Planet Ark News - Threatened species index reveals success of conservation programs
Planet Ark News

Threatened species index reveals success of conservation programs

Date: 13-May-20
Author: Liam Taylor

The first data set covers 57 threatened and near-threatened mammal species, including the northern quoll. Image: CC

The first data set covers 57 threatened and near-threatened mammal species, including the northern quoll. Image: CC

Newly released research on Australian mammals has revealed that whilst populations of Australian mammals overall continue to fall, sites with clear conservation management saw consistent improvements.

The information comes from the Threatened Species Index, which combines data from monitoring programs across the country to track trends in threatened species populations. The database has just released its first set of data for mammals, which collates information on 57 threatened and near-threatened mammal species.

This first data release covers the years 1995-2016 across 1,186 different locations across Australia. Whilst overall populations of the mammals studied declined on average, the data consistently showed the tangible benefits of conservation efforts.

At sites with clear conservation management efforts, populations of the mammals studied increased by an average of 46%. At feral cat and fox-free sites, populations of threatened and near-threatened mammals increased by a factor of five, showing the positive impact that establishing these areas can have.

Elisa Bayraktarov, a researcher at the University of Queensland and the co-leader of the index, told The Guardian the data indicated a clear rationale for further investment in targeted conservation projects.

“It does tell us we should drive more investment, especially in those mammals that are doing so badly elsewhere,” said Bayraktarov. 

The index is a research collaboration of the National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub, the University of Queensland and Birdlife Australia. A similar database already exists under the Threatened Species Recovery Hub for birds, which is contributed to from various state agencies and NGOs. The data will be gradually updated to cover more mammals and more locations. 

 

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor

Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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