The feasibility of implementing management for threatened birds in Australia

Ross Crates, G. Barry Baker, Sarah M. Legge, Peter W. Menkhorst, Steve Murphy, James E.M. Watson, John C.Z. Woinarski, Stephen T. Garnett

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There are many impediments to conserving threatened birds. Some can be overcome through concerted action across multiple species while others require species-specific research and intensive management. We assess the feasibility of managing 202 threats identified in the Action Plan for Australian Birds across 217 Australian threatened bird taxa against five metrics–financial, technical, temporal, political and social. A higher percentage of all threats to all taxa was assessed as having low or very low financial (43%), technical (32%) or temporal (29%) feasibility than political (9%) or social feasibility (7%). The feasibility of managing the most difficult threat to a taxon was low or very low for 52% of the threats identified. Within Australia, the main impediments to addressing most threats are technical and financial, indicating that research and funding should be domestic conservation priorities. Addressing threats linked to habitat destruction/degradation, climate change, invasive species and pollution is limited by the long timescales required to alleviate them, emphasising the urgency of commencing action. Outside Australia, social and political constraints are the main impediments to Australian conservation managers influencing action on habitat loss, species over-exploitation and climate change, but there are also technical, financial and temporal impediments to reducing threats from pollution, invasive species and climate change. Advocacy is therefore also important for addressing threats facing birds outside Australia. Our study provides a platform upon which to build more explicit and efficient management of threatened birds, prioritise efforts in research, funding and advocacy and contribute to reducing losses from Australia’s avifauna.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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