The EPBC Act provides for the listing of nationally threatened native species and ecological communities, native migratory species and marine species.
The EPBC Act protects Australia's native species and ecological communities by providing for:
- identification and listing of species and ecological communities as threatened
- development of conservation advice and recovery plans for listed species and ecological communities
- development of a register of critical habitat
- recognition of key threatening processes
- where appropriate, reducing the impacts of these processes through threat abatement plans
- About threatened species and ecological communities
- Migratory species
- list of species and ecological communities
Any person may nominate a native species, ecological community or threatening process for listing under any of the categories specified in the EPBC Act.
- Current nominations open for public comment
- How to nominate a native species, ecological community or threatening process for listing under the EPBC Act
- Flowchart - listing species, ecological communities and key threatening process
- How to nominate items for other EPBC Act lists
Protecting threatened species and ecological communities
Listed threatened species and ecological communities are recognised as a matter of national environmental significance. Consequently, any action that is likely to have a significant impact on listed threatened species and ecological communities under the EPBC Act must be referred to the Minister and undergo an environmental assessment and approval process.
- Assessment and approval process
- Protected matters search tool — use the tool to find species or ecological communities in your area of interest
- Significant impact guidelines — matters of national environmental significance
Protected species in Commonwealth areas
Under the EPBC Act, activities in Commonwealth areas that may result in killing, injuring, taking, trading, keeping or moving a member of a listed threatened species or ecological community, a member of a listed migratory species or a member of a listed marine species are illegal without a permit.
Whales and other cetaceans
Under the EPBC Act, all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected in Australian waters. The Australian Whale Sanctuary includes all Commonwealth waters from the three nautical mile state waters limit out to the boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone (i.e. out to 200 nautical miles and further in some places). It is an offence to injure, take, trade, keep, move, harass, chase, herd, tag, mark or brand a cetacean in the Australian Whale Sanctuary without a permit.