenced enclosure, we undertook a mesocosm experiment to investigate if skink survival and body condition was negatively affected by the presence and density of S. subspinipes. In addition, we used DNA barcoding to determine if wild centipedes consume other reptile species on Christmas Island. In the mesocosm experiments, survival of skinks was reduced by 30% and 44% at low and high centipede densities respectively over 12 weeks, and skink body condition also declined significantly over this period. DNA barcoding confirmed that skinks that were lost during the mesocosm experiment had been consumed by centipedes. Further, we detected DNA of two invasive reptiles (the common wolf snake Lycodon capucinus and the Asian House gecko Hemidactylus frenatus) in the stomachs of wild-caught centipedes, suggesting that centipedes are a generalist predator of reptiles in this island ecosystem. Based on these results, we recommend that attempts to reintroduce C. egeriae to Christmas Island should include the control of centipedes to increase the likelihood of success.

Drying microclimates threaten persistence of natural and translocated populations of threatened frogs

Defining species habitat requirements is essential for effective conservation management through revealing agents of population decline and identifying critical habitat for conservation actions, such as translocations. Here we studied the habitat-associations of two threatened terrestrial-breeding frog species from southwestern Australia, Geocrinia alba and Geocrinia vitellina, to investigate if fine-scale habitat variables explain why populations occur in discrete patches, why G. alba is declining, and why translocation attempts have had mixed outcomes. We compared habitat variables at sites where the species are present, to variables at immediately adjacent sites where frogs are absent, and at sites where G. alba is locally extinct. Dry season soil moisture was the most important predictor of frog abundance for both species, and explained why G. alba had become extinct from some areas. Sites where G. alba were present were also positively associated with moss cover, and negatively with bare ground and soil conductivity. Modelling frog abundance based exclusively on dry season soil moisture predicted recent translocation successes with high accuracy. Hence, considering dry season soil moisture when selecting future translocation sites should increase the probability of population establishment. We propose that a regional drying trend is the most likely cause for G. alba declines and that both species are at risk of further habitat and range contraction due to further projected regional declines in rainfall and groundwater levels. More broadly, our study highlights that conservation areas in drying climates may not provide adequate protection and may require interventions to preserve critical habitat.