Threatened Species Recovery

There are a large number of threatened species in the ACT, with a number of these listed as threatened at the National level. The recovery of threatened species in this plan has been prioritised in alignment with the National Australian Threatened Species Strategy, and priority ACT threatened species which continue to decline or are a priority for additional funding.

Desired Outcomes

To support recovery of threatened species listed in the Australian Government Threatened Species Strategy that occur in the ACT. This national strategy identifies 20 mammals, 20 birds and 30 plants.

Priority Areas

Investment will focus on areas where threatened priority species exist in the ACT, or where there is an opportunity to expand their range. Occurrence records of threatened species in the ACT are indicated in the Threatened species prioritisation map.

Future Investment

The following threatened species have been listed in line with the National Threatened Species Strategy:

The Eastern Bettong and Eastern Quoll are extinct from the wild in the ACT and therefore do not have specific Threatened Species Action Plans. However, they have been reintroduced into Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary as part of a research and conservation program. More information about this program can be found here.

Building on Existing Investment

Activities for recovery of threatened species are guided by ACT and National Action Plans. It is recognised that management of some of these species requires cross-border collaboration in partnership with the NSW Government.

Desired Outcomes

The ACT Nature Conservation Act 2014 and associated Threatened Species Action Plans define the desired outcomes for each of the Threatened Species and Ecological Communities in the ACT.

Priority Areas

Consultation for this Investment Plan identified that many of the Threatened Species in the ACT were already receiving investments through other sources; and that:

  • further investment in most threatened plant species may not improve the efficacy of current interventions until current initiatives (eg trial translocations) are assessed; and
  • the most effective strategy to improve the trajectory of many species (particularly birds, reptiles and invertebrates) is to manage threats and improve condition of the habitat of these species (woodlands and grasslands in particular),
  • two specific priority species were identified as requiring further investment to ensure their proper management and recovery – the Grassland Earless Dragon and the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard.

Future Investment Focus

On-ground management and survey of Pink-tail Worm-lizard and Grassland Earless Dragon habitat. See adjacent tabs for specific information.

Building on Existing Investment (2013-18)

Threatened Species Action Plans outline conservation and protection proposals for the species or community concerned or proposals to minimise the effect of threatening processes. The primary objective is to maintain for the long term, viable, wild populations of each species (or samples of the ecological community) as components of the indigenous biological resources of the ACT.

Desired Outcomes

Establish and maintain a successful captive breeding program for purposes of reintroduction.Conserve all ACT populations; managing the species and it’s habitat to maintain the potential for evolutionary development in the wild; and enhance the long-term viability of populations through management of adjacent grassland to increase habitat area and connect populations.

Priority Areas

Known populations of Grassland Earless Dragons are indicated in the map. Sites for possible species reintroductions will be dependent upon the genetics of the individuals to be translocated (either from a captive colony, or between wild populations), on the availability of appropriate habitat, and quarantine considerations.

Future Investment Focus

The Grassland Earless Dragon is a endangered species that once occurred across grasslands from Bathurst to Melbourne, but is now only found in a few remnant grasslands in the ACT and the nearby Monaro Plains in NSW. In the ACT, populations were significantly impacted by overgrazing and drought from 2006-2008. As a consequence, populations dramatically declined and some have even been lost. Recovery of remaining populations will depend on appropriate management of habitat; however suitable habitat may remain unoccupied due to localised extinction and a lack of connectivity to extant populations. At these locations of potential habitat reintroduction may be the only option for recovery. As part of this reintroduction strategy, Captive Breeding facilities could be developed and housed in a University or Government breeding facility. To support the recovery of this species, ACT NRM will seek to:

  • Support captive breeding and reintroduction of Grassland Earless Dragons into ACT reserves.
  • Support targeted habitat restoration interventions.
  • Support collaborative actions across the known range of GED (in ACT and NSW) such as surveys of abundance and distribution, and translocation trials.

Building on Existing Investment (2013-18)

The ACT Government, University of Canberra, and other researchers have invested significant efforts into captive breeding and genetics research, but have yet to achieve a level of breeding success that will support a captive breeding population and translocation in the future. To find out more click here.

Desired Outcomes

Improved condition of known Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (PTWL) habitat, particularly river corridors, and identification of other PTWL hotspots in the ACT (and surrounding areas as appropriate).

Priority Areas

The map on this page has identified three priority categories for managing threats in known PTWL habitat hotspots. These are based on PTWL occurrence, weed data, and expert opinion. The map has also identified priority areas for further surveys in areas that may potentially contain populations of PTWL, and survey effort of these sites that are threatened by weed invasion will be further prioritised.

Future Investment Focus

On-ground management to recover areas of PTWL habitat through targeted weed control and enhancement of rocky areas in river corridors, and mapping of potential habitat areas for PTWL. Priority for surveys will be given to areas under threat from weed invasion.

Building on Existing Investment (2013-18) 

Known populations of PTWL are closely monitored and significant habitat restoration is currently occurring in environmental offset areas including the Molonglo Corridor. To find out more click here.