What is a threatened species?
Australia is estimated to be home to more than 500 000 animal and plant species. Many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Australia is faced with unprecedented loss of biodiversity. Over the last two hundred years, more than 100 species of animals and plants have become extinct. More mammals have died out in Australia, than in any other continent.
The main causes of species' decline include habitat destruction and degradation, impacts of introduced invasive species, pollution and disease. Climate change is increasingly being recognised one of the greatest long-term threats to biodiversity.
In New South Wales, there are more than 850 animal and plant species at risk of extinction - including the Koala, Humpback Whale and Wollemi Pine. Our ecosystems are also at risk. Only a small proportion of forests, woodlands and grasslands remain. The status of many thousands of species is unknown. For information on how many species are listed, please see the Schedules.
The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 is one of several laws put in place to protect our natural heritage. For over 10 years the Threatened Species Conservation Act has been in place to identify and conserve our threatened species, populations and ecological communities of animals and plants (with the exception of fish and marine plants).
What does 'threatened' mean?
Threatened species, populations and ecological communities are those that are listed under Schedules 1, 1A and 2 and are found at the end of the Act. They are species, populations and ecological communities that are considered by the NSW Scientific Committee to be at risk of extinction in the immediate to medium-term future in NSW. Together these schedules are described as 'threatened'.
How do I know whether I have a threatened species on my land?
A good place to start to get more information about the distribution of threatened species known to exist within a particular area is by searching the Atlas of NSW Wildlife or PlantNET.
You can get more information about the ecology, status and distribution of threatened species, and what you can do to help their recovery by searching the Threatened Species Website
Page last updated: 14 March 2012