Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes

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Wildlife Australia, December 1996
ISBN 0 6422 1395 X

Disagreements about Red List Category

In one case a person asked to comment on the drafts disagreed with the Red List category that was allocated.

Ms Deborah Tabart, on behalf of the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), disagreed with the assignment of the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) to LR(nt). She advised that it is the view of the Foundation that this species is Vulnerable, if not Endangered. In June 1995, the AKF provided AMMSG with a copy of a nomination of the Koala for listing in Schedule 1, Part 1 (Species that are Endangered), of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. In a letter dated 28 November 1995 to AMMSG, the AKF stated that "the currently perceived decline of Koalas from a national perspective is more than adequate to meet criterion A of the IUCN criteria, most certainly as they relate to the category of Vulnerable. Indeed, based on that information provided below, there may well be grounds for arguing that the criteria for the Endangered category have also been met." The AKF then provided summaries of the status of the Koala in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland but did not provide an assessment of its national status based on the IUCN Criteria.

The status of the Koala was carefully considered by participants at the workshop who concluded that it did not meet any of the IUCN Criteria for Vulnerable, but did meet two of our criteria for Lower Risk (near threatened), ie, criterion a (reduced area of occupancy and/or extent of occurrence) and criterion c (declined in abundance). The chair of the workshop, Dr Andrew Burbidge, abstained from the discussion and decision, since, as a member of the Endangered Species Scientific Subcommittee, he was at the time considering nominations of the Koala for Schedules of the Endangered Species Protection Act.

On 25 January 1996, after receiving a draft of the Taxon Summary for the Koala, Ms Tabart wrote to the Editors expressing her concern at the assessment of LR(nt) and reiterating the AKF's view, as stated in the November 1995 letter, that the species should be listed as Vulnerable.

Recovery Outlines and Taxon Summaries

Recovery Outlines are provided for all taxa listed as Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable. Briefer 'Taxon Summaries' are provided for taxa listed as Lower Risk (conservation dependent), Lower Risk (near threatened), and Data Deficient.

Recovery Outlines provide estimated costs of staff and other resources for recovery to be carried out. These are based on the best information provided to the editors, but should be considered as a guide, rather than being definitive. Detailed costs will be worked out as Recovery Plans and research proposals are developed. A summary of the estimated cost of implementing this Action Plan is provided at Appendix G.

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