Posidonia australis complex seagrass meadows ecological community

Nomination to list an ecological community as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
November 2013

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Invitation to comment

On behalf of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, the Australian Government Department of the Environment is undertaking public consultation on the assessment of the Posidonia seagrass meadows as a potentially threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act.

The department would appreciate feedback and comments on:

  • Whether the ecological community merits listing in the ‘Endangered’ category.
  • Whether the draft description (in particular, the draft key diagnostic characteristics and draft condition thresholds) could be improved and if so, how.

A list of questions to guide comments is provided below.

The period of consultation closes on 16 February 2014.

About the nomination and assessment

A public nomination was received in 2010 to list the Posidonia seagrass meadows as an 'Endangered' ecological community under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The nomination was placed on the 2011 Finalised Priority Assessment List by the Commonwealth Environment Minister. Guided by expert technical input, an assessment for eligibility for listing by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee has progressed in the form of a Draft Description of the ecological community.

As part of the assessment, the ecological community is now proposed to be called the ‘Posidonia australis complex seagrass meadows ecological community’.

Additional documents

  • A Consultation Guide is provided to assist with interpretation of the implications and benefits should the ecological community be listed.
  • A copy of the original Nomination is provided for background. The Draft Description should be the focus of comments, as the description of the ecological community has been clarified and revised during the assessment. However, the nomination may contain useful background information to help inform comments.

Questions to guide comments

  1. Does the ecological community merit listing in the ‘Endangered’ category? Please support your comments with information and data. If some information is not published, would you be willing to be quoted as an expert (“personal communication”)?
  2. Is the draft description (in particular, the draft key diagnostic characteristics and condition thresholds) for this ecological community appropriate to identify the ecological community in the field?  If not, how would you amend the description? For example, with regards to the condition thresholds, should they specify different shoot densities for different species of the Posidonia australis complex? Are different thresholds required for meadows occurring in sheltered (e.g. estuaries) versus more exposed (e.g. coastline) waters? If so, what are they?
  3. In your opinion, for a particular region/s, state/s or nationally, what is the former area occupied (in km2) by the ecological community? (Estimate may be expressed as a range.)
  4. In your opinion, for a particular region/s, state/s or nationally, what is the current area occupied (in km2) by the ecological community? (Estimate may be expressed as a range.)
  5. Following on from questions 3 and 4, please provide details regarding the loss of extent for the ecological community (e.g. data for reduced overall extent or reduced number and size of Posidonia meadows) in your state or at a particular locality. In your opinion, is this applicable across the full range of the ecological community? If so, why?
  6. Please provide further information about the nature and timeframe of threats operating on the ecological community.
  7. Please provide relevant information about the flora and fauna that make up this ecological community for a particular jurisdiction or region or location.
  8. The ecological community has a broad range. Is there variation in the ecological community across its range that could be defined regionally or locally? If so, what are the characteristics that distinguish the regional or local entities (e.g. faunal associations)?
  9. Please provide any information about priority conservation actions to manage or recover the ecological community.

Providing comments

All comments received will be forwarded to both the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the Environment Minister. Information in the assessment, as well as other information received by the Department, will be used by the Committee to determine the threatened status of the ecological community and advise the Minister for the Environment on whether or not to amend the list of threatened ecological communities under the EPBC Act. It is the Environment Minister who makes the decision on whether or not to list a threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act.

The public comment period closes on 16 February 2014.

If you wish to comment, please send your comments quoting the ecological community name to:

Email: epbc.nominations@environment.gov.au

Mail:
Ecological Communities Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Fax: (02) 6274 2214

See also

Privacy and confidentiality in regard to comments received on the listing assessment

Information contained in any comments will be stored and used by the department in compliance with its obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

If you wish your comments to remain confidential, you should clearly mark the relevant part(s) of your comments as ‘confidential’. Notwithstanding any obligations of confidentiality, the department may be required by law or parliamentary process to disclose, or allow disclosure of, any information contained in or relating to any comments (including personal and/or confidential information), including in response to a request by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth or under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth).