This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
An examination of terrestrial vertebrate fauna research funding from Australian federal government sources
Funding for research towards more effective conservation of Australian fauna is widely believed to be low. Publically available data were examined to determine the spread of wildlife projects supported for the period 2005-2015 by Federal Government agencies responsible for research and/or environmental management funding and funding aimed at delivering innovation across relevant sectors. A word search method was used and projects categorised according to their relevance to conservation goals. Of the $7.2 billion invested by the Australian Research Council, 0.9% ($67.8 million) was in areas relevant to conservation. However, of this relatively modest funding, 40% of conservation projects addressed questions classified as highly relevant, and 11.4% dealt with Australia’s threatened terrestrial vertebrate fauna. Of the $2.5 billion grant investment by the Department of the Environment, 7.9% ($196.3 million) were relevant to fauna conservation but mainly for on-ground management (62.5%.). However, 32.9% of projects were research highly relevant to conservation practice, and 18.8% dealt with Australia’s threatened terrestrial vertebrate fauna. The Cooperative Research Centres Program is a well-funded system that has supported applied research relevant to wildlife conservation. However, the Programs recent focus has been on commercial outcomes rather than the public good. The study provides support for the argument that greater investment by the Federal Government is needed if innovation in wildlife management is to have a solid evidence base.
PC17037 Accepted 18 February 2018
© CSIRO 2018