We describe an approach to multi-species recovery planning and bio-regional biodiversity assessment that uses trait-based plant functional groups as the basis for developing threat/risk assessments for rare, threatened and 'of concern' species. Multi-variate methods were used to extract and test emergent groups, and additional information fields related to species life history and distributional data were added to develop a species-level information assessment matrix in spreadsheet format. Relating emergent trait-based plant functional groups to habitat was found to be the most informative approach for the subsequent development of management recommendations and landscape scale threat/risk assessment to inform recovery planning. Examples on the use of the identified groups in a management context are provided. These include higher and lower resource and data availability scenarios, and the role of selected traits in adding to or ameliorating threats and risk of extinction.