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
Professor John Woinarski of Charles Darwin University discusses the importance of averting extinctions of less charismatic animals.
The 2019–20 wildfires have severely impacted animals of all major species groups. Here, national experts on mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and freshwater fish and crayfish present some of the key challenges for each group and how these will influence management and research priorities in the aftermath of the fires.
Cultural fire management is the way that Indigenous people have used fire to care for Country for thousands of years, and it continues today. The devastation wreaked by the 2019–20 bushfires across millions of hectares was a wake-up call for Australia and the world. Oliver Costello from the Firesticks Alliance explains how the fires demonstrated the need to listen to and care for Country.
Australia has one of the highest rates of plant endemism of any country globally. After the catastrophic fire season of 2019–20, Dr Rachael Gallagher and Professor David Keith are leading two teams to find out which species and ecological communities are most in need of immediate recovery.
The 2019–20 bushfires burnt over 12 million hectares of south-eastern and south-western Australia, causing abrupt losses of biodiversity at a scale never seen before. Over a billion animals were estimated to have died, but the figure is likely much higher. The Australian Government’s Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel is guiding the work of prioritising species and ecological communities for emergency interventions and determining what those actions should be. Hub Deputy Director and Expert Panel member Professor Sarah Legge takes us though the hows and whys of this prioritisation, and some of its challenges.