Megapodes: an action plan for their conservation 1995–1999) was published in 1995 by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN – The World Conservation Union. It is the twenty-eighth publication in its Action Plan series and the first for any group of birds. Action Plans published under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission are perceived as a means of making information on the status, threats and action required to safeguard species available to conservation planners and others in a position to take action. They are compiled by the appropriate taxon Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission and their production and implementation is central to the Commission's activities. As well as the megapodes, Action Plans have recently been compiled for the partridges, quails, francolins, snowcocks and guineafowl, and for the pheasants. Stimulating interest in the conservation of these three groups of birds is the responsibility of three Specialist Groups which operate under the joint parentage of the World Pheasant Association, BirdLife International and the Species Survival Commission. The World Pheasant Association is the umbrella organization for five Galliformes Specialist Groups and was the driving force behind the production of these Action Plans, providing the means for the Specialist Groups to compile the information. This paper outlines the scope of these Action Plans and explains how they were compiled in the hope that this may assist the production of Action Plans for other bird groups.