Each one of Queensland's native plant and animal species is a unique and valuable part of the state’s rich biodiversity.
Some species are declining in numbers and are at risk of extinction due to a range of threatening processes. Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 there are currently 961 species (228 animals and 733 plants) listed as threatened (extinct in the wild, endangered or vulnerable) in Queensland. Of these species, about 400 are listed as threatened nationally under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
What is a threatened species
A threatened species is any plant or animal species that is at risk of extinction. Different conservation classes are allocated to threatened species depending on the degree of risk. These classes are based on a number of criteria including, trends in population size, health and distribution.
In Queensland threatened species are listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 in the following conservation classes:
Species can also be classed as near threatened, if they are at risk of becoming threatened in the near future.
Changes and additions to species conservation classes
The department co-ordinates the process for species to be listed in a conservation class under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Species Technical Committee (STC) assesses species listing nominations submitted by members of the public, external and government scientists.
To nominate a species with its Australian distribution solely within Queensland, download and complete the nomination form . Lodge the completed Nomination Form via email to: SpeciesTechnical.Committee@des.qld.gov.au
To nominate a species with an Australian distribution that includes but is not restricted to Queensland, use the Commonwealth nomination form and guidelines and email the completed form to the Australian Government at EPBC.email@example.com
Find out more about the species listing process for Queensland. Find out more about nationally threatened species listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Species which are threatened
The Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 2006 lists species that are classed as threatened or near threatened in Queensland.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999 (EPBC Act) lists species that are threatened nationally.
Find out more about Queensland’s threatened species in the A–Z of animals species profiles.
Find out more about nationally threatened species in the Species Profile and Threats Database.
Why species become threatened
There are many threats that impact on species and contribute to their risk of extinction. Threats can be human-induced such as clearing of habitat, pollution, overharvesting, introduced species, or random natural events such as cyclones, floods, droughts, fire.
A scientific review of the impacts of land clearing on threatened species in Queensland 2017 , provides evidence that land clearing causes species death and habitat loss, exacerbates other threatening processes, and reduces the resilience of threatened species to survive future challenges such as climate change.
Find out more about the threats impacting on native species.
What is being done to help threatened species
The department has responsibility for managing and conserving threatened species in Queensland via the Nature Conservation Act 1992. However, a range of different user groups and individuals within all levels of government, the community and industry sectors undertake activities relating to threatened species.
The department’s Threatened Species Program manages, facilitates and coordinates activities relating to the conservation and protection of threatened flora and fauna in Queensland.
Other ways threatened species are being helped by the Queensland Government include:
- protected areas
- biodiversity offsets
- nature refuges
- Everyone’s Environment grants
- protected plants
- vegetation management.
Priorities and opportunities for Queensland threatened species and conservation estate
The department administers a range of key environmental protection legislation and uses leading-edge science to guide and prioritise its management responses to improve conservation outcomes.
The diversity and geographical spread of the state’s threatened species and the pervasive nature of threatening processes such as habitat loss, climate change and invasive pest species present significant challenges to conserving Queensland’s biodiversity.
The department meets these challenges by prioritising research, investment and actions and by partnering with researchers, First Nation’s people, industry, community and Commonwealth and local government agencies to enhance on-ground management.
By working in conjunction with Queensland’s science and research community, the department aims to further enhance our knowledge and use evidence-based decision making to deliver improved conservation outcomes for both the estate and threatened species.
The department has developed a research prospectus to identify the opportunities to address research priorities, and to facilitate collaborative projects and partnerships for improved management outcomes for threatened species and conservation estate.