About the Strategy 2021 – 2031
The new Threatened Species Strategy sets the Australian Government’s forward plan for action to protect and recover Australia’s threatened plants, animals and ecological communities, and includes:
- a 10- year vision ‘Australia’s threatened species are valued, protected and on the path to recovery’
- two high level objectives to improve the trajectory of priority threatened species and improve the condition of priority places by 2031
- six prioritisation principles to select priority species and places, based on risk of extinction, multiple benefits, feasibility and effectiveness, importance to people, uniqueness and representativeness
- and eight key action areas, including both on-ground and supporting actions, that are fundamental to the recovery of threatened species and where the Australian Government can make a difference.
The new Strategy has introduced new elements:
- broadening the priority species to include reptiles, frogs, insects and fish to add to the priority birds, mammals and plants identified in the first Strategy – as well as including marine and freshwater species, as well as those from the land.
- a new focus on ‘priority places’ to expand the new Strategy’s influence across our land and seascapes. The new priority places will include sites where threat mitigation and habitat protection efforts will benefit multiple threatened species and ecological communities.
- expanding the number of key action areas to focus Australian Government efforts to landscape-scale actions that are fundamental to the recovery of threatened species. These include tackling more of the major threats to our unique plants and animals, like weeds and diseases, and the development and use of new tools and technologies to improve the effectiveness of managing feral pests and weeds across our large continent.
- Other focus areas include improving habitat to support species recovery, planning and coordinating action at the right scale, and forging stronger partnerships to use our collective expertise and resources to their best effect.
The new Strategy will be underpinned by consecutive 5-year Action Plans. These will be published as addendums to the Strategy. The first will be released before the end of 2021.
This new Strategy presents an open invitation for all Australians across our community – from farmers, land stewards, traditional owners, researchers, citizen scientists and the many species and place-based champions – to come together as partners to support our threatened species and places.
Action Plan 2021-2026
The Strategy’s first 5-year Action Plan will introduce 100 priority species, 20 priority places, specific actions and targets to drive practical on-ground action to improve the recovery and condition of Australia’s threatened species.
On 22 October 2021, the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley, announced 100 priority plants and animals selected to focus efforts under the Strategy’s Action Plan 2021-2026.
These 100 species are found across a range of Australia’s environments, including on land, in freshwater environments and in the sea. The priority list includes species across a range of taxa, including birds, mammals, plants, fish, reptiles, frogs, and invertebrates.
Selected from over 1800 species listed under national environmental law, the prioritisation process took account of the latest national-scale data, input from experts and the community, and the six principles in the new Strategy, such as risk of extinction and delivery of benefits across multiple species.
Prioritising attention and effort on these selected threatened species over the next 5 years will generate better outcomes for these species and many other species that share the same habitat or threats. It also provides the opportunity for others to collaborate with the Australian Government on these activities to leverage our combined capacity and achieve better outcomes.
While the priority species list will help inform Australian Government investments, this does not mean other species will not receive support, including from programs and research. The new Threatened Species Strategy’s 8 action areas will advance threatened species recovery more broadly.
The remaining elements of the Action Plan, including priority places, specific actions and targets, are expected to be announced toward the end of 2021.
The Action Plan will further outline ways to foster greater community engagement through citizen science and partnerships between First Nations peoples, business and non-government organisations. The Action Plan will guide a broad range of existing investments and future investment strategies.
Consultation on a new Threatened Species Strategy and Action Plan
In July 2021, the department released a Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan consultation paper, inviting feedback on proposed actions and targets to be included. Consultation is now closed.
Analysis of feedback received via the online survey, responses to the consultation paper and series of targeted workshops will help guide the development of the Strategy’s next Action Plan. Analysis and outcomes will be made available in late 2021.
- Action Plan Consultation paper - July 2021
In late 2020, the Australian Government consulted with the public on developing a new Threatened Species Strategy. Feedback was captured via an online survey, responses to a discussion paper and through a series of targeted workshops. The consultation process and stakeholder input helped to shape the new Strategy.
For more on the consultation outcomes and analysis: