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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 66

(Question No. 4711)


Mr Tickner asked the Minister for Arts, Heri- tage and Environment, upon notice, on 7 October 1986:

Further to Question No. 3010 (Hansard), 16 September 1986, page 613, does the Government have an action plan relating to each endangered species referred to in a publication by the Total Environment Centre entitled ``Our Wildlife in Peril''.


Mr Cohen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

No. The Total Environment Centre (TEC) publication to which reference is made lists a large number of species by conservation status categories similar to those used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. These categories range from `very rare and believed to be decreasing in numbers' to `not endangered at present'. The preparation of individual action plans for each species would be a major undertaking. Conservationists now generally recognise that habitat protection is the key to species conservation.

Prime responsibility for wildlife management in Australia rests with the Governments of the States and the Northern Territory. Where appropriate, liaison between the States and Territories and the Commonwealth on wildlife issues occurs through the Council of Nature Conservation Ministers (CONCOM).

In 1974, CONCOM published an agreed national list of endangered vertebrate species, most of which are also included in the TEC publication. This list is updated periodically by a Working Group comprising research biologists from each State, Territory and the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth, through the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS), provides grants under the States Co-operative Assistance Program to State and Territory wildlife authorities for the development of co-operative nature conservation projects of national or international significance related to, amongst other things, wildlife which is rare, endangered or otherwise of national significance. One of the criteria on which ANPWS determines species-oriented research funding priorities is the inclusion of fauna on the agreed CONCOM list of endangered vertebrates.

ANPWS is currently funding the following projects related to species appearing in the CONCOM and/or TEC publications:

1. Management of the Greater Stick-nest rat on Franklin Island-involves collation of population and habitat data for the rat and a feasibility study for re-establishing the rat in other localities.

2. Bettong conservation on Boodie Island-aims to eradicate introduced rats which threaten the Bettong's survival.

3. Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Plan, Stage 2-continues work with Tasmanian, Victorian and South Australian wildlife authorities on the implementation of measures contained in the Recovery Plan designed to protect the species and its habitat and establish sound management principles for key locations.

4. Management of the Mountain Pygmy Possum, Stage 2-involves collating population and habitat data and preparing a management plan for the species.

5. Dugong status in Western Australia-involves an assessment of the relative abundance and seasonal changes in distribution of dugong in the Dampier region, the impact of hunting and the relative importance of seagrass communities to the species.

6. Superb Parrot Study-investigates the habitat requirements of the Superb Parrot with particular emphasis on breeding habitat, food sources and factors responsible for reproductive success.

7. Conservation of the Northern Nailtail Wallaby and Spectacled Hare-wallaby, Stage 2-aims to document the distribution and abundance of the two species and investigate their feeding requirements and factors having a detrimental impact in order to prepare guidelines for effective management action.

8. Conservation of the Forty-spotted Pardalote-involves investigations into the ecological requirement of the species with the aim of preparing recommendations on habitat management.

9. Ecology and conservation of the Long-footed Potoroo-aims to improve the understanding of the distribution and ecology of the species so that appropriate management strategies can be implemented.

10. Conservation of Marine Turtles-aims to increase understanding of the patterns of movement of turtles in Western Australia, assess the impact of harvesting and make recommendations for conservation management.

11. Ecology of the Ground Parrot in Relation to Fire Regimes, Stage 2-aims to study the effects of fire regimes on the feeding and breeding biology of the species by monitoring marked birds and eventually deriving management prescriptions for the conservation of the Ground Parrot in Queensland.