Saving the most species per dollar spent in the Pilbara

Just released –  Our analysis of cost-effective threat management to save plants and animals of the Pilbara.

Without management intervention, 13 of the 53 (25%) conservation significant species are likely to be functionally lost from the Pilbara in the next 20 years. Among the fauna species most likely to be lost from the region are critical weight range mammals such as the greater bilby and spectacled hare-wallaby. Plant species at risk include a range of herbaceous shrubs and herbs such as the De Grey saltbush and Muccan fuchsia. According to our analysis, habitat loss and altered fire regimes pose the key threat to the 53 species we considered. Without effective management action, many other species are at risk of declines.

The top three most cost-effective strategies for the entire Pilbara are: (1) management of feral ungulates; (2) sanctuaries; and (3) cat management.
Each of the three top-ranking strategies had average expected costs of under $1m/year. Feral ungulate management was relatively cheap and highly feasible. Sanctuaries offer high benefits at a small cost but would only offer protection over a small area compared to other strategies. Cat management was considered to have a high benefit but was rated to have the lowest chance of success (49%) of all the strategies. Although the cost was relatively high ($4m/year), the strategy ‘habitat identification, protection and restoration’ was the individual strategy with the highest expected benefit.

Read article published in The Conversation

Download Full Report  HERE

Carwardine J, Nicol S, van Leeuwen S, Walters B, Firn J, Reeson A, Martin TG, Chades I (2014) Priority threat management for Pilbara species of conservation significance, CSIRO Ecosystems Sciences, Brisbane.

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