Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 May 2010
IUCN (The World Conservation Union) published its first Action Plan more than a decade ago (Oates 1986). Many taxon-specific Specialist Groups working under the auspices of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) have since produced such documents, some of which are now in their second editions (e.g. Reeves and Leatherwood 1994). As we know only too well ourselves, Action Plans take a great deal of time and effort to compile, but what evidence is there to show that they are effective in achieving their prime objective of increasing the amount and quality of work that gets done to save threatened species from extinction?