Key Threatening Process Nomination Form For adding a threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (epbc act)




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Section 3 – Threat Abatement Plan

10.Threat Abatement





10. Give an overview of how threats posed by this process are being abated by current (or proposed) activities. Identify who is undertaking these activities and how successful the activities have been to date.

There are currently only patchy and limited attempts to abate the threat of feral deer. A summary of the legislative status and relevant policies applying to feral deer in each state/territory are provided in the ‘Description’. They vary widely.


In at least 3 states (NSW, Victoria, Tasmania) deer are protected wildlife and most management is for the benefit of recreational hunters. Managers of individual conservation reserves in NSW and Victoria conduct deer control but are hampered by lack of control beyond their perimeters. Some also fence off threatened plant populations to protect them from deer. Feral deer have been listed as a key threatening process in NSW and Sambar a potentially threatening process in Victoria but no threat abatement plans are in place.
Queensland is currently prepared a deer management strategy after recently declaring deer pest species. The draft strategy includes a goal to eradicate new populations. South Australia seems to be making the most concerted effort to control deer, including an eradication program on Kangaroo Island, and aerial and ground shooting in conservation reserves and some private properties in the South East region.
The recent (and presumably ongoing) establishment of new deer populations due to farm escapes or releases and hunter releases demonstrate major flaws in the management of deer farms in most states.


11. Would the development of a threat abatement plan be a feasible, effective and efficient way to abate the process? What other measures could be undertaken?

Abating the threat of feral deer will be very challenging due to the conflicting goals evident in current approaches, the technical difficulties of deer control, the ongoing release or escape of deer and the limited awareness about their environmental impacts. For these reasons we think it is vital to have a national management plan. It could assist by:



  • increasing awareness and acceptance of the environmental threats of deer

  • promoting consistency between states and territories

  • promoting research into the environmental impacts and management options

  • identifying eradication, control and other management priorities based on biodiversity criteria (outside national parks the focus has been mostly on agricultural and safety issues).



12. Should the threatening process be recommended for listing under the EPBC Act, what elements could a threat abatement plan include?

The threat: Summary of the evidence for environmental threats

Management priorities: Including eradication of new populations to prevent future threats, control in areas of high conservation value or to protect threatened biodiversity; and better implementation of laws to prevent the escape and release of deer.

Control options: The most effective and practicable methods for different circumstances need to be identified.

Research priorities: Including about environmental impacts and management and control options.

The human dimensions: Address the ways in which hunting contributes to the deer problem and could contribute to solutions (eg. as part of professionally run control programs). Address animal welfare concerns.

Education: Outline what is needed to increase awareness and acceptance that deer are an environmental threat.


13. Is there other information that relates to threat abatement that you would like to provide?



11.Major Studies


14. Identify major studies that might assist in the assessment of the nominated threatening process.

Peel B, Bilney RJ and Bilney RJ. (2005) Observations of the ecological impacts of Sambar Cervus unicolor in East Gippsland, Victoria, with reference to destruction of rainforest communities. Victorian Naturalist 122:189–200.


Moriarty A. (2004b) Ecology and environmental impact of Javan rusa deer (Cervus timorensis russa) in the Royal National Park. PhD Thesis. University of Western Sydney, Sydney.




Section 3 – References and Reviewers

12.


Notes:

  • The opinion of appropriate scientific experts may be cited (with their approval) in support of a nomination. If this is done the names of the experts, their qualifications and full contact details must also be provided in the reference list below.

  • Please provide copies of key documentation/references used in the nomination.




15. Reference list



References





Bennett A and Coulson G. (2011) The impacts of Sambar (Cervus unicolor) on the threatened Shiny Nematolepis (Nematolepis wilsonii). Pacific Conservation Biology 16: 251-60.

Bennett A. (2008) The impacts of sambar (Cervus unicolor) in the Yarra Ranges National Park. PhD Thesis. Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne.

Benshemesh J. (2007) National Recovery Plan for Malleefowl 2006-2010. Department of Environment and Heritage, Adelaide, South Australia.

Bentley A. (1995) Sambar Cervus unicolor. In Strahan R (ed.) The Mammals of Australia, 2nd edition. Reed Books. Chatswood.

Bentley A. (1998) An introduction to the deer of Australia with special reference to Victoria. The Koetong trust fund and the Forest Commission of Victoria, Melbourne.

Carter O and Walsh N. (2010) National Recovery Plan for the Swamp Everlasting Xerochrysum palustre. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

Clemann N and Gillespie GR. (2010). National Recovery Plan for the Alpine Tree Frog Litoria verreauxii alpina. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

Coomes DA, Allen R, Forsyth DM and Lee WG. (2003) How reversible are the impacts of introduced deer in New Zealand forests? Conservation Biology 17: 450-459.

Côté SD, Rooney, TP, Tremblay J, Dussault C and Waller DM. (2004) Ecological impacts of deer overabundance. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 35, 113–147.

Coutts-Smith A, Mahon P, Letnic M and Downey P. (2007) The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in NSW. Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Canberra/NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change joint report.

Danell K, Niemela P, Varvikko T, Vuorisalo T. 1991. Moose browsing on Scots pine along a gradient of plant productivity. Ecology 72:1624–33.

Davis N, Forsyth D and Coulson G. (2010) Facilitative interactions between an exotic mammal and native and exotic plants: hog deer (Axis porcinus) as seed dispersers in south-eastern Australia. Biological Invasions 12:1079–1092.

Davis, N, Forsyth D and Coulson G. (2008) Diets of native and introduced mammalian herbivores in shrub-encroached grassy woodland, south-eastern Australia. Wildlife Research 35: 684–694.

Dawson TJ and Ellis BA. (1979) Comparison of the diets of Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies and sympatric herbivores in western New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research 6: 245-254.

de Kok R and West J. (2002) A revision of Pultenaea Sm. (Fabaceae) 1. Species with ovaries glabrous and/or with tufted hairs. Australian Systematic Botany 15: 81-113.

DEEDI (2010). Feral Deer Management Strategy 2010-2015. Consultation Draft. Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Queensland Government.

Dolman PM and Wäber K. (2008) Ecosystem and competition impacts of introduced deer. Wildlife Research 35: 202-214.

Dryden G. (2009) Wild deer in SE Queensland – graziers’ pest or charismatic megafauna? In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 97-105.

Fairly A. (2004) Seldom seen: rare plants of greater Sydney. Reed New Holland, Frenchs Forest.

Forsyth D. (2007) Deer impacts on the natural environment: what are they and how should they be monitored? In Deer Best Practice Management in the Australian Alps National Parks. Workshop Lake Hume, Albury, NSW 14-16 August 2007.

Forsyth D. (2009) How can research contribute to the management of wild deer in Australia? In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 7-20.

Forsyth DM, Coomes DA, and Nugent G. (2003) Framework for assessing the susceptibility of management areas to deer impacts. Science for Conservation 213, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington, .

Forsyth D and Caley P. (2006) Testing the irruptive paradigm of large-herbivore dynamics’, Ecology 87: 297- 303.

Frith HJ. (1973) Wildlife Conservation. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

Garnett S and Crowley G. (2000) The Action Plan for Australian Birds. Environment Australia, Canberra.

Gomez JM and Zamora R. (2002) Thorns as mechanical defense in a long-lived shrub (Hormathophylla spinosa, Cruciferae). Ecology 83:885–90.

Gormley AM, Turnbull JD. 2009. Estimates of harvest for deer, duck and quail in Victoria: Results from surveys of Victorian game licence holders in 2009. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, DSE Victoria.

Hall G. (2009) Wild deer in Tasmania – exotic pest or valued resource? In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 58-65.

Hone J, Duncan R, Forsyth D. 2010. Estimates of maximum annual population growth rates (rm) of mammals and their application in wildlife management. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 507-514.

Jesser P. (2005) Deer in Queensland: Pest Status Review Series - Land Protection, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Brisbane.

Keith D and Pellow B. (2005) Effects of Javan rusa deer (Cervus timorensis) on native plant species in the Jibbon- Bundeena Area, Royal National Park, New South Wales. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 126: 99-110.

Low T. (2008) Family Cervidae: Deer. In Van Dyck SM and Strahan R. (eds). The Mammals of Australia, 3rd edition. New Holland, Sydney.

Masters P. (2009) Management of Fallow Deer on Kangaroo Island. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 70-75.

Mooney PA and Pedler LP. (2005) Recovery Plan for the South Australian subspecies of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus): 2005-2010. South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage. Adelaide.

Morgan MJ, Hunter D, Pietsch R, Osborne W and Keogh JS. (2008) Assessment of genetic diversity in the critically endangered Australian corroboree frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree and Pseudophryne pengilleyi, identifies four evolutionarily significant units for conservation. Molecular Ecology 17: 3448–3463.

Moriarty A. (2004) The liberation, distribution, abundance and management of wild deer in Australia. Wildlife Research 31:291–299.

Moriarty A. (2004b) Ecology and environmental impact of Javan rusa deer (Cervus timorensis russa) in the Royal National Park. PhD Thesis. University of Western Sydney, Sydney.

Moriarty A. (2009) Science based management of wild deer in Australia: A case study – rusa deer in the Royal National Park. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra, Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 112-118.

Murphy AH, White M and Downe J. (2006) National Recovery Plan for the Shiny Nematolepis Nematolepis wilsonii. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

NSW Scientific Committee (2004) Herbivory and environmental degradation caused by feral deer — key threatening process declaration. < http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/determinations/FeralDeerKtp.htm>.

NSW Scientific Committee (2007) Prasophyllum canaliculatum D.L. Jones - critically endangered species listing.

NSW Scientific Committee (2010) Northern Corroboree Frog Pseudophryne pengilleyi: Review of Current Information in NSW. www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/schedules/nthcorrofrog.pdf.

Parkes JP, Henzell R and Pickles G. (1996) Managing Vertebrate Pests: Feral Goats. Bureau of Resource Sciences. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

Peel B, Bilney RJ and Bilney RJ. (2005) Observations of the ecological impacts of Sambar Cervus unicolor in East Gippsland, Victoria, with reference to destruction of rainforest communities. Victorian Naturalist 122:189–200.

Pople T, Paroz G and Wilke A. (2009). Deer management in Queensland. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 50-57.

Potts BM, Potts WC and Kantvilas G. (2001) The Miena Cider Gum, Eucalyptus gunnii subsp. divaricata (Myrtaceae): a taxon in rapid decline. Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 135: 57-61.

Pye MG and Gadek PA. (2004) Genetic diversity, differentiation and conservation in Araucaria bidwillii (Araucariaceae), Australia’s Bunya pine. Conservation Genetics 5: 619-629

Ray N and Burgman MA (2006) Subjective uncertainties in habitat suitability maps. Ecological Modeling 195:172-186.

Rolls EC. (1969) They all ran wild. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

SAC (2007) Final recommendation on a nomination for listing: ‘Reduction in biodiversity of native vegetation by Sambar (Cervus unicolor)’. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act Scientific Advisory Committee.  Department of Sustainability & Environment, Melbourne.

Simberloff D and Von Holle B. (1999) Positive interactions of nonindigenous species: Invasional meltdown? Biological Invasions 1: 21-32.

Smith IR and Butler D. (2009) The Bunya Pine the Ecology of Australia’s Other ‘Living Fossil’ Araucarian- Dandabah Area-Bunya Mountains South East Queensland, Australia. In Proceedings of the 2002 International Araucariaceae Symposium Araucaria-Agathis-Wollemi, International Dendrology Society. Touchwood Books, NZ.

Smith IR, Withers K, Blomberg S, Billingsley J. (in prep.) Maintaining the ancient Bunya Tree (Araucaria bidwillii Hook.) - Dispersal and mast years.

Styles K. (2009) Feral deer situation in the ACT. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 76-77.

Tolsma A. (2009) An Assessment of Mossbeds Across the Victorian Alps, 2004-2009. Report to Parks Victoria. Victorian Department for Sustainability and Environment.

Van Dyck SM and Strahan R. (ed) (2008) The Mammals of Australia, 3rd edition. New Holland: Sydney.

Walsh NG and Stajsic V. (2007) A census of the vascular plants of Victoria, 8th edn. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, South Yarra. <http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/viclist/index.htm>

Walsh NG. (1996) A new species of Gynatrix (Willd.) Alef. (Malvaceae) from eastern Victoria. Muelleria 9:191-93

West P and Saunders G. (2007) Pest Animal Survey: A review of the distribution, impacts and control of invasive animals throughout NSW and the ACT. NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Williams M. (2009) Wild deer in South Australia: position paper for National Deer Workshop. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 66-69.

Woolnough A and Kirkpatrick W. (2009) Wild deer in Western Australia: A review of the current issues. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? Invasive Animals CRC. November 2005, Canberra. pp. 32-38.

Wright W, Varcoe T and Toop S. (2009) Management of Deer in Victoria. In McLeod S (ed.) Workshop Proceedings: What are the issues for the management of wild deer in Australia? November 2005, Canberra. Invasive Animals CRC. pp. 45-49.


Guidelines for assessing key threatening process nominations according to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) and EPBC Regulations 2000

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC)

Part A

Guidelines for Key Threatening Process nominations

Part B

Criteria for listing species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000

Part C

Indicative thresholds that may be used by the Committee to judge the subjective terms provided by the criteria for listing species

Part D

Criteria for listing ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000

Part E

Area of occupancy and extent of occurrence

Part A – Guidelines for key threatening process nominations
Introduction

The listing of a key threatening process under the EPBC Act is designed to prevent native species or ecological communities from becoming threatened or prevent threatened species and ecological communities from becoming more threatened.

There is a difference between identifying a process as threatening or potentially threatening and listing it as a Key Threatening Process under the EPBC Act. The TSSC is of the view that while many processes that occur in the landscape are or could be threatening processes, there is a lesser number that should be regarded as key threatening processes and receive the appropriate legislative status and hence regulatory recognition.
These guidelines designed to assist in the preparation of nominations of threatening processes consistent with the Regulations and Act.
Naming the threatening process

The name provided should accurately reflect the scope of the process based on the description and evidence provided in this form. The name nominated may not necessarily be the name adopted by the TSSC for a successful nomination.


Describing the threatening process

Nominators need to provide a description of the threatening process that distinguishes it from any other threatening process, by reference to

  1. its biological and non-biological components.

Nominators need to carefully consider all the components which make up the threatening process. Each biological and non-biological component of the process nominated should be defined as accurately and concisely as possible. If appropriate, in order to distinguish the nominated threatening process from other processes, components which are specifically excluded from the nominated process can be listed.

While not wishing to restrict the generality of nominations, the TSSC would prefer that threatening processes were identified as operating in particular landscape or ecological or seascape contexts.
(ii) the processes by which those components interact (if known).

In relation to the biological and non-biological components defined above, nominators should attempt to identify the interactions that occur between these components, ie. to describe the actual process. All terms used to name the interactions making up the process should be defined as accurately and as concisely as possible.

It would also be useful if the linkage between components demonstrated how the process threatens native species or ecological communities. For example, it is conceivable that a change in vegetation cover could be threatening to downstream aquatic species, but this linkage would need to be established before it could be understood as a threatening process. Specific examples or data demonstrating impact on named native species or ecological communities should not be included in the description (these are included in the justification section).
Justification for why the threatening process is eligible to be treated as a key threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Nominators need to include reasons for their nomination and provide evidence against the criteria for listing key threatening processes. Although there are three criteria for listing, meeting any one of the criteria means a threatening process is eligible for listing as a key threatening process. However, provision of all available evidence against each criterion aids in assessment by the TSSC.
The EPBC Act lists of threatened species and ecological communities are available on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website at: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/index.html
Criterion A - evidence that the threatening process could cause a native species or an ecological community to become eligible for listing in any category, other than conservation dependent.

This criterion refers to species or ecological communities not currently included in the EPBC Act lists, but which could become eligible for listing due to the impacts of the nominated threatening process. To meet this criterion there must a high likelihood of a significant effect, to the extent that the species or ecological community will meet at least one of the criteria for listing, within an indicated timeframe, should the threat continue.


The conservation status categories of listing relevant to this criterion are:

  • for species- Extinct, Extinct in the wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable.

  • for ecological communities- Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable.

The criteria for listing species and ecological communities in each of these categories can be found in the Part B and Part D of these guidelines.


Criterion B - evidence that the threatening process could cause a listed threatened species or a listed threatened ecological community to become eligible to be listed in another category representing a higher degree of endangerment.

This criterion refers to species or ecological communities which are currently included in the EPBC Act lists. In order to cause a species or ecological community to become eligible for listing in a category representing a higher degree of endangerment, there must be a high likelihood of a significant effect, to the extent that the species or ecological community will meet at least one criterion for the higher category, within an indicated timeframe, should the threat continue.


The conservation status categories of listing relevant to this criterion are:

  • for species- Extinct in the wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Conservation Dependant.

  • for ecological communities- Endangered or Vulnerable.

The categories Extinct for species and Critically Endangered for ecological communities are not relevant, since there are no categories representing a higher degree of endangerment. The criteria for listing species and ecological communities in each of these status categories can be found in Part B and Part D of these guidelines.



Criterion C - evidence that the threatening process adversely affects two or more listed threatened species (other than conservation dependent species) or two or more listed threatened ecological communities.

This criterion refers to species or ecological communities which are currently included in the EPBC Act lists. In order to be adversely affecting a species or ecological community, the threatening process must currently occur where the species or ecological community occurs, and there must be evidence of a current effect.


An adverse effect can include mortality, injury, spread of disease, disturbance to breeding, feeding or roosting habits, habitat alteration or habitat destruction. The extent of impact which can be considered to be an adverse effect depends on the attributes of the population, ecological characteristics, and category in which the species/ecological community is listed. For example, if a species listed as Critically Endangered has less than 50 individuals remaining, then the death of a few individuals would probably constitute an adverse effect. Conversely, the same impact in a species listed as Vulnerable, which has a population of over 9000, would not constitute an adverse impact for the purpose of this criterion.
The conservation status categories relevant to this criterion are:

  • for species- Extinct in the wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable

  • for ecological communities- Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable

The category Extinct for species is not included since there cannot be a current adverse effect on this species. However, if there is evidence of a previous adverse impact before the species became extinct, and this is highly relevant to current impacts of the threatening process, this evidence can also be included.


Some of the information provided in criterion B will also be relevant here. In this case, it should be provided again in the context of this criterion ie. relating to adverse effects rather than population-level impacts.
Providing information on threat abatement
If a decision is made to list the threatening process being nominated as a key threatening process, the Minister must then make a decision on whether to have a threat abatement plan.
This section is not required for the nomination to be eligible for listing as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act. However any additional information provided by nominators can be used by the TSSC in preparing its advice to the Minister on the feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency of developing a threat abatement plan, should the threatening process be listed.

Part B – Criteria for listing species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000



For section 179 of the EPBC Act (which provides general eligibility for inclusion in a category of the list of threatened species), a native species is in the critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable category if it meets any of the criteria for the category mentioned in the following table:





Criterion

Category

Critically Endangered

Endangered

Vulnerable

1

It has undergone, is suspected to have undergone or is likely to undergo in the immediate future:


a very severe reduction in numbers

a severe reduction in numbers

a substantial reduction in numbers

2

Its geographic distribution is precarious for the survival of the species and is:


very restricted

restricted

limited

3

The estimated total number of mature individuals is:

very low

low

limited

 

and either of (a) or (b) is true:

 

 

 

 

(a) evidence suggests that the number will continue to decline at:

a very high rate

a high rate

a substantial rate

 

or

 

 

 

 

(b) the number is likely to continue to decline and its geographic distribution is:


precarious for its survival

precarious for its survival

precarious for its survival

4

The estimated total number of mature individuals is:


extremely low

very low

low

5

The probability of its extinction in the wild is at least:

50% in the immediate future

20% in the near future

10% in the medium-term future

These criteria define situations in which a risk of extinction in the wild, some time in the future, is deemed to exist for a species (for the purposes of section 179 of the EPBC Act). It is not necessary to identify a quantitative risk of extinction, but it is important to ensure that judgements about the criteria (for example, whether a reduction in numbers represents a severe decline), are made in the context of risk of extinction. For example, the Committee’s consideration of whether a reduction in numbers of a species is ‘severe’ takes into account the relationship between the reduction in numbers and the biological and other factors that are relevant to the species’ risk of extinction in the wild (or, alternatively, the factors relevant to the species’ prospects of survival in the wild).

The table above includes hyperlinks that, when clicked, will take you to indicative thresholds (Part C) that may be used by the Committee to judge the subjective terms given above. While these are modified from the “IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria Version 3.1, 2001”, it should be noted that the Committee does not strictly apply these, but has regard to them when making judgments about species in terms of their biological contexts, and on a case-by-case basis.

Part C – Indicative thresholds that may be used by the Committee to judge the subjective terms provided by the criteria for listing (as presented at Part B)

When assessing a species’ eligibility against the listing criteria (see Part B), the Committee exercises its judgement to give practical meaning to the subjective terms of the criteria. The Committee does this by considering the information provided to it via the nomination form in the context of the species’ biology and relevant ecological factors, and having regard to the degree of complexity and uncertainty associated with that context and the information provided.

The Committee is also informed by, but not bound by, indicative thresholds, which have been adapted from “IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria Version 3.1, 2001”. When considering whether to use these thresholds, the Committee judges whether they are appropriate to the species in question. For example, a relatively long-lived species with slow reproduction and relative population stability (such as most mammals) might be more impacted by, for example, a 30% decline in numbers than might a relatively short-lived species with fast reproduction and naturally fluctuating populations (such as most insects). This consideration of biological attributes is placed in the context of matters such as the relative population size so as to judge whether, for the species in question, a decline is substantial, severe or very severe, for the purposes of the criteria for listing.

When considering thresholds for assessing commercially harvested marine fish, the Committee refers to the Commonwealth Government Harvest Strategy Policy. This policy allows that declines of up to 60% (from pre-fishing biomass levels) are acceptable for commercially harvested fish species where depletion is a managed outcome. Variations in the extent of acceptable decline depend on the biology of the individual species. The Committee is informed, but not bound, by a series of biological reference trigger points (commonly referred to as BLIM and BTARG) provided in the policy for management intervention for species that decline below 60% of their pre-fishing biomass. These interventions include listing assessments.


EPBC

Matters considered

Indicative Thresholds

Criterion One

Reduction in numbers (based on any of A1 – A4)

Very severe

Severe

Substantial

A1. An observed, estimated, inferred or suspected population size reduction over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the causes of the reduction are clearly reversible AND understood AND ceased, based on (and specifying) any of the following:

(a) direct observation

(b) an index of abundance appropriate to the taxon

(c) a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat

(d) actual or potential levels of exploitation

(e) the effects of introduced taxa, hybridization, pathogens, pollutants, competitors or parasites.



90%

70%

50%

A2. An observed, estimated, inferred or suspected population size reduction over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on (and specifying) any of (a) to (e) under A1.

80%

50%

30%

A3. A population size reduction, projected or suspected to be met within the next 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer (up to a maximum of 100 years), based on (and specifying) any of (b) to (e) under A1.

80%

50%

30%

A4. An observed, estimated, inferred, projected or suspected population size reduction over any 10 year or three generation period, whichever is longer (up to a maximum of 100 years in the future), where the time period must include both the past and the future, and where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on (and specifying) any of (a) to (e) under A1.

80%

50%

30%

Criterion Two

Geographic distribution is precarious for the survival of the species, based on at least two of a – c:

Precariousness is judged on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the degree of threat operating on the species

a. Severely fragmented or known to exist at a limited location.

b. Continuing decline, observed, inferred or projected, in any of the following:

(i) extent of occurrence

(ii) area of occupancy

(iii) area, extent and/or quality of habitat

(iv) number of locations or subpopulations

(v) number of mature individuals.

c. Extreme fluctuations in any of the following:

(i) extent of occurrence

(ii) area of occupancy

(iii) number of locations or subpopulations

(iv) number of mature individuals















Geographic distribution (based on either of B1 or B2)

Very restricted

Restricted

Limited

B1. Extent of occurrence estimated to be less than

100 km2

5,000 km2

20,000 km2

B2. Area of occupancy estimated to be less than

10 km2

500 km2

2,000 km2













Criterion Three

Estimated total number of mature individuals

Very low

Low

Limited

And either of (A) or (B) is true

<250

<2,500

<10,000

(A) Rate of continued decline

Very high

High

Substantial

OR

25% in 3 years or 1 generation (up to 100 years), whichever is longer

20% in 5 years or 2 generations

(up to 100 years), whichever is longer



10% in 10 years or 3 generations (up to 100 years), whichever is longer

(B) Continued decline and geographic distribution is precarious, based on at least two of a – c:

a. Severely fragmented or known to exist at a limited location.

b. Continuing decline, observed, inferred or projected, in any of the following:

(i) extent of occurrence

(ii) area of occupancy

(iii) area, extent and/or quality of habitat

(iv) number of locations or subpopulations

(v) number of mature individuals.

c. Extreme fluctuations in any of the following:

(i) extent of occurrence

(ii) area of occupancy

(iii) number of locations or subpopulations



(iv) number of mature individuals

Precariousness is judged on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the degree of threat operating on the species
















Criterion Four

Estimated total number of mature individuals, based on the following:

Extremely low

Very low

Low

  1. Number of mature individuals only



< 50

< 250

< 1,000













Criterion Five

Probability of extinction in the wild within a period, based on the following:

Immediate future

Near future

Medium-term future

a. Quantitative analysis
(Note: probability must be at least 50% for critically endangered, 20% for endangered, 10% for vulnerable)

10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer (up to a maximum of 100 years)

20 years or five generations, whichever is the longer (up to a maximum of 100 years)

Within 100 years













Part D – Criteria for listing ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000


Item

Criterion

Category

Critically Endangered

Endangered

Vulnerable

1

Its decline in geographic distribution is:

very severe

severe

substantial

2

Its geographic distribution is:

and


the nature of its distribution makes it likely that the action of a threatening process could cause it to be lost in:

very restricted

restricted

limited

the immediate future

the near future

medium term future

3

For a population of a native species that is likely to play a major role in the community, there is a:
to the extent that restoration of the community is not likely to be possible in:

very severe decline

severe decline

substantial decline

the immediate future

the near future

the medium-term future

4

The reduction in its integrity across most of its geographic distribution is:
as indicated by degradation of the community or its habitat, or disruption of important community processes, that is:

very severe

severe

substantial

very severe

severe

substantial

5

Its rate of continuing detrimental change is:

as indicated by:

a rate of continuing decline in its geographic distribution, or a population of a native species that is believed to play a major role in the community, that is:

or


(b) intensification, across most of its geographic distribution, in degradation, or disruption of important community processes, that is:

very severe

severe

substantial

very severe

severe

serious

very severe

severe

serious

6

A quantitative analysis shows that its probability of extinction, or extreme degradation over all of its geographic distribution, is:

at least 50% in the immediate future

at least 20% in the near future

at least 10% in the medium-term future

Applying criteria to assess the level of threat to ecological communities - Interpreting specific criteria
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