Threatened species & ecological communities

Threatened Species Scientific Committee

The establishment of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee is provided for under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The EPBC Act also sets out the functions of the Committee. These include advising the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on the amendment and updating of lists for threatened species, threatened ecological communities, and key threatening processes together with the making or adoption of recovery plans and threat abatement plans.

Advice to Minister

Workshops

National Threatened Ecological Communities Strategic Workshop

The Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) brought together some 50 delegates for the inaugural National Threatened Ecological Communities Strategic Workshop, held in March 2012 in Canberra.  Delegates included technical experts, representatives from state and territory agencies and not-for-profit organisations, as well at the TSSC. The workshop’s two main objectives were to: 1) identify gaps in the national list of terrestrial and aquatic threatened ecological communities (Note: marine ECs were considered by an earlier workshop – see below); 2) to review the guiding principles of the Framework for Prioritisation for Ecological Community Nominations as currently used by the TSSC and the Department for assessing EC nominations.

River Murray - Darling to Sea Technical Workshops

Two technical workshops have been held by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), to bring together aquatic scientists and related experts to contribute to the assessment of the Lower Murray River and associated wetlands, floodplains and groundwater systems from the junction of the Darling River to the Sea for potential listing as a threatened ecological community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The first of these, involving some 65 experts, was held in July 2009 and focused on the scope, description, boundaries, key characteristics, and applicability of listing criteria (as per EPBC Act Regulations). The second workshop was held in April 2010 and focused on the more detailed aspects of criteria and condition thresholds. Listing criteria thresholds enable the assignment of conservation status (i.e. vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered); condition thresholds enable determination of degraded and potentially excluded components of the ecological community. As this is the first river system to be assessed under the EPBC Act, these expert workshops also provided an opportunity to focus on the broader issue of adapting the listing process to aquatic ecosystems in general, using the River Murray - Darling to Sea ecological community as a test case.

WorkshopThreatened Marine Ecological Communities Workshop

A workshop was held on the 7th and 8th of September 2009 by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to bring marine scientists and other experts from across Australia together to examine how Marine Ecological Communities can be defined and assessed for listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Ecological communities: a way forward

A workshop was held in September 2004 by the Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to bring scientists and other experts from across Australia together to examine how to best define and assess Threatened Ecological Communities for listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Contact the Committee

Threatened Species Scientific Committee Secretariat
c/- Species Information and Policy Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Tel: +61 2 6274 1052 / +61 2 6274 1943
Email: tsscsecretariat@environment.gov.au

For details on how to nominate a native species, ecological community or key threatening process for listing, please read more about nominations and the listing process.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 01-Oct-2013 16:54:15 AEST