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Report card on threatened species


* The number of threatened species listed under federal environment laws has risen for almost all taxonomic groups during the past five years

* As of June last year, 533 animal and 1385 plant species were listed; 53 per cent are endangered or critically endangered

* The list includes 105 species that are extinct or extinct in the wild

* Recovery plans do not exist for most listed species and ecological communities

* Where they do exist there is no requirement to report on progress and the outcomes achieved

* Australia is not spending enough to recover threatened species and there’s no clear reporting of expenditure

* A 2019 study estimated $1.69 billion dollars was needed each year, dwarfing the federal government targeted spend of $49.6 million in 2018-19

* The federal threatened species strategy aimed to improve the trajectories of 71 priority species over five years, but there was no improvement for 51

* Reliance is increasing on expensive measures of last resort to prevent extinctions, such as creating safe havens on islands and in fenced areas


* From 2016 to 2020 the overall area of land and ocean managed for conservation increased, but the overall level of protection decreased

* The proportion of Australian lands under the highest protection fell from 8 per cent to 7.5 per cent

* The proportion of Australian oceans under the highest protection fell from 13.5 per cent to 9.1 per cent

* The increase in land protected areas over the past decade has been almost exclusively in multi-use areas that are only partially protected

SOURCE: State of the Environment report 2021

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