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Abstract The recovery plan process for threatened species is summarized in relation to cycads. A model recovery plan for cycads is presented with the example of Cycas megacarpa K. D. Hill from Queensland, Australia. Cycas megacarpa is currently listed as Endangered.? The species has a minimum area of occupancy of 25 km2 in 46 populations with a projected number of 372,964 adult plants, and is locally abundant over a large range in several habitats in southeast Queensland, Australia. A minimum viable population size for C. megacarpa is proposed to be in the range of 3500"4500 plants. Only seven populations of C. megacarpa are considered viable in the long term because of the presence of large numbers of individuals and a population structure indicating adequate replacement re-cruitment. Critical life history requirements are the putative pollination mutualism with beetles, dispersal by vertebrates, and the establishment of new individuals. Environmental variables that affect the life history requirements are minimum thresholds of pollination function and ef?ciency, ?re history, dispersal ef?ciency, and drought. Populations were or are impacted upon by continued land clearing, habitat degradation, and selective eradica-tion. Numbers of individuals have decreased or are still decreasing owing to land clearing, habitat degradation, selective eradication and harvesting, poor long distance dispersal, nat-ural attrition, pollination failure, and/or recruitment failure. Cycas megacarpa is present in three national parks, seven state forests and ?ve forest reserves, although the populations are often small and fragmented. Analysis of the data available for C. megacarpa indicates that a more appropriate conservation coding is Vulnerable.? Recovery actions to increase the number of individuals and populations for this species and a translocation protocol are outlined.