Title: Global listing of Australian orchids to sustain and enhance conservation and global funding opportunities for conservation.
Applicant: Dr Nigel Swarts
Institution: Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Queens Domain, Hobart Tasmania
The conservation status of plants and animals in one of the most widely used indicators for assessing the condition of ecosystems and their biodiversity. It also provides an important tool in establishing priorities for species conservation. At the global scale, the best source of information on the conservation status of plants and animals is the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Red List is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, with the main purpose of cataloguing and highlighting those taxa that are facing a higher risk of extinction. This project will integrate conservation information for Australian federally listed (EPBC act) orchids with other species specific knowledge towards providing a harmonised IUCN assessment for the species. These assessments will contribute to regional conservation planning through provision of a baseline dataset reporting the conservation status of key Australian terrestrial orchids. This information can be used to identify geographic areas and habitats needing to be conserved to prevent extinctions and to ensure that Australian orchids reach and maintain a favourable conservation status at an internationally accepted platform, the IUCN Red List. Through the assessment process we will identify the major threats and propose mitigating measures and conservation actions to address them. This project will also lead to a strengthening of the network of experts focused on conservation of rare orchids in Australia so that the assessment information can be kept current and expertise can be targeted to address the highest conservation priorities.