Threatened Species and Ecological Communities

A species or ecological community is threatened if it is likely to become extinct in the foreseeable future.

A process is threatening if it has the potential to threaten the survival of a species or ecological community in the ACT region.

The Nature Conservation Act 2014 (ACT) establishes a formal process for the identification and protection of threatened species and ecological communities. It requires the Scientific Committee to advise the Minister for the Environment and Heritage (the Minister) of native species and ecological communities that are threatened in the ACT, and ecologically significant threatening processes. Following an assessment against criteria, the Committee will recommend that they be listed accordingly.

Common Assessment Method

A common assessment method (CAM) has been established by the Australian Government, States and Territories for the assessment and listing of all nationally threatened species (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). State and Territory threatened species lists will only contain species that occur in their jurisdiction, however the category of a species will be the same where it is listed in more than one jurisdictions.

This does mean that the category of some ACT threatened species will change so that it is aligned with the rest Australia. A species is listed in one of the regional categories if it does not meet the criteria for national listing.

Further information about the CAM is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

Threatened native species

The formal list of threatened species in the ACT is published in NI2019-275 on the ACT legislation register. A species may be assessed at the national scale and listed in a national category as:

  • extinct
  • extinct in the wild
  • critically endangered
  • endangered
  • vulnerable
  • conservation dependent

A native species occurring in the ACT may be listed in a regional category if it does not meet national criteria:

  • regionally threatened
  • regionally conservation dependent
  • provisional

The list below provides the scientific and common names of threatened species in the ACT according to their listing category. A link is provided with their respective action plan or conservation advice.

Threatened Species of the ACT

Critically Endangered

Birds

Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor)

Amphibians

Northern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi)

Yellow-spotted Bell Frog (Litoria castanea)

Plants

Brindabella Midge Orchid (Corunastylis ectopa)

Canberra Spider Orchid (Caladenia actensis)

Kiandra Greenhood (Pterostylis oreophila)

Endangered Species

Mammals

Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata)

Eastern Quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)

Smoky Mouse (Pseudomys fumeus)

Southern Brown Bandicoot (Eastern) (Isoodon obesulus obesulus)

Birds

Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis)

Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)

Reptiles

Grassland Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla)

Fish

Macquarie Perch (Macquaria australasica)

Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus)

Trout Cod (Maccullochella macquariensis)

Invertebrates

Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana)

Plants

Baeuerlen’s Gentian (Gentiana baeuerlenii)

Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrynchoides)

Ginninderra Peppercress (Lepidium ginninderrense)

Murrumbidgee Bossiaea (Bossiaea grayi)

Small Purple Pea (Swainsona recta)

Tarengo Leek Orchid (Prasophyllum petilum)

Tuggeranong Lignum (Muehlenbeckia tuggeranong)

Vulnerable Species

Mammals

Broad-toothed Rat (mainland) (Mastacomys fuscus mordicus)

Greater Glider (Petauroides volans)

Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)

Koala (QLD/NSW/ACT population) (Phascolarctos cinereus)

New Holland Mouse (Pseudomys novaehollandiae)

Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus maculatus)

Birds

Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus victoriae)

Glossy Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami)

Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata cucullata)

Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides)

Painted Honeyeater (Grantiella picta)

Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang)

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)

Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera)

White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)

Reptiles

Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella)

Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar)

Amphibians

Alpine Tree Frog (Litoria verreauxii alpina)

Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea)

Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis)

Fish

Two-spined Blackfish (Gadopsis bispinosus)

Invertebrates

Murray River Crayfish (Euastacus armatus)

Perunga Grasshopper (Perunga ochracea)

Plants

Austral Toadflax (Thesium australe)

Black Gum (Eucalyptus aggregate)

Pale Pomaderris (Pomaderris pallida)

Regionally Conservation Dependent Species

Mammals

Eastern Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi)

Threatened Ecological Communities

The formal list of threatened ecological communities in the ACT is published in NI2019-65 on the ACT legislation register. There are currently three listed ecological communities in the ACT: Natural Temperate Grassland, Yellow-box/Red-gum Grassy Woodland, and High Country Bogs and Associated Fens.

An ecological community may be listed as:

  • collapsed
  • critically endangered
  • endangered
  • vulnerable
  • provisional

Threatened Ecological Communities of the ACT

Endangered

High Country Bogs and Associated Fens

The ACT High Country Bogs and Associated Fens (bogs and fens) community is consistent with the Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens ecological community listed nationally under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 but includes some bogs and fens at lower elevation. The bogs and fens community is defined by the presence or absence of Sphagnum spp. on a peat substratum. Sphagnum is not always a major floristic component, and there are some sites in the community where Sphagnum has become depleted or been lost as a result of disturbance. In these cases, the site is considered part of the community if other key species are present and a peat substratum is evident (see the Conservation Advice).

Natural Temperate Grassland

A naturally occurring grassland of the temperate zone, dominated by native perennial tussock grasses, with associated native herbs and native fauna.

Yellow Box/Red Gum Grassy Woodland

A naturally occurring woodland of the temperate zone, in which Yellow Box co-occurs with Blakely’s Red Gum. It includes the species rich understorey of native tussock grasses, herbs and scattered shrubs, together with a large number of native animal species.

Key Threatening Processes

A process may be listed as a key threatening process. Listing is formal recognition of a conservation threat.

Loss of mature native trees

In 2018 the ‘Loss of Mature Native Trees (including hollow-bearing trees) and a Lack of Recruitment’ was listed as a key threatening process (NI2018-538). The significant loss of mature trees was determined by the Scientific Committee to be adversely affecting the Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii), Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus), Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) and Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides); these species are all listed as vulnerable in the ACT.

A threat abatement plan is currently under development.

Nominations

Any person or organisation may make a nomination to the ACT Scientific Committee requesting that the Committee assess a species, ecological community or threatening process for listing. The criteria for listing threatened species and ecological communities are based on the equivalent IUCN criteria and are published in these instruments:

  • DI2016-254 - Threatened Native Species Eligibility Criteria
  • DI2016-255 - Threatened Ecological Communities Eligibility Criteria
  • DI2016-256 - Key Threatening Processes Eligibility Criteria

Conservation Advice and Action Plans

A Conservation Advice is a document prepared accompany the listing of a new species. A draft of each action plan must be released for public comment. Conservation advices are legal instruments and can be found on the ACT legislation register.

Following the listing of a species, ecological community or key threatening process, the Minister decides if an Action Plan is required to be prepared and implemented by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna (Conservator) for a listed threatened species, ecological community, or key threatening process. The Conservator is required to provide a report on the monitoring of the effectiveness of action plans at least every five years. The Scientific Committee must review an action plan every ten years after the plan commences.

Further information

If you would like further information about making a nomination:

Phone: Access Canberra on 13 22 81

Email: ScientificCommittee@act.gov.au

Write to: Secretariat - ACT Scientific Committee
Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601