Natural Damp Grasslands of the South East Coastal Plain Bioregion ecological community

Comment on Listing Assessment

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Draft Conservation Advice for Natural Damp Grasslands of the South East Coastal Plain Bioregion (PDF - 865.27 KB)
Draft Conservation Advice for Natural Damp Grasslands of the South East Coastal Plain Bioregion (DOCX - 151.78 KB)
Draft Map for Natural Damp Grasslands of the South East Coastal Plain Bioregion (PDF - 595.93 KB)

Invitation to comment

On behalf of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (the Committee), the Australian Government Department of the Environment (the Department) is undertaking public consultation on the assessment of Natural Damp Grasslands of the South East Coastal Plain Bioregion. This ecological community is being assessed as a potentially threatened ecological community under Australia's national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).

It is proposed to recommend this ecological community for listing as critically endangered.

The department would appreciate feedback and comments on the draft Conservation Advice for the ecological community, as provided, and the proposal to list the ecological community as 'Critically Endangered' under the EPBC Act. A list of questions to guide comments is provided below.

The period of consultation closes on 19 September 2014.

About the nomination and assessment

The Natural Grasslands of the South Gippsland Plains was placed on the 2012 Finalised Priority Assessment List (FPAL) by the Commonwealth Environment Minister. During the assessment process, technical expert advice has drawn the Department’s attention to some further occurrences of grassland outside of the South Gippsland Plain that are similar in nature to those in South Gippsland. The Department proposes that these occurrences be considered as part of the ecological community under assessment and hence also proposes renaming the ecological community as Natural Damp Grasslands of the South East Coastal Plain Bioregion to reflect its broadened geographic distribution more accurately.

Questions to guide comments

  1. Does the description clearly and accurately describe the ecological community? If not, how should it be amended?
  2. Are the lists of characteristic species accurate? If not, what should be added or removed?
  3. Is the description (in particular, the key diagnostic characteristics) sufficient to differentiate the ecological community from other similar ecological communities found in the region? If not, how should they be modified?
  4. Are the condition thresholds suitable for identifying patches of the ecological community that are of sufficient quality to warrant national protection? If not, how should they be modified?
  5. Do you consider the estimates of current and former extent presented to be valid and as accurate as possible, considering data availability? If not, please provide details.
  6. Are you aware of additional data that would refine or update these estimates?
  7. In your opinion, are the key threats currently affecting the ecological community, or threats likely to affect the community in the future adequately identified? If not, please provide details.
  8. Are you aware of data or other clear evidence of these threats and their likely impacts on the ecological community in the immediate, medium or long term future?
  9. Does the ecological community merit listing in as critically endangered? Please support your comments with information and data and refer to the Guidelines for Nominating and Assessing the Eligibility for Listing of Ecological Communities as Threatened according to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the EPBC Regulations 2000 (EPBC Regulations).
  10. If some of your supporting information is not publicly available, would you be willing to be cited as an expert (i.e. as "personal communication")?

Providing comments

All comments received will be forwarded to both the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the Minister for the Environment. 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. The Minister for the Environment makes the decision on whether or not to list a threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act.

The public comment period closes on 19 September 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