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 previously listed ecological communities as threatened through a non-statutory process if the community was presumed to be totally destroyed or at risk of becoming totally destroyed. The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act)provides for the statutory listing of threatened ecological communities (TECs) by the Minister. 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 TECs 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 July 2021, an additional 390 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 occurrences are entered into the threatened and priority ecological community database.

Applying for authorisation to modify an occurrence of a threatened ecological community

Once the first listing of TECs is made, under section 45 of the BC Act the Minister may authorise a person to modify an occurrence of a TEC. Under the provisions of the BC Act, significant penalties (up to $500,000) are prescribed under section 48 where a TEC is modified without authorisation.

pdfGuidance note - Modification of an occurrence of a threatened ecological community233.21 KB provides guidance on completing an authorisation under the BC Act to modify an occurrence of a TEC. An application for authorisation to modify a TEC must be submitted using the form docxApplication to the Minister for authorisation under section 45 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016105.25 KB.

Find out more about an authorisation to modify a threatened ecological community.

Threatened ecological community report form

This is one of the main tools for monitoring TECs 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

General information regarding recovery plans and interim recovery plans for Western Australian threatened species and communities can be found on the Threatened Species and Communities page. Any draft plans that are open for public comment will also be found at Threatened Species and Communities.

A draft interim recovery plan has been prepared for the 'Assemblages of the organic springs and mound springs of Mandora Marsh area TEC and the inland mangrove (Avicennia marina) community of Salt Creek PEC'. Public comment closed 18 March 2020 – see Threatened Species and Communities for more information.
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
pdfAugusta microbialites282.71 KB
pdfBentonite Lakes221 KB
pdfBig Springs mound springs277 KB
pdfBilleranga System214 KB
pdfBlack Spring organic mound spring211 KB
pdfBunda Bunda mound springs240 KB
pdfBundera sinkhole1.02 MB
pdfCamerons Cave951.44 KB
pdfCoomberdale Chert209 KB
pdfDepot Springs1022.96 KB
pdfDragon Tree Soak380 KB
pdfEthel Gorge aquifer stygobiont community1.04 MB
pdfEucalyptus acies Thumb peak223 KB
pdfFerricrete floristic community211 KB
pdfGingin Ironstone311 KB
pdfHerblands Bunch grasslands746 KB
pdfInering System210 KB
pdfKoolanooka Hills351 KB
pdfLake Bryde911.21 KB
pdfLake Clifton microbialites210 KB
pdfLake Richmond microbialites331 KB
pdfLake Toolibin1.18 MB
pdfLeeuwin Caves 1 to 41.04 MB
pdfLeseuer Coomallo floristic community D1217 KB
pdfLesueur Coomallo floristic community A1.2214 KB
pdfMandora mound springs390 KB
pdfMeelup granites996.70 KB
pdfMonsoon vine thickets Dampier Peninsula387 KB
pdfMontane thicket of the eastern Stirling Range840 KB
pdfMoonagin system261 KB
pdfMound springs Three Springs219 KB
pdfMt Lindesay - Little Lindesay vegetation complex215 KB
pdfMuchea Limestone383 KB
pdfNorth Kimberley mound springs1 MB
pdfRoe River rainforest swamp332 KB
pdfRoebuck Bay intertidal mudflats310 KB
pdfRussell Range mixed thicket complexes810 KB
pdfScott River ironstone1.00 MB
pdfSCP1b Marri woodlands on heavy soils1.33 MB
pdfSCP02 Southern wet shrublands231 KB
pdfSCP3a Marri kingia woodlands895 KB
pdfSCP3b Marri jarrah woodlands213 KB
pdfSCP3c Marri xanthorrhoea woodlands1.2 MB
pdfSCP7 8 9 10a Claypans1.08 MB
pdfSCP10b Busselton ironstone395 KB
pdfSCP15 Forests and woodlands210 KB
pdfSCP18 Shrublands on calcareous silts209 KB
pdfSCP19 Sedgelands in holocene dune swales1.01 MB
pdfSCP20a Banksia woodlands shrublands1.15 MB
pdfSCP20b Banksia jarrah woodlands392 KB
pdfSCP20c Eastern shrublands and woodlands1.37 MB
pdfSCP26a Melaleuca shrublands on limestone ridges238 KB
pdfSCP30a Callitris forests and woodlands212 KB
pdfTheda soak1.01 MB
pdfThemeda grasslands834 KB
pdfThetis microbialites637 KB
pdfTumulus mound springs Swan Coastal Plain1.29 MB
pdfWalcott Inlet rainforest swamps1.14 MB
pdfYanchep Caves1006.30 KB
Community Name

Survey and identification

The public comment on the draft TEC survey and identification methods document closed 31 March 2022.
In preparation for the consultation for the first threatened ecological community (TEC) listing under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, comments were sought on the draft ‘ pdfMethods for survey and identification of Western Australian threatened ecological communities ’.
Email enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Monitoring protocols

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

WA microbialite research

More information

  • Distributional data searches on TECs or PECs.
  • Contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this category:

WA microbialite research Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:07