It is evident that species recovery is not well understood. It is a complex process involving many different disciplines and actors, and responsibility for it at a national level is often unclear, given that it cuts across different ministries and agencies. After various consultations, it was felt by BGCI and IABG that it would be valuable to produce a manual that would clarify the aims and purpose of species recovery, set out the various steps and processes involved, propose the necessary guidelines and indicate good practice. Given the lack of resources, both human and financial, currently available for comprehensive species recovery plans, the manual also indicates various ways in which in situ conservation actions that fall short of full recovery may be undertaken, thus providing an interim solution until more ambitious approaches are possible.