Key threatening processes

Pests and weeds, climate change and habitat loss are some of the key threatening processes facing native plants and animals.

Fox, introduced species, pest and threat to native animalsA threat may be listed as a key threatening process under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 if it:

  • adversely affects threatened species, populations or ecological communities
  • could cause species, populations or ecological communities to become threatened.

Key threatening processes are managed with threat abatement plans or priorities action statements under the Saving our Species program.

Key threatening processes that pose threats to native plants and animals in NSW 

Climate change

Changes to rainfall or temperature can threaten the survival of native species or ecological communities. Climate change also interacts with other threatening processes like fire and weeds. In combination, these processes can significantly increase the risk of extinction of a threatened species.

Priority actions to address this key threatening process have been identified in Priorities for Biodiversity Adaptation to Climate Change

The weedy pest lantana can aggressively invade areas, displacing native plants and animalsWeeds

Weeds such as lantana and bitou bush can compete with native plants for resources such as light, nutrients and space. Weeds can aggressively invade areas and push out native plants and animals. See more information about pests and weeds.

Pest animals

Introduced animals like the European rabbit and red fox can compete with native animals for habitat and/or prey on them. These pest animals can also damage native plants and degrade natural habitats, increasing pressure on the survival of native animals.

Intense night time high flames fire with NPWS personnel silhouetted Windsor Downs Fire

Changes in fire patterns, such as an increase in the frequency of fire, can adversely affect or kill plants and animals. Fire can also cause loss of habitat and change to vegetation structure or composition.

Diseases

Exotic fungal infections, viruses and other pathogens can weaken and kill native species.

Search for all key threatening processes.