Threatened Species Framework Initiative
The Bioplatforms Australia network will collaborate with partners from The University of Sydney, Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions, Amazon Web Services, NSW Saving Our Species, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the Zoo and Aquarium Association to develop genomic resources, analytical pipelines and reporting methods in support of conserving Australia’s threatened biodiversity.
Australia has the worst mammalian extinction rate in the world. Before the bushfires this summer, 1,774 species (480 animals; 1,294 plants) were listed as threatened under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This list includes 30% of non-bat mammals and 14% of amphibians. This number is expected to increase as the extent of the 2020 fires is realised. To fight extinction – a range of zoos and conservation agencies have established insurance populations to house threatened species – in zoos, in large fenced areas and on offshore islands. Many species in Australia now only exist in sanctuaries and islands due to the introduction of the European red fox and feral cats.
This project brings together genome biologists, population biologists, bioinformaticians, population geneticist and zoologists with conservation agencies with the intent of not only managing the genetic diversity in our most threatened species, but also boosting genetic diversity in critically important functional genes involved in immunity, growth and reproduction through annotation of their genomes. This application will result in the development of an online tool to empower conservation managers to use genomics to inform breeding recommendations for these programs.
The proposed initiative will directly support a number of conservation efforts and provide an infrastructure in the form of data and analytical pipelines to support biodiversity conservation in the hands of species management teams beyond Bioplatforms involvement in the initiative.
This initiative will directly support a number of conservation efforts and provide an infrastructure in the form of data and analytical pipelines to support biodiversity conservation in the hands of species management teams