In a new report released today by the Australian Conservation Foundation, BirdLife Australia and Environmental Justice Australia, it is revealed that recovery plans designed to prevent Australia’s most endangered species from extinction are failing to protect habitat.

The report, ‘Recovery planning - Restoring life to our threatened species’, released in the lead up to the first national Threatened Species Summit next week, finds that of Australia’s 120 most endangered animals, only 10 per cent had plans that placed any clear limits on the future loss of habitat.

“Threatened Species Recovery Plans, developed under the EPBC Act, are the Federal Government’s key instrument for bringing threatened species back from the brink of extinction,” said James Trezise, a Policy Coordinator for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

While these Recovery Plans help bring together the data and science needed to recover threatened species - our analysis shows that they are currently failing in the vital task of protecting habitat.”

Habitat destruction is one of the major drivers for threatened species decline. The analysis in this report shows that current recovery plans consistently avoid prescriptive measures to protect threatened species habitat,” he said.

The report makes a series of recommendation including ways to improve recovery planning.

“Extinction is a choice. Where we have tried in the past, Australia has been remarkably successful at recovering threatened species. In many cases averting extinction has been straightforward and relatively inexpensive,” said Samantha Vine, Head of Conservation at BirdLife Australia.

“Securing and improving existing habitats for threatened species remains one of the most powerful and cost effective conservation tools at our disposal. It is essential that Australia make protecting endangered species habitat a key focus in combating the current extinction crisis,” said Samantha Vine, Head of Conservation at BirdLife Australia.

A downloadable copy of the report is available here

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