Saving our Species program

With the state at risk of losing a thousand of our native animals and plants, the NSW Government established Saving our Species, NSW's flagship threatened species conservation program.

Saving our Species (SoS) is one of the biggest conservation commitments ever undertaken in New South Wales. It is a movement involving volunteers, scientists, businesses, community groups and the NSW Government, all coming together to secure the future of Australia’s unique plants and animals.

The main objectives of SoS are simple: increase the number of threatened species that are secure in the wild in New South Wales for 100 years and control the key threats facing our threatened plants and animals.

Mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) after the Kosciuszko fires

What we do

We’re working to secure a future for NSW threatened species. We protect, monitor and conserve threatened species in different ways, taking into account what we know about their ecology and threats.

Infographic: There are more than 11,000 species and threatened ecological communities are at risk; we are working to control over 100 key threats; we have more than 400 projects underway; we are working across over 850 sites in New South Wales 

As part of the Saving our Species program, we:

  • consult extensively with experts and apply independent peer reviewed science to our projects
  • provide targeted conservation projects that set out the actions required to save specific plants and animals
  • regularly monitor the effectiveness of projects so they can be improved
  • encourage partnerships with community, corporate and government in threatened species conservation.

Learn more about how we manage threatened species.

Why is it important to protect our threatened species?

From microscopic algae to towering trees, every plant and animal has a role to play in creating a healthy natural environment and needs our protection. Seeing a small shrub or tiny lizard going extinct may not seem significant, but losing these species would create holes in our ecosystem and have a butterfly effect on biodiversity.

Biodiversity is the variety of life forms or living organisms in our environment and how they interact. The more variety, growth and security of those life forms, the more biodiversity we have and the healthier our ecosystem is.

A loss of biodiversity can negatively impact air and water quality, pollination, pest control and even the economy, making it vital to conserve all our native species, great and small.

Through threatened species conservation, Saving our Species is working to preserve and increase our biodiversity.

Regrowth of plants after fire

What makes a species ‘threatened’?

Native plants and animals are impacted by threats like invasive species, urbanisation and climate change, which can lead to population declines.

The NSW Scientific Committee decides what plants, animals and ecological communities are listed as threatened in New South Wales. When determining whether to classify a species, population or ecological community as threatened in New South Wales, the committee considers factors like:

  • decreases in population size
  • changes in geographical distribution and habitat quality
  • sensitivity to human activities
  • the number of mature individuals in the wild.

How do we prioritise our work?

Every decision SoS makes is backed up by science and research. 

We use best practice prioritisation techniques to invest in cost-effective projects that will benefit the greatest number of species, including a world-leading tool developed in partnership with the CSIRO. The tool increases cost-efficiencies by allowing multiple species and actions to be considered together and for the same amount of budget and resources.

Watch: Can you imagine New South Wales without our beautiful plants and animals?