In this report, we developed a framework for optimising the design of biodiversity monitoring programs to detect recovery of species following large catastrophic disturbances. We focused on 119 vertebrates thought to be most affected by 2019-20 megafires in Australia. We combined species distribution models with fire severity maps, simulated a range of plausible 10-year recoveries, and simulated monitoring (with varying detectability) to evaluate statistical power of alternative monitoring designs. We tested the performance of 6 budget scenarios ranging from $1 – 100M AUS over 10 years. Our results could inform the design of government-funded monitoring programs designed to detect responses of vertebrates to the 2019-20 megafires. Our approach is also transferable to detect recovery of species following any catastrophic disturbance.