Threatened plants and ecological communities and key threatening processes in Australia

The Australian and all state and territory governments in Australia have laws for declaring plants species and ecological communities as threatened. Threat categories vary between the jurisdictions, but variously include critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. Some jurisdictions also list key threatening processes.

A government-by-government overview of the relevant laws and listing processes was published in Australasian Plant Conservation 17(2) in 2008, and can be downloaded here:

Lists and information about threatened plants and ecological communities, and key threatening processes, are available on the various government web sites. Each site provides a variety of information that may be in the form of simple lists of species, listing advice, conservation advice, recovery plans / action plans, and/or summary data in databases or in information sheets etc. The information usually includes one or more of the following: listing status, description, habitat, distribution map, illustrations, threats and recovery actions.

Links to relevant sites are provided below, for each jurisdiction as relevant, for threatened plant species, threatened ecological communities and key threatening processes.

It is important to note the following when using the web sites.

  • Most web sites are constantly updated, and hence the information they contain may not reflect the most recent listing decisions and/or most recent knowledge.
  • The information included for species / ecological communities in any one site can be highly variable, with recently listed species / communities often containing more information than early listings.
  • Some web some sites are still under development, and hence include only a selection of species / ecological communities.

If you are seeking information about a particular species, ecological community or key threatening process that has been listed under national or state/territory laws, the following will assist in making sure you obtain the most appropriate information.

  • Do not accept just one source of information as gospel.
  • Check for the primary listing ‘determination’ or ‘listing advice’ by the relevant authority for that jurisdiction, as this is likely to be the most up-to-date assessment of extinction risk status at the time it was adopted.
  • Find out if there is, or has ever been, a draft or final Recovery Plan or Action Plan.
  • Be aware that derived documents, such as threatened species profiles and fact sheets, may contain useful pictures and maps, but the information included may be highly abstracted from original sources and not fully referenced.
  • Be aware that some content and context of management-related information may have been lost when parsed into databases from written sources.

Neither research nor conservation actions should be based on website information alone. To obtain the best information for any particular species or community, we recommend that after gleaning information from the websites, you check for new data by directly liaising with officers responsible for threatened species and threatened ecological communities in relevant agencies (details are provided in the appropriate entry in the <2008 Directory>), and also consulting with appropriate experts, e.g. by contacting your local conservation department or herbarium, remembering that not all expertise resides in them.

Go to websites for:

Australia (national)  

Australian Capital Territory

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New South Wales—terrestrial

New South Wales—aquatic

Northern Territory

Queensland

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South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

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