Cross-cutting initiative research

Project start date: 01/07/2021
Project end date: 31/12/2026
NESP funding: $300,000 (GST-exclusive)

Australia is home to more than 1,900 species and ecological communities that are listed as threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This number will increase significantly during the life of this second phase of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP), due to climate change and the 2019–20 bushfires.

In addition, there are more than 150 species – only some of which are listed as threatened – that are listed as migratory under the EPBC Act in response to Australia’s responsibilities under the global Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) and several bilateral agreements. All these listed entities are deemed by the Australian Government to be matters of national environmental significance.

The Resilient Landscapes Hub has been charged with leading the cross-cutting ‘Threatened and migratory species and threatened ecological communities’ initiative to support policy development, program management and regulatory processes to protect Australia’s environmental assets in terrestrial, Ramsar and marine environments. This project will provide the research foundation for this initiative and will also identify projects that will be undertaken by the hub to address the cross-cutting initiatives coordinated by the other 3 NESP hubs.

NESP cross-cutting initiatives:

  1. Threatened and migratory species and threatened ecological communities
    • research relevant to the environmental assessment of development proposals affecting listed entities identified as high priority by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
    • monitoring and management of species and ecological communities after extreme weather events (in collaboration with the Monitoring resilient landscapes project), including the evaluation of approaches to the biodiversity impacts of such events (in collaboration with the Marine and Coastal Hub and the Climate Systems Hub)
    • coordinated regional approaches to the assessment, monitoring and management of listed entities
  2. Protected place management (led by the Marine and Coastal Hub)
    • identify key drivers of resilient populations and ecosystems across protected areas
    • inform the improvement of governance mechanisms for protected places
  3. Climate adaptation (led by the Climate Systems Hub)
    • model the impacts of passing thresholds for species resilience or ecosystem transitions
    • improve adaptation measures, including conservation introductions and habitat engineering
    • identify climate adaptation information needs of land managers and communities
  4. Waste impact management (led by the Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub)
    • understand the impact of waste and pollution on our natural ecosystems
    • evaluate the direct and indirect impacts of chemicals and pollutants on terrestrial and freshwater ecological communities.
  • This project will provide the research foundation for the ‘Threatened and Migratory Species and Threatened Ecological Communities’ mission, which will cut across the four NESP Hubs. Photo: Melissa Bruton.
  • The golden sun moth is a threatened invertebrate that can trigger the EPBC Act. Photo Jess Barraclough.
  • The Macquarie Perch is a schooling riverine species that can trigger the EPBC Act. Photo BenjaminT444, Wikipedia.
  • The Swift Parrot is a bird species that can trigger the EPBC Act. Photo Gunjan Pandey/Wikimedia.
  • This research will also identify approaches to manage listed threatened entities, such as World Heritage and Ramsar wetlands. Photo: NESP Northern Hub.
  • Australia has international obligations to maintain habitat for threatened and migratory species. Photo NESP Northern Hub.