Back on Track species prioritisation framework

    What is the Back on Track species prioritisation framework?

    The Back on Track species prioritisation framework (Back on Track) is an initiative of the Queensland Government that:

    • prioritises Queensland's native species to guide conservation management and recovery;
    • enables the strategic allocation of limited conservation resources for achieving greatest biodiversity outcomes; and
    • increases the capacity of government, Natural Resource Management (NRM) bodies and communities to make informed decisions by making information widely accessible.

    Back on Track is the first species prioritisation framework to be implemented in Australia. It was established with funds from the Queensland Government (former Department of Environment and Resource Management) and the Australian Government through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

    Why is it needed?

    Traditional efforts in wildlife conservation have focused on highly threatened or well-known iconic species. In particular those species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Rare have determined conservation priorities, and as a result, where resources are focused, often with little assessment of success. This has encouraged a single-species approach, which has the tendency to focus on a species that may not have a high chance of recovery, and on species that may be threatened in one area but which have a large population elsewhere.

    As conservation resources are finite, an explicit and transparent approach that indentifies not only which species face the greatest threat of extinction but which also have the greatest potential for recovery is required in order to get "more bang for the (conservation) buck".

    How does it work?

    Back on Track species prioritisation framework is designed to prioritise all species, regardless of their current classification under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) or the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). Species are prioritised using multiple criteria, to allow the identification of species that are in trouble, and those which have the greatest chance of recovery.

    The process identifies common threats and actions that affect a range of species. This encourages a multi-species or landscape approach to conservation as well as opportunities for cross regional projects.

    Back on Track species prioritisation framework increases the capacity of government, NRM bodies and communities to make decisions about where to focus on-ground action and investment to deal with threatened species and communities.

    Further details on this process can be found in the Back on Track approach.

    Where is it being used?

    Back on Track has been used to develop Actions for Biodiversity documents, to develop conservation projects, and to inform decisions that influence the conservation of threatened species. Further details about these applications can be found in the Back on Track applications webpage.