How species are listed as threatened

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee (NSW TSSC) undertakes assessments of species and ecological communities  which occur in NSW and determines if they are eligible to be listed as threatened (i.e. Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable species) in the Schedules of the Biodiversity Conservation (BC) Act, 2016. The NSW TSSC also identifies species that are extinct or extinct in the wild.

Under the Act, the Committee must assess a species’ risk of extinction in Australia. If a species is not threatened at the national scale then the Committee can assess the extinction risk of the species in NSW. The Biodiversity Conservation (BC) Act, 2016 and Biodiversity Conservation Regulation, 2017 sets out the criteria used to make these assessments. These criteria are based on the assessment criteria developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Common Assessment Method

The NSW Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commonwealth Government and other State and Territory jurisdictions to implement a Common Assessment Method (CAM) of species and ecological communities. It is based on the best practice standard developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as used to create the Red List of Threatened Species, with some amendments to suit the Australian context using IUCN criteria.

The CAM will ensure there is consistent approach in the assessment of threatened species and ecological communities in Australia. Through information sharing and mutual recognition of assessments, national assessment undertaken by one jurisdiction may be accepted by other jurisdictions. This will ensure a species is listed at the same level of extinction risk at both the Commonwealth and State level and reduce the duplication of assessments.

More information on the Common Assessment Method can be found on the Commonwealth Government’s website.

The nomination process

The Biodiversity Conservation Act encourages community involvement in the protection of threatened species. Anyone can propose changes to the threatened species list. The procedure is as follows:

1. A person or organisation sends a nomination to the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

This can:

  • nominate a particular species or ecological community to be added to the threatened species list
  • nominate a particular species or ecological community to be removed from the threatened species list.
  • nominate a change in threat status of a listed species or ecological community within the threatened species list.

2. The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee assesses all nominations, and decides to either accept or reject them.

3. If the committee accepts a nomination, it will make a preliminary determination to either support or not support the proposal. The preliminary determination is then placed on public exhibition for a period of at least 30 days.

During the public exhibition period, members of the public can send submissions about the determination to the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

4. The committee then makes a final determination about the matter. In doing this, it must consider all submissions received during the exhibition period. The final determination is also published on this website.

Nomination priorities

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee considers a number of matters when setting the priorities for the assessment of nominations (PDF 49KB).

The Committee assesses all nominations received but some nominations may be given priority over others in line with these priorities.

Make a nomination to the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee

To make a nomination to the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee, download the form you need and send it to the committee. You should include any relevant information that demonstrates the criteria for listing are met. The nomination forms provide guidance on the type of information to include with your nomination.

Download nomination forms to add, change or remove species, populations or ecological communities under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016:

Page last updated: 06 November 2017