Impacts of the ABRS National Taxonomy Research Grant Program on Australia’s threatened species.
Jaever M. SantosRoom 2: T2
Jaever M. Santos; Tina A. R. Gopalan; Bryan D. Lessard (Australian Biological Resources Study).
The Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) has supported biodiversity research since its establishment in 1973. Throughout its 50 years as Australia’s focal point for taxonomy and systematics, the ABRS has provided this support to the taxonomic community through the National Taxonomy Research Grant Program (NTRGP), the only national grant scheme for taxonomic research. To date, the ABRS has funded more than 84 million Australian dollars unadjusted (156 million adjusted for inflation to 2022) across 2,400 taxonomic research projects. While our knowledge and understanding of native Australian biodiversity continues to grow each year, so do the emerging threats caused by climate change, habitat loss and invasive species. Here, we highlight several NTRGP-funded projects that have had significant impacts for threatened species. The NTRGP has enabled the discovery, naming and description of many new species that are now recognised as at-risk species and made accessible for conservation-based decision making via the Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Relational databases such as the Australian National Species List will allow us to more rapidly capture new species data in the hopes of expediting the assessment of the conservation status of new species.