Do recovery plans actualy work at saving threatened species?

Many countries develop recovery plans for their threatened flora, fauna and ecosystems. My colleagues and I investigated whether these management plans have a positive effect on the threatened status of Australian species. I also summarised overall trends and biases in the threatened species listing process, concluding that it would take over 100 years to list all potentially threatened species on the EPBC Act, given the current rate of listing.

This work was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Australia, and conducted at the Possingham Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia.

The formal report to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has more information.

Relevant publications:

Walsh, J.C., Watson, J.E.M., Bottrill, M.C., Joseph, L.N. and Possingham, H.P. (2012) Trends and biases in the listing and recovery planning of threatened species: an Australian case study. Oryx, 41: 134-143. link

Bottrill M.C., Walsh, J.C., Watson, J.E.M., Joseph, L.N., Ortega-Argueta A. and Possingham, H.P. (2011) Does recovery planning improve the status of threatened species? Biological Conservation, 144: 1595-1601. link