The Ecological Triangle: Threatened Wildlife Species,

Nature Conservation Legislation and the Bureaucracy (18 November 2018)

TAGS: Nature conservation; threatened wildlife; endangered species legislation – USA, UK, Australia; listing; critical habitat - legal, scientific meaning;  critical habitat evaluation;  scientific uncertainty; Queensland Audit Report 2018.

1.0   Threatened species legislation, based on the United States Endangered Species Act of 1973, was introduced by the Queensland and Federal Government in 1992.

2.0   A recent report concluded that the Queensland Government's overall response to conserving threatened species was unlikely to be effective for conservation and recovery.

3.0   Science has long been aware that a basic need for the conservation of threatened species is to identify, then protect, habitat that is critical for a species survival; in turn, to restrict any consideration of development proposals to the least sensitive habitat.

4.0   The elephant in the room under the Queensland (and Federal) legislation is that, unlike the USA and the UK, the assessment and designation of critical habitat is out of phase with the listing process.

5.0     An assessment methodology based on "Habitat Quality" and "Conservation Value" is outlined to provide scientific certainty to the designation of critical habitat.

6.0  Environmental assessment and decision-making on sustainable development of natural resources becomes problematic where a threatened species is listed - but the habitat critical for its survival is unknown.

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