Australia’s species extinction crisis in numbers: 2019

Kearney S. G., Carwardine J., Reside A. E. et al. (2019) The threats to Australia’s imperilled species and implications for a national conservation response. Pac. Conserv. Biol. 25.

Aim: 
To "1) compare frequency with which threatening processes are listed under Australia’s threatened species legislation; 2) provide a national-level understanding of which threats are thought to be affecting Australia's threatened taxa; 3) consider current efforts to address the threats to Australian biodiversity, including the national Threatened Species Strategy and 4) provide recommendations for enhancing the planning and governance environment of threat management to improve the conservation of Australian biodioversity."
Type of Study: 
Review
Key Results: 
Of the 1533 EPBC threatened taxa (vertebrates, invertebrates, plants) reviewed, most species were threatened by invasive species (1257, 82%), ecosystem modification (1136, 74%) and agricultural activity (873, 57%). Other threats included human disturbance (38.4%), climate change (34.8%) and overexploitation (27.4%). Invasive species affected 94.1% of vertebrates, 79.5% of plants and 79.2% of invertebrates, and biggest threats by species were rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Phytophthora cinnamomic and Feral pigs (Sus scrofa). Other invasive species such as feral cats (Felis catus) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have targeted impacts on critical weight range species. Ecosystem modification was most threatening for invertebrates and fish, such as the silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus, Critically Endangered) which are impacted by damming of important water bodies such as the Murray Darling. Additionally, changes to fire regimes impact many plant species, such as the critically endangered orange dryandra which relays on fire for germination. Agricultural activity has the highest impacts on birds, mammals and invertebrates. Despite expansions of protected areas, many threatened species remain inadequately protected from listed threats.
Reviewer: 
Harry Moore
Full Reference: 
Kearney S. G., Carwardine J., Reside A. E. et al. (2019) The threats to Australia’s imperilled species and implications for a national conservation response. Pac. Conserv. Biol. 25.