About BioNet Atlas

The BioNet Atlas includes a number of data collections, with plant and animal data coming from a number of sources.

Sources for the BioNet flora and fauna records include:

  • survey data held in the Systematic Survey data collections
  • the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, including data from the Royal Botanic Gardens herbarium database, and from National Parks and Wildlife staff
  • data submitted by ecological consultants, research scientists, and others (as part of the scientific licence procedure)
  • data provided by other agencies, such as Forests NSW, the Australian Museum and the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme
  • historical reports
  • the general public.

Who uses BioNet Atlas information?

The records in the Atlas are used by a wide variety of people, including:

  • people who want to know more about species occurring in their local area
  • academics and researchers working in particular areas or on particular species
  • students doing school projects
  • consultants undertaking environmental impact assessments
  • land holders undertaking development clearing or private native forestry applications
  • State and Commonwealth government departments for conservation planning and land management
  • local government agencies for local planning purposes
  • local land services.

Handling of sensitive species data

Sensitive species are a relatively small subset of threatened species that are sensitive to human impact and protected by law.

Access to sensitive species locations is strictly managed through sensitive species data licensing. The licensing is linked to a user's BioNet Atlas login credentials. Sensitive species locations can't be passed on to others. 

All BioNet Atlas data is managed and only made available under the terms and conditions of the department's Sensitive Species Data Policy

Data in the BioNet Atlas is extensive, but nevertheless patchy.

Data covers all areas of NSW and also includes some records from neighbouring States, but will not provide information on the full distribution of a species. The BioNet Atlas is not a comprehensive inventory of all species, nor of all locations of species in NSW. Except in areas where detailed survey information has been incorporated into the database, the search results for a particular area are based on a mix of reported sightings. For example, sightings often follow patterns of human movement, such as along roads.

It's also important to realise that the number of recorded sightings for a species doesn't necessarily correspond in any way to the actual abundance of that species in NSW. Contributors often focus their efforts on recording threatened species, with the result that rare species may have more recorded sightings in the BioNet Atlas than common species. Conversely, a common species in an area may not be recorded in BioNet Atlas, because no-one has thought to report its.

The data may contain errors and omissions and you use the data at your own risk. Neither the department or any other data custodian will accept liability for any loss, damage, cost or expenses that you may incur as a result of the use of or reliance upon the data.

Data in the BioNet Atlas is constantly updated and you should use the current data from the BioNet Atlas website and not rely on material you have previously printed or downloaded.

The department is the custodian of the BioNet Atlas database and is responsible for its maintenance, update and distribution of data. The data and copyright and other intellectual property rights in the data remain with the data contributor - owner. Copyright in extracts and printouts, or online search results from the BioNet Atlas database, is held by the department and protected by the copyright laws of Australia.

Data is made available from BioNet in accordance with CC-BY (4.0), except:

  • locations for species listed on the department's Sensitive Species list may be withheld or denatured
  • datasets provided to BioNet Atlas by third parties, for which we are not licensed to on supply.

Access BioNet Atlas

There are a number of ways to access data held in BioNet Atlas. The application has basic and login access. The data can also be accessed through BioNet Web Services (basic and login) and the SEED portal.

Login access


  • Registered user - to access additional system functionality, upload spreadsheets of species sightings and systematic survey data and use the data analysis function.


  • Sensitive Species Data Licence holder - to access more detailed sensitive threatened species location information than is available to basic and registered users. Licence conditions apply.

Apply for a licence

Note that BioNet Atlas data is made available in line with the requirements of the department's Sensitive Species Data Policy