Threatened species legislation and threatened species recovery: does the former lead to the latter?
James M. Shields, 2004. "Threatened species legislation and threatened species recovery: does the former lead to the latter?", Threatened species legislation: Is it just an Act?, Pat Hutchings, Daniel Lunney, Chris Dickman
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Vision statements and key action statements are primary and useful tools for threatened species recovery and threat abatement. In this chapter I provide a view of the necessary vision and key action statements. Listing a species or biological entity through threatened species legislation may or may not lead to its recovery, and this factor should be carefully taken into account in the process of funding natural resource management actions. Recent experience in NSW (1995-2003) has provided examples of the application of a comprehensive Threatened Species Conservation Act, and its effect on biodiversity management. Some recovery plans have been written, but few actions have been resourced or delivered positive outcomes for the target taxa. Examples where recovery actions have been successful, apparently failed, or are still in question are discussed. Some required elements for successful recovery action and threat abatement are set out (scientific analyses of the environment, monitoring, transparency, community ownership, redundancy, exit strategy). Clearly, it would be better if more actions were resourced and improved conservation outcomes were delivered. A synthesis of current planning processes (2004) required by legislation, which produces fewer plans, processes and meetings, and more measurable conservation outcomes is a simple way forward. This can be done by using a hierarchical process to restore ecosystems, using fundamental and generally available knowledge and techniques.