Action Plans provide an invaluable mechanism for translating scientific knowledge into conservation action. By assisting the effective targeting of the resources available to the conservation movement towards the most urgent priorities, the adoption of this approach should result in more effective attainment of conservation goals. This paper describes the approach adopted by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in the production of Species Action Plans for birds on the United Kingdom's Red Data List.