Species listing

Find out how threatened species are listed and how you can contribute to the listing process.

Wee jasper grevillea (Grevillea iaspicula) is a critically endangered species in NSWThe NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee (the Committee) determines which species, populations and ecological communities are listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or for species extinct or extinct in the wild, or in the case of threatened ecological communities collapsed under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act).

The Committee also identifies key threatening processes.

Read more about the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

Listing is used to:

  • add a species or ecological community to schedules in the BC Act
  • reclassify a species or ecological community and move it from one threat category to another
  • delist a species or ecological community.


Populations are defined as a subset of species under the BC Act. The Act introduces this change to align with the Common Assessment Method for listing nationally threatened species. This means a population of a particular species can be listed as threatened if it meets the criteria to be prescribed by the regulations. Listing populations as a subset of species means that the threat categories that apply to species will also be available for populations (other than the ‘extinct’ category). This introduces new categories of ‘critically endangered’ and ‘vulnerable’ for populations.

To support transition to the new legislation, the existing list of endangered populations (from the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995) will be carried over to the BC Act. The Committee will keep the list under review and determine whether any changes are necessary.

Read about threatened species listing categories.

Listing decisions

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) male bird also known as Barraband's parrot, Barraband's parakeet, or green leek parrot, is a parrot native to south-eastern AustraliaThe BC Act requires that listing decisions are:

  • made by an independent scientific body, i.e. the Committee
  • scientifically robust and based on the best available scientific information
  • completed within a suitable time period that allows for thorough assessment against appropriate criteria
  • made on scientific grounds only.

How is species status decided?

The Committee classifies species, populations and ecological communities as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.

The criteria used are based on the assessment criteria developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

The Committee considers factors that include:

  • population size
  • reduction in geographical distribution and habitat quality
  • sensitivity to human activities
  • stochastic (randomly determined) events.

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.

Nomination and determination process

The BC Act encourages community involvement in the protection of threatened species. Anyone can propose that a species, ecological community or key threatening process be listed or removed from the threatened species list.

For more information about the nomination, public exhibition and determination processes visit The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee pages.