Digital Solutions Saving our Species
The NSW Government is at the forefront of conservation of endangered species.
It has undertaken the biggest conservation commitment to date allocating $3 million from the Digital Restart Fund to design a framework to maximise the numbers of threatened species secured in the wild.
Working with threatened species experts from across the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), as well as national parks, volunteers, scientists, businesses and community groups, this Government flagship ensures Australian animals aren’t put at risk of extinction by securing the future of our threatened plants and animals and restoring their numbers.
A world leading digital approach
The NSW Government is working to secure 1000 plants, animals, and ecological communities at risk of extinction using finite available resources, highlighting the importance of prioritising and adopting a cost-effective approach. As part of their work under the Biodiversity Conservation Act, DPIE has allocated $3 million of the funds to design a framework for prioritising action in NSW that will maximise the numbers of threatened species secured in the wild.
Research undertaken in 2013 by Professor Hugh Possingham at the University of Queensland was used to establish a prioritisation model and algorithm that can optimise threatened species actions with finite resources. This world leading approach means that the most effective outcomes for threatened species can be continually tweaked to transform the way information is captured and shared; allowing data on plants, animals, and ecological communities from all over the state.
Save our Species have pioneered a four-step approach to decrease the number of threatened species and ecological communities in NSW. They will achieve this by:
- Scaling up conservation planning, using a streamed approach to deliver strategies for many species
- Design projects that are fit for purpose and deliver clear outcomes
- Evaluate the cost effectiveness (or return on investment) for each strategy
- Use best practice prioritisation techniques to invest benefiting the greatest number of species
Greater transparency for the people of NSW
The project roadmap includes ways to improve public access to information on how the conservation work is progressing. Improvements will be made to digital interactions with customers as well as in a modern look and feel of systems with improved website and database accessibility.
Digital solutions that put more people on the ground
One key strength of the Saving our Species program is how much resource can now be diverted into on-ground conservation through the improved interoperability of the prioritisation and translation approach.
Traditionally, seven different systems in different formats and platforms have been used rather than one effective system where information is entered once and can be used many times. Work is now underway to create one action that benefits multiple threatened species based on sophisticated data analysis.
This project has allowed for systems to be linked together for a better overall digital experience; crucial to getting someone on the ground, doing more work to protect threatened species. Check out our updates on the project page Saving our Species website as the project progresses. We also encourage you to sign up to the Saving our Species newsletter, which provides updates the program every month.