top of page

PACES decision tool

Ex-situ (literally, “off-site”) conservation management of a threatened species involves taking and maintaining the species away from its natural setting, ideally in an environment which is free of the threats that are impacting the species in its original location. Ex-situ actions can increase the long-term persistence of a species in the wild by supplementing or creating new wild populations. As with any management intervention, there is a chance that ex-situ management will fail to produce the desired conservation outcomes. Also, there is a risk that sourcing individuals from wild populations could decrease their viability in the short term. These factors must be considered when evaluating whether an ex-situ management plan is the best strategy for conserving a species in the wild over the long term. To address this challenge, we have created an Excel-based ex-situ decision tool (Planning and Assessment for Conservation through Ex-Situ management;

Burrowing Bettong_Daniela Parra_Flikr_CC BY-NC 2.0.jpg

Burrowing Bettong. Image: Daniela Parra. Flikr, CC BY-NC 2.0.

PACES) that provides support for decisions about whether or not to initiate or continue an ex-situ management plan for a species. It can be used in workshop settings with a group of managers and/or experts using expert knowledge to make predictions about likely conservation outcomes, or it can be stepped through by an individual decision-maker to gain clarity around a decision or to document the reasoning underpinning a decision. The tool can use expert knowledge, data or model outputs, depending on their availability.




Tracy Rout

Eve McDonald Madden1



Terry V. Walshe (University of Melbourne)

Nicola Mitchell (University of Western Australia)

Margaret Byrne (Western Australian Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions)

Simon Nally (Australian Department of Environment and Energy)

Peter Latch (Australian Department of Environment and Energy)

More info here

PACES decision tool outputs.JPG

Example output from the PACES tool: predicted relative population size under a 'do nothing' alternative and three different management scenarios.

Numbat_S J Bennett_Flickr.jpg

Numbat. Image: S. J. Bennett. Flikr CC2-0, Perth Zoo.

bottom of page