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Planning Ahead

​Plan ahead! The earlier in the planning process that you are aware of which threatened species occur, or may occur, in your area, and what they need, the easier it is to develop plans to conserve and protect them.

The following is a list of the key points to consider when planning an activity which might negatively affect a threatened species.

Which threatened species have been recorded in and around the area of interest (activity footprint)?

You can easily conduct a search for threatened species recorded at or near a property address using the Area Search function in the Threatened Species Link.

Alternatively, you can do a more flexible range of searches for threatened species records using the DPIPWE Natural Values Atlas (NVA). This database is a repository for records of threatened species in Tasmania. You will need to register for the Natural Values Atlas and apply for a login password. For more information on the NVA, see the Natural Values Atlas information page.

When using the NVA, you should search for records of threatened species in both the area of interest (activity footprint) plus an area (called a buffer) immediately around the site. The appropriate buffer will vary, but the standard recommendation is a buffer of 5 km around your activity footprint. This buffer will alert you to species recorded in the general area which might also be present in your activity footprint.

Consider also that your real activity footprint may extend outside the area where you're actually doing the work, to affect threatened species further away - for example, if your activity affects water flow and there is a threatened species that occurs downstream.

Important! Only limited patches of Tasmania have been subject to dedicated on-ground surveys for threatened species, and a Natural Values Atlas search may not necessarily provide a complete record of which threatened species occur in an area. See the Do I need a survey? section below for more information on whether you need to survey for threatened species.

Which of these species are likely to be in the area of interest?

Check the habitat description for each species that has been recorded within the activity footprint - provided in the online profiles, Listing Statements or notesheets. Remember that not all threatened species live in untouched wilderness - some can live in drains or on nature strips!

As well as the species that have been recorded within the activity footprint, species which have been recorded nearby could also potentially be present if there is suitable habitat.

If you have suitable habitat for any of these species, or you aren't sure, you may need a survey to check whether they are present.

Which species could be affected by the activity?

Check the online profile for each species likely to be in the area of interest (via the Species Search or the Area Search). Also read any relevant Activity Advice to determine whether your activity has the potential to impact on threatened species. These should help guide you on how to minimise any potential impacts or maximise any benefits for the species and their habitat within the area. Remember that even actions to help one species may impact on another species!

If you are unsure, seek advice from an environmental consultant, or contact the Threatened Species Section.

Do I need a survey?

Only limited patches of Tasmania have been subject to dedicated on-ground surveys for threatened species. This means that your Area Search or NVA Search, while drawing on the best centralised source of threatened species records in Tasmania (the NVA), should not necessarily be taken as a complete record of which threatened species occur or are likely to occur in an area.

To be confident of which threatened species could be affected by your planned activity, you may need to undertake an on-ground survey for species which:

  • have been recorded nearby, and
  • have suitable habitat in the activity footprint.

Important for your planning - Don't waste your time! - check the appropriate time of year for surveys on the online profiles for each species! For more information on surveying for threatened species, see Activity Advice: Surveying.

If you are still unsure whether a survey for threatened species is required, seek advice from an environmental consultant, contact the Threatened Species Section, or seek advice from the relevant regulator regarding your legal obligations in relation to surveys.

Who is an appropriate person to conduct a survey for threatened species?

A survey for threatened species should be carried out by someone with the appropriate expertise in identification of threatened species and in survey design. An environmental consultant may be required to conduct a survey. If in doubt, seek advice from an environmental consultant. See 'How do I choose an environmental consultant?' (below) for more information.

How do I choose an environmental consultant?

There are numerous environmental consultants across Tasmania - listed under Environmental Consultants in the Yellow Pages or on the Web. The Threatened Species Link does not recommend a consultant, but the advice provided for individual species should give you an idea of what type of training and expertise your consultant should have. This is often most important in terms of their ability to perform an appropriate survey for the species. The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment's guidelines on what is required of consultants are provided in Guidelines for Natural Values Assessments - (Brief for Consultants).

Can I design my activity to avoid or minimise threatened species impacts?

If you are planning an activity which appears likely to have an impact on a threatened species, consider alternatives. For example:

  • is the activity necessary and/or unavoidable?
  • can you avoid those aspects of the activity which have the potential to impact on threatened species?
  • can you carry out the activity in a different way that avoids the impact?
  • can you carry out the activity away from the threatened species?
  • have you considered some form of 'biodiversity offset' to replace threatened species habitat lost during an activity?

Read the online profiles for the species concerned to identify why and how your activity could be a threat to the species, and to help figure out alternative ways of going about the activity which will avoid impacts. The Activity Advice pages may also be useful for this.

If you are not sure, check with an environmental consultant. You can also get more information from the Threatened Species Section.

Remember! If you can avoid the impacts, you will not need a permit relating to threatened species. You can check with the Conservation Assessments Section regarding permit requirements.

In Tasmania, threatened species are protected under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. Under this Act, a permit is required to knowingly “take” (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen of a listed species.

Species in Tasmania may also be listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. For more information on the Tasmanian and Commonwealth threatened species legislation and how they interact, see Frequently Asked Questions: What is a threatened species?

Note that there is a range of other legislation relating to threatened species in Tasmania. This may also require additional permits to take, disturb or interfere with any form of plant or animal or their products (e.g. dens, nests, bones). Specific legal requirements will vary from case to case depending on which threatened species are involved and the nature of the activity. The tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management may also affect these requirements.

The aim of the Threatened Species Link is to provide current, consistent and widely applicable guidance in dealing with threatened species issues in Tasmania. However, the Threatened Species Link does not provide case-specific advice on your legal obligations in relation to threatened species.

For more information on your legal obligations for a particular activity, contact the appropriate regulator (see section below).

For more information on specific legislation, go to Tasmanian Legislation Online, or seek advice from the relevant regulator.

Remember! If you can avoid the impacts, you may not need a permit relating to threatened species (see Avoiding Impacts above).

Regulators and permits

Threatened species permits

Under Tasmanian legislation, you need a permit to knowingly “take” (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen of a listed species. Additional permits may be required to take, disturb or interfere with any form of plant or animal or their products (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management.

Threatened species permits are issued by the Natural and Cultural Heri​tage Division within DPIPWE.

Permit types include:

For more information and advice on applying for a permit in relation to threatened species, contact the Conservation Assessments Section​.

EPBC Act Referrals: Many threatened species are protected by the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) regulates matters of national environmental significance, including threatened species listed under the EPBC Act. See EPBC Act referrals for more information.

Regulators and assessments

One of the common ways that threatened species legislation can be triggered is through the assessment process for various development and resource management activities in the state. Many development and resource management activities in Tasmania are assessed by Local Government. However Councils may refer the assessment to DPIPWE for advice in the event that the activity is likely to result in an impact on a state listed threatened species.

Note that this website is not designed to provide definitive advice on specific activities and associated permit requirements. If you require detailed advice regarding how a particular activity is likely to be assessed in relation to threatened species:

For more complex activities, it may be helpful to employ an environmental consultant to assist you with your legal and planning requirements in relation to threatened species. To find out more about regulators, see the List of Regulators​ for links to their webpages​​​ for links to their webpages​​​.