Back on Track species prioritisation framework - Links

Development of the Back on Track species prioritisation framework application

The Back on Track species prioritisation framework is based on the methods of Professor Helene Marsh and colleagues from their paper Optimizing Allocation of Management Resources for Wildlife (Marsh et al. 2007).

The development of the Back on Track species prioritisation framework was funded by the Queensland department and the Australian Government’s Natural Resource Management program.

Cooktown orchid  Photo: C. Dollery/Queensland Government

Cooktown orchid  Photo: C. Dollery/Queensland Government

Identifying conservation priorities

Conservation practitioners have always made decisions on their work priorities, as resources for conservation are finite and therefore it is not possible to address every issue.

In recent years a number of different approaches to identifying conservation priorities have been developed. These include:

The prioritisation of species

The prioritisation of projects to secure a viable population of each threatened species

  • The prioritisation of projects for New Zealand’s threatened species (Joseph et al. 2008).

The prioritisation of the location and design of reserves

  • The development of Marxan, which is a computer program to support conservation planning that uses an understanding of conservation threats and priorities (Ball et al. 2009)
  • A systematic approach to the location and design of reserves (Margules and Pressey 2000).

Links to Natural Resource Management bodies

Back on Track species prioritisation framework is working with the 14 Natural Resource Management (NRM) bodies across Queensland, they are:


Ball IR, Possingham HP & Watts M. 2009. Marxan and relatives: Software for spatial conservation prioritisation. Chapter 14: Pages 185-195 in Spatial conservation prioritisation: Quantitative methods and computational tools. Eds Moilanen A, K.A. Wilson, and H.P. Possingham. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Fitzpatrick U, Murray TE, Paxton RJ, & Brown MJF. 2007. Building on IUCN regional red lists to produce lists of species of conservation priority: a model with Irish bees. Conservation Biology, 21 (5), 1324-1332.

Joseph LN, Maloney RF & Possingham HP. 2008. Optimal allocation of resources among threatened species: A project prioritization protocol. Conservation Biology, 23 (2), 328-338.

Margules CR & Pressey RL. 2000. Systematic conservation planning. Nature, 405, 243-253.

Marsh H, Dennis A, Hines H, Kutt A, McDonald K, Weber E, Williams S & Winter J. 2007. Optimizing allocation of management resources for wildlife. Conservation Biology, 21, 387-399.

McCarthy MA, Thompson CJ, & Garnett ST. 2008. Optimal investment in conservation of species. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45 (5), 1428-1435.

Regan HM, Hierl LA, Franklin J, Deutschman DH, Schmalbach HL, Winchell CS & Johnson BS. 2008. Species prioritization for monitoring and management in regional multiple species conservation plans. Diversity and Distributions, 14 (3), 462-471.

Rodríguez JP, Rojas-Suárez F, & Sharpe CJ. 2004. Setting priorities for the conservation of Venezuela’s threatened birds. Oryx, 38 (4), 373-382.

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