NT Threatened Species Review 2020

There is a continuing need to review the conservation status of wildlife species in the Northern Territory and to update the ‘Classification of Wildlife’.

This includes the threatened species list for the NT.

It is important that we correctly identify which species are threatened and to what degree. Through this process we can provide accurate advice in environmental impact assessment and approval processes on the likely impacts to threatened species. The Classification of Wildlife also allows us to prioritise and plan management actions and conservation programs to conserve threatened species.

The Classification of Wildlife was last revised in 2012 and the Flora and Fauna Division of the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security has now completed the first stage of the 2020 review.

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Summary of proposed changes

The following table lists the number of changes proposed for each of the major taxonomic groups of wildlife.

Each name of a taxonomic group will lead you to more information on the proposed changes for that group, including details justifying each proposed change.

Taxonomic group Add to
threatened list
Change within
threatened list
Remove from
threatened list
Change between
non-threatened categories
Plants 1 1 4 294
Invertebrates 46
Fish 27
Amphibians
Reptiles 15
Birds 3 9 2 19
Mammals865 18

Background

The NT Government has joined the Australian Government and other states and territories in adopting a Common Assessment Method for identifying and classifying threatened species in Australia.

We have started implementing this agreed method by reassessing the conservation status of many NT species.

In summary, the method improves consistency across all jurisdictions by:

  • applying the same, internationally accepted categories and criteria developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • assessing the conservation status of species and subspecies at the national (i.e. whole of Australia) scale
  • giving a threatened species the same Conservation Status in all states and territories where it occurs, and on the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBCA) list of threatened species

There are many differences between the NT threatened species list and the EPBCA national threatened species list.

We are working to address these differences through a review of the NT threatened species list. From this review recommendations will be made for changes to the national list.

Regular revision of the NT threatened species list is necessary. Species listings are prone to change, either with a shift in status or as more information comes to hand. The last review of the NT list was in 2012.

The Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security’s Flora and Fauna Division has completed the first stage of the 2020 review. The department has drafted nominations for changes to the NT threatened species list using the Common Assessment Method (applying the rigorous IUCN criteria).

Nominations for changes were assessed by an expert review panel, comprising members from:

  • Charles Darwin University
  • CSIRO
  • Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s Fisheries Division
  • Flora and Fauna North and South divisions which includes the NT Herbarium.

This panel advised the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources on a revised Threatened Species list for the NT, and the following is now open for public comment:

The current lists of threatened species in the NT is now available, with one for plants and one for animals.

Comparisons between 2012 and 2020

The tables below provide a comparison of threatened species numbers between 2012 and 2020.

2012

^ Plus all other native species.

Categories *AnimalsPlantsTotal
Extinct (EX) 9 0 9
Regionally Extinct (RE) 9 0 9
Extinct in the Wild (EW) 1 0 1
Critically Endangered (CR) 12 3 15
Endangered (EN) 19 24 43
Vulnerable (VU) 77 54 131
Near Threatened (NT) 70 417 487
Least Concern (LC) 1,313 3,148 4,461
Data Deficient (DD) 224 862 1,086
Not Evaluated (NE) 59^ 7 66^
Totals1,793^4,5156,308^

2020

^ Plus all other native species.

Categories *AnimalsPlantsTotal
Extinct (EX) 10 0 10
Critically Endangered (CR) 15 5 20
Endangered (EN) 31 21 52
Vulnerable (VU) 69 52 121
Near Threatened (NT) 72 412 484
Least Concern (LC) 1,350 3,179 4,529
Data Deficient (DD) 135 829 964
Not Evaluated (NE) 86^ 36 122^
Totals 1,768^4,5346,302^

Notes:

* IUCN categories (threatened species are those in categories CR, EN and VU).

Assessing the conservation status of wildlife

Under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1976 the government is required to review the conservation status of NT species at regular intervals to ensure currency and accuracy.

Regulations under that Act require us to use the IUCN Red List threat categories, criteria, thresholds and definitions (version 3.1) which includes various levels of threatened and non-threatened categories.

ExtinctThreatenedNon-threatened
Extinct [EX] Near threatened [NT]
Critically endangered [CE] Least concern [LC]
Extinct in the wild [EW] Endangered [EN] Data deficient [DD]
Vulnerable [VU] Not evaluated [NE]

Note: The IUCN Red List Guidelines allow for species to be listed as 'Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)'. The addition of 'Possibly Extinct' is not a separate threat category, but rather a 'tag' which may be applied to Critically Endangered species that are likely to be Extinct, but for which confirmation is required.

The IUCN provides quantitative thresholds to distinguish between the different categories.

When assessing the conservation status of a nominated species, the NT's Threatened Species Expert Panel applied these thresholds as rigorously as possible to categorise the species' conservation status at the national scale.

Any new information provided in submissions in this public consultation process will be added to the information we currently hold on the species. This will be assessed against the IUCN's quantitative thresholds to recommend a final conservation status.

If public submissions nominate other species for consideration (increase or decrease in conservation status), these criteria will be applied to data already held for the species to recommend a final conservation status.

Have your say

Submissions are welcome from all sectors of the community.

This period of public consultation on the proposed NT Threatened Species List opened on 25 January 2021 and closes on 24 February 2021.

Have your say on the proposed changes or propose other changes to the list.


Last updated: 25 January 2021

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