Incorporating climate change into recovery planning for threatened vertebrate species in southwestern Australia

Recovery plans are the main tool used for restoration of threatened species in Australia, and identification of key threatening processes is an important feature of these plans.  The aim of this study was to identify how climate change can be incorporated into the recovery planning process using a case study of threatened vertebrates in southwestern Australia.  Analysis of documentation for 74 threatened vertebrate species in the region found that prior to 2004, climate change was not included as a threatening process in recovery documentation.  Post 2004, 42% of documents included climate change as a threatening process.  Using bioclimatic modelling, 43 of these species were ranked in terms of their potential exposure to climate change, and a gradient of management intervention aimed at mitigation against exposure to climate change was proposed for these species.  This intervention gradient ranged from active management actions aimed at species potentially at risk of extinction due to climate change, through to preservation of habitat in species predicted to lose between zero and 25% of their current distribution.  It was proposed that as a priority, the recovery documentation of the 17 species predicted to be most at risk should identify climate change as a key threatening process, and that more comprehensive analyses of climate vulnerability be undertaken for these species.  Such an approach aimed at prioritising climate change mitigation in threatened species would be useful for other regions where it has been predicted that climate change could have a negative impact on biodiversity.



Detailed Descriptions
050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
Geographic and Temporal Extents
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Attributions and Constraints
The University of Western Australia