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Saving species beyond the protected area fence: Threats must be managed across multiple land tenure types to secure Australia's endangered species


Kearney, SG and Carwardine, J and Reside, AE and Adams, VM and Nelson, R and Coggan, A and Spindler, R and Watson, JEM, Saving species beyond the protected area fence: Threats must be managed across multiple land tenure types to secure Australia's endangered species, Conservation Science and Practice, 4, (3) Article e617. ISSN 2578-4854 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2022 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.1111/csp2.617


The main effort to secure threatened species globally is to set aside land and sea for their conservation via governance arrangements such as protected areas. But not even the biggest protected area estate will cover enough area to halt most species declines. Consequently, there is a need for assessments of how species habitats are distributed across the tenure landscape, to guide policy and conservation opportunities. Using Australia as a case study, we assess the relationship between land tenure coverage and the distributions of nationally listed threatened species. We discover that on average, nearly half (48%) of Australian threatened species' distributions occur on privately owned (freehold) lands, despite this tenure covering only 29% of the continent. In contrast, leasehold lands, which cover 38% of Australia, overlap with only 6% of species' distributions while protected area lands (which cover 20%) have an average of 35% of species' distributions. We found the majority (75%; n = 1199) of species occur across multiple land tenures, and those species that are confined to a single tenure were mostly on freehold lands (13%; n = 201) and protected areas (9%; n = 139). Our findings display the opportunity to reverse the current trend of species decline with increased coordination of threat management across land tenures.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia protected area system, tenure, conservation, extinction, habitat destruction, invasive species, national park, threat management, threatened species
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Adams, VM (Associate Professor Vanessa Adams)
ID Code:150391
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2022-06-10
Last Modified:2022-09-20

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