Conservation Significant Ecological Communities

Threatened Ecological Communities

Since European settlement, enormous strain has been place upon the unique bush, wetlands and other habitats within Australia. The rapidly expanding population further adds pressure to many ecological communities and some now face extinction.

Threats include: clearing of native vegetation, inappropriate fire regimes, pests, climate change, changes in hydrology, pollution, and urban development.

In Australia three categories exist for the listing of threatened ecological communities (TECs) under the EPBC Act:

  1. critically endangered,
  2. endangered, and
  3. vulnerable (DotE, 2014).

Within Western Australia, a number of communities have been informally listed as Threatened Ecological Communities on the TEC database (DPaW, 2014). A total of 32 TECs have been identified within the Northern Agriculture Region.

For more information on these categories see ‘How does an ecological community become listed as threatened?’ or for a list of TECs see ‘TECs endorsed by the WA minister for the Environment list’.

A total of 32 threatened ecological communities have been identified within the Northern Agriculture Region.

Priority Ecological Communities

Where a ecological community is considered to be under threat and there is limited information available, they are allocated with a priority level. This type of community is classified as a Priority Ecological Community (PECs) (DPAW, 2014). A total of 51 PECs have been identified within the Northern Agriculture Region. To see a list of PECs see ‘Priority Ecological Communities for Western Australia’.

Click features on the map and expand the legend for more information. View full page map
Data sourced from Landgate Locate, DPaW, DAFWA, WWF and DoW.

2 Comments on “Threatened Ecological Communities”

  1. Hi, can you tell me what level of protection is afforded to PEC’s. I am campaigning to protect a site in WA’s South West. There are PEC’s, but no gazetted TEC’s. What is the value of a PEC in terms of protecting the flora and fauna.

    1. Hi Steve,

      Ecological communities (both TECs and PECs) aren’t actually protected under state legislation (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950) however, TECs are protected under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) – for more information see DPaW’s website. This is in the process of being changed with the new Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2015. However, the presence of TECs and PECs in an area is taken into account when assessing native vegetation for clearing under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act), Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004. More information about clearing regulations can be found on the Department of Environment Regulation website.

      So the short answer is that being listed as a PEC doesn’t afford it any additional legislative protection.

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