Loggerhead Turtle
Loggerhead turtle, Dirk Hartog Island National Park.
Photo – Kevin Crane

The Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 provides for the listing of threatened native plants and threatened native animals that need to be specially protected because they are under identifiable threat of extinction, are rare, or otherwise in need of special protection.

The Minister for Environment may list an ecological community as being threatened if it is presumed to be, or is at risk of becoming, totally destroyed.

Parks and Wildlife uses International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria for assigning species and communities to threat categories.

Listing threatened plants and animals

Threatened species sightings

Have you seen a threatened animal or plant?  Please let us know. 


  • When a species is nominated as threatened, a ranking of Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) or Vulnerable (VU) is recommended.
  • Because of resource limitations and the large number of threatened species, setting priorities is very important, with those ranked as Critically Endangered having the highest priority for recovery planning and management, as well as allocation of resources.
  • The department uses the International Union for Conservation of Nature  Red List Categories and Criteria to allocate ‘rankings’ to threatened species.
  • These Categories and Criteria are provided in the Nominations Guidelines.
  • Public nominations can be made to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to change the assigned ranking of a listed species.

Additional information

  • For the criteria used to determine whether a species should be listed as threatened, refer to the Conservation codes and relevant Policies.
  • Species and ecological communities may also be listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places—defined in the Act as matters of national environmental significance.

Data searches

  • The department provides a service that allows people to find out if there are any known threatened and priority plants, animals or ecological communities at or near an area of interest.
  • This information is particularly useful to anyone planning for development or other activities that may affect threatened plants, animals or ecological communities.
  • This service is free for non-commercial purposes.
  • pdfDatabase Search request information sheet for Threatened Flora, Fauna and Ecological Communities provides more information on requesting a data search, including fees, conditions. Please use the contact details above.

Biodiversity Audit II

  • Biodiversity Audit II  is an evidence-based and expert opinion assessment of WA's threatened flora and fauna, and threatened and priority ecological communities in each of the State’s 55 sub bioregions, undertaken during late 2012 and 2013.
  • The audit portal presents a 'snap shot' in time of our knowledge of the condition of and threats to the State’s biodiversity and changes since Biodiversity Audit I was finalised in 2002. It also provides information on the management strategies considered necessary to address current threats and forecasts threats that could apply over the next 20 years.

Protocols for monitoring threatened plants and animals

The following manuals provide guidance on the establishment of monitoring programs for plants and animals

Further information

Species and Communities Branch
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Locked Bag 104
Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983

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