Species recovery and threat abatement
In 2009, over 850 species were listed as threatened in NSW, with an additional 74 listed as 'presumed extinct'. A number of populations and ecological communities are also now listed. This number continues to increase, partly due to the ongoing effects of land management practices, but also as our understanding of individual species and their conservation status increases.
In addition, 36 threatening processes are now recognised as key threatening processes under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act), and if left unchecked these threats will inevitably lead to the extinction of more species.
Previously, the TSC Act required the preparation of a recovery plan for each threatened species, population or ecological community and a threat abatement plan for each listed key threatening process. However, as the number of threatened species continues to grow, this approach is no longer workable.
To address this, in 2004 the NSW government reformed the TSC Act, removing the mandatory requirement to prepare individual recovery plans and threat abatement plans, replacing it with a more strategic, landscape-based approach that integrates species recovery with threat abatement.
Threatened Species Priorities Action Statement (PAS)
In response to these reforms, in 2007 OEH introduced the NSW Threatened Species Priorities Action Statement (PAS) which incorporates a number of strategies that are applicable to multiple threatened species. The PAS also provides an integrated approach to species recovery and threat abatement. Many threatened species are affected by a combination of threats including the clearance and modification of vegetation, climate change, disease and competition or predation from introduced pests.
At the same time, many threats affect a number of species. For example a number of threatened frogs are affected by chytrid fungus, so research into this disease is a recovery action that will benefit a number of different species. By identifying strategies and recovery actions that will benefit a number of species, resources can be used more efficiently.
The PAS is currently being redeveloped. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What the PAS does
The PAS identifies 36 broad strategies to help threatened plants and animals recover, and establishes relative priorities to implement these strategies. Each of these strategies has more specific priority actions within them, which cover things like:
surveys to clarify the distribution of a species
weed and pest management programs
guidelines for threatened species issues in development assessments
research into factors influencing the survival of threatened species
community education programs to raise awareness of a species or threat in a particular area
The PAS also establishes performance indicators to report achievements in implementing recovery and threat abatement strategies and their effectiveness and sets out clear timetables for recovery and threat abatement planning and achievement.
Although the development of a recovery plan for each threatened species is no longer a mandatory requirement of the TSC Act, for some species, in particular iconic species that require whole-of-government support, developing a recovery plan may be the most appropriate course of action to take to help recover that species.
Threat abatement plans (TAPs)
Like recovery plans, the development of individual threat abatement plans is no longer required by the TSC Act, it may be the most appropriate course of action for tackling a particular threat where broad support is required e.g. the fox TAP.
Statements of Intent (SOI)
OEH identifies its own organisational response to a threat in a Statement of Intent.
Page last updated: 05 September 2012