Lord Howe Island Phasmid - endangered species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list Dryococelus australis (Montrouzier), the Lord Howe Island Phasmid, as an ENDANGERED SPECIES on Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act. Listing of Endangered Species is allowed for by Section 10 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

Any submissions received following advertisement of the Preliminary Determination have been considered by the Scientific Committee.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Dryococelus australis is endemic to Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid near Lord Howe Island.

2. Dryococelus australis was formerly abundant on Lord Howe Island, where it frequented holes in the trunks of living banyan trees (Ficus species), emerging at night to feed on leaves.

3. The species was exterminated from Lord Howe Island by rats, which were introduced to the island in the earlier part of the century. It may still survive on Balls Pyramid, but no specimens have been found since 1968. If Dryococelus australis still persists, it faces threats from very limited distribution, potential disturbance from insect collectors and rock climbers and possible introduction of rats to Balls Pyramid.

4. In view of 3 (above), the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Dryococelus australis is in immediate danger of extinction, or it might already be extinct but is not presumed extinct.

Dr Chris Dickman


Scientific Committee

Gazetted: 13/12/96

About the NSW Scientific Committee

Page last updated: 28 February 2011