stromatolites pec hamelinbay 2013 v english
Stromatolites PEC Hamelin Bay.
Photo – V English

An ecological community is a naturally occurring group of plants, animals and other organisms interacting in a unique habitat. The complex range of interactions between the component species provides an important level of biological diversity in addition to genetics and species.

How are these communities managed?

Because ecosystems and the links between their community members are so complex, it is important to identify, maintain and manage whole ecosystems, their processes and communities (including the many thousands of species of invertebrates, non-flowering plants like fungi and seaweeds, and micro-organisms), rather than just on a species by species basis.

It is also more cost-effective and efficient to prevent species from becoming threatened by conserving them as part of viable, functioning communities than it is to attempt to manage individual species.

What is a threatened ecological community?

The Minister for Environment may currently list an ecological community as being threatened through a non-statutory process if the community is presumed to be totally destroyed or at risk of becoming totally destroyed. The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 will provide for the statutory listing of threatened ecological communities (TECs) by the Minister when the relevant Parts of the Act are proclaimed following the preparation of enabling Regulations. The new legislation also describes statutory processes for preparing recovery plans for TECs, the registration of their critical habitat, and penalties for unauthorised modification of TECs.

The department has been identifying and listing threatened ecological communities since 1994 through the non-statutory process.

  • The WA Minister for Environment has endorsed 69 ecological communities as threatened in the following categories:
    • 20 critically endangered
    • 17 endangered
    • 28 vulnerable
    • 4 presumed totally destroyed.
  • 25 of these are listed under the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

As at June 2017, an additional 391 ecological communities (community types and sub-types) with insufficient information available to be considered a TEC, or which are rare but not currently threatened, have been placed on the Priority list and referred to as priority ecological communities (PECs).

TEC and PEC occurences are entered into the threatened and priority ecological community database.

Threatened ecological community report form

This is one of the main tools for monitoring threatened ecological communites in Western Australia.

Submitting a threatened ecological community occurrence report form

Send report forms to:

Species and Communities Branch
Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983

or email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recovery plans and Interim recovery plans for
Western Australian threatened ecological 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.

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, and are generally current for a term of 10 years, but remain in operation until revised. 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 ecological communities.
interim recovery plans are used to manage and protect threatened or harvested species, threatened ecological communities or other species in need of management 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.

Further information on recovery plans

pdfAcacia rostellifera low forest with scattered Eucalyptus camaldulensis on Greenough River Alluvial Flats264.09 KB
pdfAquatic root mat communities numbers 1-4 of caves of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge461.52 KB
pdfAquatic root mat communities of caves of the Swan Coastal Plain (Yanchep Caves)1.27 MB
pdfAssemblages of Organic Mound (Tumulus) Springs of the Swan Coastal Plain 511.01 KB
pdfAssemblages of Organic Mound Springs of the Three Springs Area436.92 KB
pdfBanksia attenuata and/or Eucalyptus marginata woodlands of the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain501.85 KB
pdfBanksia attenuata woodlands over species rich dense shrublands (SCP20a)1.28 MB
pdfCallitris preissii forests and woodlands959.19 KB
pdfCamerons Cave troglobitic community, Camerons Cave millipede and Camerons Cave pseudoscorpion245.61 KB
pdfCape Range remipede community (Bundera Sinkhole)527.89 KB
pdfClay pans of the Swan Coastal Plain1.38 MB
pdfCorymbia calophylla - Kingia australis woodlands on heavy soils (SCP3a)632.94 KB
pdfCorymbia calophylla - Xanthorrhoea preissii woodlands and shrublands (SCP3c)515.84 KB
pdfFerricrete floristic community (Rocky Springs type)439.67 KB
pdfHeath community on chert hills of the Coomberdale Floristic Region (update)690.68 KB
pdfHerbaceous plant assemblages on bentonite lakes486.11 KB
pdfLesueur-Coomallo floristic community A1.2381.09 KB
pdfLesueur-Coomallo floristic community D1375.8 KB
pdfMelaleuca huegelii – Melaleuca systena shrublands of limestone ridges (SCP26a)435.16 KB
pdfMonsoon vine thickets of the Dampier Peninsula1.12 MB
pdfMontane mallee thicket community of the Stirling Range536.83 KB
pdfMontane thicket of the eastern Stirling Range923.1 KB
pdfPlant assemblages of the Billeranga System630.53 KB
pdfPlant assemblages of the Inering System483.93 KB
pdfPlant assemblages of the Koolanooka System429.79 KB
pdfPlant assemblages of the Moonagin System413.68 KB
pdfScott River ironstone association1.13 MB
pdfSedgelands in holocene dune swales (SCP19)749.59 KB
pdfShrubland Association on Southern Swan Coastal Plain ironstone (Busselton area) (SCP10b)466.29 KB
pdfShrublands and woodlands on Muchea limestone497.7 KB
pdfShrublands and woodlands on Perth to Gingin ironstone358.93 KB
pdfShrublands and woodlands on the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain (SCP20c)534.55 KB
pdfStromatolite community of stratified hypersaline coastal lake - Lake Thetis379.02 KB
pdfThrombolite (stromatolite-like microbialite) community of a coastal brackish lake (Lake Clifton)326.03 KB
pdfThrombolite-like microbialite community of coastal freshwater lakes (Lake Richmond)457.83 KB
pdfUnwooded fresh water lakes of the southern Wheatbelt of WA, dominated by Muehlenbeckia horrida subsp. abdita, and Tecticornia verrucosa across the lake floor (Lake Bryde)350.64 KB
Community Name
  • coastalsaltmarshtec dongaraestuary photov english
    Coastal saltmarsh TEC, Dongara estuary.
    Photo – Val English
  • fct20ceasternshrublandswoodlandstalbot photo v english
    Shrublands and woodlands of the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain TEC.
    Photo – Val English
  • coolibahflats mtbruce photojillpryde
    Coolibah Flats PEC, Mount Bruce.
    Photo – Jill Pryde

Further information

  • Distributional data searches on TECs or PECs.
  • Threatened ecological communities posters briefly describe a community and what needs to be done to conserve it.
  • Contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Glimpses into disappearing landscapes Nationally Listed Threatened Ecological Communities of the South West Region. A website developed by South West Catchment Council, in conjunction with the Parks and Wildlife, which photographically captures nine communities of the south-west region and the importance of protecting them.

Monitoring protocols

Examples of monitoring protocols for a selection of threatened ecological communities are provided below.

Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
Threatened ecological communities posters Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:05
WA microbialite research Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:07