The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020
Edited by Stephen T. Garnett, G. Barry Baker

Hardback | Dec 2021 | CSIRO Publishing | 9781486311903 | 816pp | 297x210mm | RFB | AUD$150.00, NZD$170.00

The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020 is the most comprehensive review of the status of Australia’s avifauna ever attempted. The latest in a series of action plans for Australian birds that have been produced every decade since 1992, it is also the largest. The accounts in this plan have been authored by more than 300 of the most knowledgeable bird experts in the country, and feature far more detail than any of the earlier plans. This volume also includes accounts of over 60 taxa that are no longer considered threatened, mainly thanks to sustained conservation action over many decades.

This extensive book covers key themes that have emerged in the last decade, including the increasing impact of climate change as a threatening process, most obviously in Queensland’s tropical rainforests where many birds are being pushed up the mountains. However, the effects are also indirect, as happened in the catastrophic fires of 2019/20. Many of the newly listed birds are subspecies confined to Kangaroo Island, where fire destroyed over half the population. But there are good news stories too, especially on islands where there have been spectacular successes with predator control. Such uplifting results demonstrate that when action plans are followed by action on the ground, threatened species can indeed be recovered and threats alleviated.