The Threatened Species Scientific Committee (the Committee) plays a critical role in the Australian Government’s protection of native species and ecological communities, and management of key threatening processes, by providing independent scientific advice to the Minister for the Environment.
The Committee was established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Act also sets out the functions of the Committee. These include advising the Minister in relation to:
- the amendment and updating of lists for threatened species, threatened ecological communities and key threatening processes
- making and adopting of recovery plans and threat abatement plans
- approving conservation advices
- other matters relating to the conservation of threatened native flora and fauna at the Minister’s request.
Any person may nominate a native species, ecological community or threatening process for consideration for assessment by the Committee for listing, transfer between categories within the list or delisting. More information on how to make a nomination and the assessment process is available at nominations.
Expert groups are invited to consider undertaking assessments of groups of taxa. More information on this process is available at Species Expert Assessment Plan.
The Committee’s advice on listed threatened species, ecological communities and key threatening processes is available on the Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database. The Committee’s advice is also available for species and ecological communities assessed and determined as ineligible for listing, disallowed and removed from the list. Information is available on nominations not prioritised for assessment and nominations determined to be data deficient. Copies of reports for ecological community workshops and other publications can be found on the publications page.
Members of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee
Members collectively have extensive knowledge and experience of flora and fauna conservation and ecology.
The current members of the Committee are:
- Professor Helene Marsh (Chair)
- Professor Sarah Legge (Deputy Chair)
- Dr Rhonda Butcher
- Professor Kingsley Dixon
- Associate Professor Rachael Gallagher
- Professor Richard Harper
- Professor Christopher Johnson
- Professor David Keith
- Associate Professor Nicola Mitchell
- Associate Professor Brett Murphy
- Professor Colin Simpfendorfer
- Professor Stephen van Leeuwen
Advice on specific issues
The Committee can advise the Minister regarding matters relating to the administration of the EPBC Act.
In March 2020 the Committee published its 10-point Bushfire Response Plan which sets out four key objectives and ten actions to deliver an efficient and effective response to support bushfire recovery. The Committee’s progress during the first year of delivering the plan is summarised in the one year review.
- Response Plan to the 2019-20 Bushfires (2 March 2020)
- 10-point Bushfire Response Plan - One year review
Modernising conservation planning
In September 2021 the Committee published its updated plan Ongoing modernisation of conservation planning under the EPBC Act, which sets out actions to support the Committee’s approach to modernising conservation planning.
Submissions to the EPBC Act review
The Committee has provided submissions at key points to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- TSSC submission to the EPBC Act Review Discussion Paper 2020
- TSSC submission to the EPBC Act Review Interim Report 2020
- TSSC submission to the EPBC Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021
Contact the Committee
Threatened Species Scientific Committee Secretariat
c/- Species Information and Policy Section
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601