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

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 provides for the listing of threatened native plants (flora), threatened native animals (fauna) and threatened ecological communities that need protection as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable species or ecological communities because they are under identifiable threat of extinction (species) or collapse (ecological communities).

The Western Australian Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the Threatened Ecological Communities Scientific Committee review nominations to list, delist or change the threat status of threatened species and ecological communities, and use the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List criteria for assigning species and communities to threat categories.

Threatened species sightings

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

Listing threatened plants, animals and ecological communities

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 provides a statutory basis for the listing of threatened species, specially protected species, threatened ecological communities, critical habitat and key threatening processes.

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.

Threat status

  • When a species or ecological community is nominated as threatened, a threat status of Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) or Vulnerable (VU) is recommended.
  • Because of resource limitations and the large number of threatened species and ecological communities, 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.
  • Refer to the Ministerial Guidelines and conservation code definitions for flora, fauna and ecological communities for explanation of threat statuses.
  • Public nominations can be made to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to change the assigned ranking of a listed species, and to the Threatened Ecological Communities Scientific Committee for ranking changes for threatened ecological communities.

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 July 2022224.18 KB for Threatened and Priority Flora, Fauna and Ecological Communities provides more information on requesting a data search, including fees, conditions. Please use the contact details below.

Recovery plans and interim recovery plans for Western Australian species and communities

Recovery plans outline the actions that we need to take to help threatened species or ecological communities survive and 'recover' to a healthy level.

The Biodiversity Conservation Act provides for recovery plans to be prepared for the conservation, protection and management for one or more threatened species, or one or more threatened ecological communities, or a combination of threatened species and threatened ecological communities. A recovery plan must provide for research and management actions to stop the decline, and support the recovery, of each threatened species or threatened ecological community to which the plan relates so that its chance of long-term survival in the wild are maximised.

Draft recovery plans and plans proposed for adoption under the Biodiversity Conservation Act will be available for public comment prior to approval of the recovery plan by the Minister for Environment. Approval of recovery plans will be published in the Government Gazette and on the department's website.

Interim recovery plans are preliminary versions of recovery plans that are prepared where full information is not available.

Recovery plans and interim recovery plans are prepared for threatened species and ecological communities on a priority basis, commencing with those ranked for conservation action by the Minister for Environment as ‘Critically Endangered’.

They are developed with a range of stakeholders, with a term of 10 years (recovery plans) or five years (interim recovery plans) from the gazettal date. They are modified when changes in knowledge occur. They provide an assessment of the current status, and detailed information and guidance for the management and protection, of threatened flora and fauna and their habitats, and of threatened ecological communities.

Interim recovery plans are used to manage and protect threatened species and threatened ecological communities where a plan is required urgently but where there are insufficient data available to prepare a full recovery plan.

Recovery plans prepared by the department may be adopted by the Australian Government, and are then referred to as national recovery plans.

Western Australian recovery plans and interim recovery plans that are currently in place can be found on the threatened plants, threatened animals and threatened ecological communities web pages.

More information on recovery plans

More information

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

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