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July 07 , 2008

The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010


The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010 is the third in a series of action plans that have been produced at the start of each decade. The book analyses the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status of all the species and subspecies of Australia's birds, including those of the offshore territories. For each bird the size and trend in their population and distribution has been analysed using the latest iteration of IUCN Red List Criteria to determine their risk of extinction. The book also provides an account of all those species and subspecies that are or are likely to be extinct. Each categorisation is justified on the basis of the latest research, including much unpublished material that has been made available during workshops conducted with leading ornithologists and conservation biologists around the country as well as phone interviews and correspondence. The result is the most authoritative account yet of the status of Australia's birds. In this completely revised edition each account covers not only the 2010 status but provides a retrospective assessment of the status in 1990 and 2000 based on current knowledge, taxonomic revisions and changes to the IUCN criteria, and then reasons why the status of some taxa has changed over the last two decades. Maps have been created specifically for the Action Plan based on vetted data drawn from the records of Birds Australia, its members and its partners in many government departments. The book contains some surprises – some alarming, some encouraging. The status of some birds has improved over the last two decades as a result of dedicated conservation management. Some may not have changed status but at least they are holding their own. Many, however, are continuing to decline and a distressing number are new to the list. There is also an increasing number of birds for which captive insurance populations need not only to be considered as a future option but actively pursued before it is too late. But this is not a book of lost causes. It is a call for action to keep the extraordinary biodiversity we have inherited and pass the legacy to our children. Every one of Australia's threatened taxa can be saved. This book describes the populations of species at greatest risk and outlines ways we can turn them around. 2012 Whitley Award Commendation for Zoological Resource.
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