Assessing the cost of recovering Australia’s imperilled species

Date: 23, Nov, 2021
Author(s): James Watson   Josie Carwardine  
Publisher: TSR Hub

The scale of actions and resources required to recover Australia’s threatened species has never been comprehensively assessed, despite this being critical information for guiding biodiversity conservation and meeting species recovery obligations. Using a novel threat-abatement cost framework, we undertook an assessment of the likely cost to achieve recovery of all known terrestrial and freshwater threatened species across Australia. We developed a set of 18 Threat Abatement Strategies. Our preliminary assessment shows that the total cost of implementing all Threat Abatement Strategies across Australia is ~ $610 billion per year. This estimation is subject to change as the cost models are currently being peer-reviewed. The benefits of Threat Abatement Strategies extend beyond recovering Australia’s 1,659 threatened terrestrial and freshwater species. These efforts, if implemented, could provide a $9 annual billion benefit to the agricultural industry, and sequester over 98 million tonnes of carbon, over the next 80 years.