Theme 2.00

Red Hot Red List: no surprises, no regrets

Some recent extinctions in Australia have been predicted, yet occurred nonetheless because management responses were enacted too slowly, ineffectively or not at all.

Such regrets and surprises will be abated by identifying those plants and animals with a high probability of extinction within the next decade, and the critical management responses required to avoid their extinction.

This theme will focus on:

  • Emergency care – identifying and prioritising actions to save fauna species at acute risk of extinction
  • Meaningful and accessible information on Australia’s most imperilled plants
  • Enhancing conservation outcomes for Christmas Island.
Related Projects

Emergency care – identifying and prioritising action to save fauna species at acute risk of extinction

Project: 2.1
This project will identify the Australian animal species at most acute risk of extinction, and identify priority management actions to prevent the extinctions. Initially this has involved mammals and birds, but the methodology is also being applied for other animal species groups where sufficient information is available.

Tackling threats to endangered hollow-nesting birds

Project: 2.2
Introduced sugar gliders, habitat loss and native parasites are threatening hollow-nesting birds in Tasmania. This project will focus on managing these threats to ensure the persistence of swift parrots, forty-spotted pardalotes and orange-bellied parrots into the future.

Saving the orange-bellied parrot

Project: 2.2.1
The Critically Endangered orange-bellied parrot is one of Australia’s most threatened species, with less than 50 birds remaining in the wild. A captive breeding and release program has so far failed to halt the decline of the species over several decades.

Saving the swift parrot

Project: 2.2.2
The swift parrot is a critically endangered species of migratory bird which breeds in Tasmania in summer. This project is undertaking research to better understand the threats it faces, and is developing and trialling innovative new methods to tackle these threats. The aim is to prevent the extinction of the species and to recover numbers.

Conservation and management of the endangered forty-spotted pardalote

Project: 2.2.3
The forty-spotted pardalote is a small bird endemic to Tasmania. It has suffered severe declines and is now only found in a small part of its former range. Its main threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, introduced predators, competitors, and a parasitic fly causing severe nestling mortality. This project will increase the likelihood of the species surviving in the wild.

Enhancing threatened species outcomes for Christmas Island

Project: 2.3
A collaboration with Parks Australia, this project will provide planning and management for threatened species on Christmas Island. This includes conservation outcomes for the rapidly declining Christmas Island flying-fox, and for two threatened reptile species living in captivity.

Island-wide spatial conservation planning for Christmas Island

Project: 2.3.1
Christmas Island is a site of international conservation significance, though many native species are declining: several species are presumed extinct and 19 are classed as threatened under national law. This project will support Island wide conservation planning by developing island wide distribution and habitat models for threatened species and by identifying the areas across the island that are the most important to support these species.

Options beyond captivity for two critically endangered Christmas Island reptiles

Project: 2.3.2
The blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko are endemic to, and were once common on Christmas Island but became extinct in the wild over the last 1-2 decades. This project is contributing to Parks Australia’s management, by evaluating options for these two species outside captivity.

Optimising the benefits of feral cat control on Christmas Island

Project: 2.3.3
Cats are one of a suite of introduced species that have played a significant role in the extinctions and declines of Christmas Island fauna; these introduced species continue to exert pressure on many native species. In response, the Australian Government is undertaking actions to control the impacts of several introduced species; one of these actions is an island-wide cat eradication program.

Conservation of the Christmas Island flying-fox

Project: 2.3.4
The Critically Endangered Christmas Island flying-fox is an important focus for conservation on Christmas Island, as it is the last surviving endemic mammal species and probably plays an important ecological role. It is believed to have suffered periods of decline in recent decades, but the drivers of the decline are not clearly understood.

Combatting an emerging disease threatening endangered Christmas Island reptiles

Project: 2.3.5
The blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko are critically endangered, currently extinct in the wild, and persist only within a captive breeding program. Recently, a new bacterial disease which causes facial deformity and death has emerged in the two species. This project will build on preliminary research to develop a critical understanding of the disease, how it interacts with the reptiles and their environments, and if and how it can be managed.

Christmas Island frigatebird: Workshop focusing on research and management priorities

Project: 2.3.6
The Christmas Island frigatebird is listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act, listed globally as Critically Endangered and is a specially listed priority bird species in the Threatened Species Strategy. The project consisted of a workshop held in March 2018 involving national and international experts.

National Action Plan for Australia’s most imperilled plants

Project: 2.4
This project will create a Red Hot List of Australia’s 100 most threatened plant species and a National Action Plan to bring together key information on these species to create a prioritised plan for action. The project will also undertake field based research to fill critical knowledge gaps about poorly known but potentially imperilled species.

Developing a national action plan for Australian eucalypts

Project: 2.4.1
This project will identify the Australian eucalypts (including Corymbia and Angophora) most at risk of extinction in order to inform the conservation planning needs of this most iconic plant group. The research will engage relevant experts, consolidate data and undertake analysis to inform draft IUCN Red List and EPBC Act listing assessments. The work of this project will thus become the basis of an action plan for Australia’s eucalypts.

Conservation of the Night Parrot

Project: 2.5
The Night Parrot was ‘missing’ for nearly a century. Since its rediscovery in western Queensland in 2013, we are building knowledge of its ecology, the threats it faces, its status, and how to manage the landscape for its conservation. This project will build on previous research to enable land managers to make better decisions on how to conserve the parrot.

Essential research to secure the buff-breasted button quail

Project: 2.6
The buff-breasted button quail is arguably the most poorly known of all Australian birds. The species is currently listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act with a population estimate of as few as 500 birds.