Methods

There are 900 threatened species listed on the Schedules of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW) (this figure excludes species listed as 'presumed extinct'). There are 106 threatened ecological communities listed (current to 22 May 2015).

We reviewed all NSW Scientific Committee Final Determinations for threatened species and ecological communities (current to 22 May 2015). These Determinations were accessed via the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website. Determinations are also made for species that are presumed extinct and endangered populations, however we did not review these. Not all threatened species have a Determination, as many species were listed as threatened at the introduction of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW), prior to formation of the NSW Scientific Committee in 1996. Determinations were reviewed for 393 of the 900 species and all 106 ecological communities. For the remaining 507 species without Determinations, we collected relevant information from their NSW Office of Environment and Heritage profiles.

Information collected from Determinations and profiles include:

  • the type of species or ecological community (Plant, Bird, Amphibian etc.)
  • family
  • common name
  • threat status in NSW (Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered)
  • distribution and habitat in NSW
  • year of gazettal under TSC Act
  • whether listed as threatened under EPBC Act
  • whether climate change identified as a threat (only for those species and ecological communities with Determinations); and
  • other threats identified.

We also downloaded species occurrence records for New South Wales from Australia's Virtual Herbarium (plants, algae and fungi) and from the Atlas of Living Australia (animals). All available records were used, except those of known cultivated plants. No occurrence data are available for ecological communities. These records, along with records from the Atlas of NSW Wildlife, were used to create maps of species' distributions. For site-managed species under the Saving our Species program, suggested management sites (current to February 2015) were also mapped.

Species and community profiles were created by combining the collated information and distribution maps.