The Threatened Species Link is a website designed to provide advice on how to conserve threatened species in Tasmania. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you can't find your question, you can also try searching for key words on this page (usually through Ctrl+F or Cmd+F in your web browser). Please contact us if you have further queries or feedback. Help us to make the Threatened Species Link work for you.
What are my legal obligations with respect to threatened species?
- We are required to manage and protect our threatened species by law.
- 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 Act 1999 (EPBC Act) .
- Note that there is a range of other legislation relating to threatened species in Tasmania. These 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, as well as the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management.
- See Planning Ahead for additional information on threatened species legislation, regulators and permits.
What is a 'threatened species'?
A threatened species is a species of plant or animal that is formally considered to be at risk of extinction. There are several lists of threatened species under Tasmanian and Australian legislation, as well as an international list established under the IUCN Red List guidelines. Species at different levels of extinction risk are put in different categories, such as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. In some cases a species (or subspecies) in Tasmania can be listed as threatened under both the Tasmanian Threatened Species Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection (EPBC) Act 1999. For more information on species listed as threatened at state, Commonwealth and international level, see the links below.
Tasmanian threatened species list
Tasmanian threatened status definitions
Commonwealth threatened species lists
International threatened species list
How many threatened species are there in Tasmania?
There are currently more than 680 species listed as threatened under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Act 1995, including 493 threatened plants and 190 threatened animals. Of these threatened plants, there are 136 listed as endangered, 69 listed as vulnerable, and 268 listed as rare. For the threatened animals, there are 66 listed as endangered, 46 listed as vulnerable, 70 listed as rare, and 8 animals are listed as extinct.
How do I know if a species is threatened?
Threatened species in Tasmania are listed under their respective Tasmanian and Commonwealth acts. These lists can be viewed at Tasmanian threatened species list and Commonwealth threatened species lists.
How do I know which threatened species might be in my area?
The best way to get detailed information on which species have been recorded from your area is to search the Natural Values Atlas. You need to get a log-in name for the Natural Values Atlas: to request a log-in name, go to www.naturalvaluesatlas.tas.gov.au and download a Natural Values Atlas Access Form to register. You can find out more about the Natural Values Atlas on the Natural Values Atlas information page.
You can also do a quick and simple Natural Values Atlas query via the Threatened Species Link Area Search function. You can get more advice on this question from the Planning Ahead page. Other experts, such as your local field naturalists, may also be able to assist you with information on threatened species in your local area.
How do I plan my activity to take account of threatened species?
See the Planning Ahead page for a detailed, step-by-step guide to planning around the needs of threatened species. This page includes advice on surveys, the law and permit requirements.
Why can't I just move the threatened species out of the way of my activity?
Moving plants or animals to a new site (also called translocation) is unlikely to be a solution, for the following reasons.
- The new site must have suitable habitat for the plant or animal, and this may be hard to find. Even for well researched species, it is often not obvious exactly which areas will provide suitable habitat.
- As well as suitable habitat, the new site must also have space, food and other resources available for additional plants or animals. Most natural areas are already occupied by as many of the threatened species as can be supported by the site. Therefore, simply moving in new plants or animals leads either to them dying, or moving away, or the residents being replaced.
- Without a substantial effort to establish them in the new site, many animals will attempt to return to their place of origin, often dying in the attempt.
- Moving animals or plants can also lead to the spreading of disease.
- Translocation of threatened plants or animals requires a permit, and in most cases regulators will consider translocation only as a last resort.
I have concerns about someone's impacts on threatened species - what do I do?
If you are concerned about the impacts of someone else's activity on threatened species, you could try the following:
Who do I contact in case of an emergency involving threatened species (e.g. whale strandings)?
If you become aware of an emergency situation potentially involving a threatened species, please use one of the following Hotlines to report the incident and seek advice.
Fox and other invasive species sightings: Biosecurity Tasmania 1300 368 550
Whale and dolphin strandings and sightings: 0427 WHALES - or 0427 942 537
Injured & Orphaned Wildlife: Bonorong Wildlife Rescue 0447 264 625 (all hours)
Reporting Wildlife Offences: 0417 661 234
Emergency animal disease reports: 1800 675 888
Exotic plant pests and diseases: 1800 084 881
Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease 0497 338 457
Fishwatch - report illegal fishing: 0427 655 557
Spray drift and Reporting Incidents: 03 6777 2133
Report littering: 1300 135 513
Pollution incidents: 1800 005 171
Why should I help conserve threatened species?
We are required to manage and protect our threatened species by law.
In Australia, more than 100 plants and animals are known to have become extinct in the last 200 years. Despite formal legislation and increasing concern for the conservation of the world's biodiversity, the rate of species loss around the world continues to increase. We can do more to protect our threatened species.
Is this species really threatened? It seems common
A threatened species may appear to be common for a number of reasons. A species may be common within its local habitat, but because there is very little habitat remaining the total population number is actually very low. Some species are very easy to see, giving the impression that there are more of them than there really are. A good example is the wedge-tailed eagle, which can often be seen from many kilometres away in the sky. However, surveys across the state have found that overall this species numbers are low: possibly less than 1000 adult birds. Other species may be quite numerous at present and in some areas, but declining fast - such as the Tasmanian devil.