Does recovery planning improve the status of threatened species?

Bottrill, Madeleine C., Walsh, Jessica C., Watson, James E. M., Joseph, Liana N., Ortega-Argueta, Alejandro and Possingham, Hugh P. (2011) Does recovery planning improve the status of threatened species?. Biological Conservation, 144 5: 1595-1601. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.02.008

Author Bottrill, Madeleine C.
Walsh, Jessica C.
Watson, James E. M.
Joseph, Liana N.
Ortega-Argueta, Alejandro
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Does recovery planning improve the status of threatened species?
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2011-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.02.008
Volume 144
Issue 5
Start page 1595
End page 1601
Total pages 7
Place of publication The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Recovery planning is a key component of government-funded initiatives to address declining populations of threatened species. To date, there has been limited retrospective evaluation on the impact of recovery plans, despite an increasing interest in evaluating recovery planning motivated by demands for greater accountability and a shift away from single-species focused strategies to multi-species, landscape and ecosystem-based plans. In the context of threatened species management in Australia, we aimed to investigate whether listed species with recovery plans are more likely to have improved their status compared to listed species without recovery plans. Since 1999, over 600 draft and approved recovery plans have been developed for more than 850 of 1663 species currently listed threatened species in Australia. We applied a novel econometric matching analysis to reduce biases associated with the non-random selection of species for listing and recovery planning. We found that the presence or absence of a recovery plan did not have a statistically significant effect on whether a species' status was improving, stable or declining. The result suggests that recovery plans may not be useful in the short term and uncertainty persists about whether or not they make a long term contribution to species recovery. One major contributing factor is the lack of basic accounting of recovery planning efforts. This limits our ability to refute or confirm the impact of recovery planning on species status, and has the potential to reduce public confidence in government expenditures. Better systems for reporting and evaluation are therefore required to promote transparency, improve existing knowledge and facilitate efficient investments in future management actions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Keyword Recovery planning
Threatened species
Program evaluation
Propensity Score
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 23 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 32 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 14 Aug 2011, 00:32:51 EST by System User on behalf of Faculty of Science