What is a Threatened Species?

Threatened species are flora and fauna that is likely to become endangered in the near future. A well-known threatened species in the Perth Metro Area is the Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) (Source: Margaret Owen)

How are Threatened Species Classified?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classify species as either Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered(Figure 2). Species are grouped into categories to assist with conservation and management of the species globally. To find out about threatened Western Australian species listed on the IUCN Red List click here and search for Land Region → Oceania → Australia → Western Australia.


The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 provides a list of Australian threatened species, ecological communities and associated threatening processes. The Department of the Environment and Energy have produced a species profile and threats databasewith information and current conservation practices and advice for threatened species management in Australia.


Within Western Australia, the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 provides protection for biodiversity, threatened flora, threatened fauna, threatened ecological communities, associated threatening processes and critical habitat. For information about how threatened species are classified in Western Australia click here.


Why do Species Become Threatened in Perth and Western Australia?

Changes to the landscape through urban development and human activity has put many of Western Australia’s unique flora and fauna at risk. Modification of fire regimes, invasive weeds, feral animals, diseaseand increased nutrient usage within the Perth area, have led to a significant increase in the number of threatened species in Perth.

Figure 2: Structure of IUCN Red List Categories (Source: IUCN, 2012)



Private Land Owners

The Department of the Environment and Conservation (now Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions) have produced a guide for Biodiversity Incentive Programs in Western Australia. This document provides descriptions of some of the programs available to private landowners to increase biodiversity protection on their land.

Community Groups / Land Managers / Organisations

The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is anorganisationthat completes research to improve the protection and management of threatened species across Australia. For more information and details about their current projects click here.

Main Roads have created maps that display different relationships of road infrastructure and threatened communities/species. These maps can be accessed below.

Local Councils

Most councils also have Biodiversity Plans that outline how to sustain and increase biodiversity and protection of species in their local areas. To find your local council and their Biodiversity Plan click here.

For information about how to integrate biodiversity and local planning check out the Guidance for the Integration of Biodiversity Conservation into Local Planning Strategies and Schemes.

Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions / Department of the Environment and Energy

The Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions provides a database service where people can locate any known threatened species or ecological communities at or near certain areas of interest. For non-commercial purposes, this service is free. To request access to this database and to find more information about this service click here.


Some threatened or endangered species also can have recovery plans produced either regionally (interim recovery plan) or nationally (recovery plan). These plans aim to set out the research and management actions that are required to increase the population size of certain species. To find current recovery plans made or adopted under the EPBC Act 1999 click here.