Superb Parrot in the news - Conservation Status

To: Chris Sanderson <>
Subject: Superb Parrot in the news - Conservation Status
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 15:29:55 +1000
You are right Chris. Having mounted prosecutions under various NSW
Acts, I well know the many pitfalls in Legislation. I have seen
apparently  water-tight cases sink dramatically in Court. I don't
think there is a Parliamentary Draughtsman alive that can draw up
Legislation that is bob-proof  under our legal system. I sometimes
think that Civil Law has its advantages. At least under Civil Law, you generally know where you stand Legally. I can't see any form of Civil Law system being brought in in Australia, though, there would be mass starvation amongst the legal fraternity.


Carl Clifford

On 13/05/2009, at 3:02 PM, Chris Sanderson wrote:

Sorry to muddy the waters a bit on this Carl, but with the EPBC Act
the definitions are only half the story.  Next you'll have to go
through actual rulings where the EPBC Act has been tested in court,
and the interpretations of the judges of the wording of the Act. The precedents on interpretation, once set, are quite hard to overturn. Fortunately, many of the areas most open to interpretation were tested pretty early on and came out favourably - such as the whole "a matter must be referred to the Federal Government if it is likely to have
significant impact on a protected species or habitat".  The terms
likely and significant are very open to interpretation, but so far
interpretations have been pretty generous.  Of course once its
referred the Minister gets to rule on whether its a controlled action, allowed or rejected, which is another story entirely...

Every so often the Environmental Defenders Office does a workshop on
these things which are quite interesting and easy to understand, so it might be worth keeping an eye out for one near you.


On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 12:04 PM, Carl Clifford
<> wrote:

Austlii still lists the Endangered Species Protection Act, but it is
under Commonwealth Numbered Acts 1973- , whereas the EPBC Act is under Commonwealth Consolidated Acts.

Unfortunately Sec 179 of the EPBC Act does not clearly say what the
definitions for Endangered etc. are apart from saying "as determined
in accordance with the prescribed criteria", but do not detail the
criteria. After a bit of rummaging through the EPBC Act and getting no joy, I decided to look at the EPBC Regulations, and there in EPBC Reg. 7.01 is "Criteria for listing threatened species". The criteria for Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable are very nicely set out in a key-like format. The criteria can be found at:

Mystery solved. I must save the page as a PDF for future reference


Carl Clifford

On 12/05/2009, at 8:36 PM, storm wrote:

I think Frank is correct re Austlii only listing Acts in force. It's
the subject of some frustration for me on occasion.

In any event it is interesting to see the EPBC being used in what
appears to
be a non-party political way (ref Orange Bellied Parrot)


-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Carl Clifford
Sent: Tuesday, 12 May 2009 8:21 PM
To: Frank Antram
Cc: Birding-Aus
Subject: Superb Parrot in the news - Conservation


The EPBC Act is a right monster, I am glad I don't have to administer
it. I have just spent half an hour going through it, and having had
extensive experience in a regulatory role with a numbers of NSW State
Acts, I would not like to have to hand it up to a Magistrate or Judge
to find their way through it.

Interestingly there no clear definitions for "critically endangered"
or "conservation dependent" apart from referring to the list in
Schedule 1 of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. The list in
Sch 1 only gives "Endangered' and "Vulnerable" species. It is a worry
that protected and vulnerable species must be included on a list and
that there is no clear definition of the species statuses as in ESP
Act, which can give a species protection until it makes it way onto a
list. Inclusion onto legislative "lists" can be cumbersome and time
consuming. If the ESP Act has fallen off the Legislative table, so has
the species list, which would mean that no species is protected, as
there is no list extant. Are you sure that the ESP Act has been
rescinded Frank? If an Act is on AUSTLII, it usually means that it is
in force, in my experience.


Carl Clifford

On 12/05/2009, at 6:05 PM,  wrote:

They must be classifications under one of the State laws, Chris?
Under the Federal EPBC Act, the categories of threatened species are:
extinct in the wild;
critically endangered;
conservation dependent.

Also, Carl Clifford mentioned the definition of vulnerable under the
Federal Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 but this legislation no
longer exists - it was superseded by the EPBC Act.

Info on the status of Superb Parrot may be found here:

Frank Antram

-Original message-----
From: Chris Sanderson 
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 16:19:39 +1000
To: Peter Shute 
Subject: Superb Parrot in the news - Conservation

Hi Peter,

The order of "seriousness" of classifications is:

No concern
Least threatened
Critcally Endangered

I believe vulnerable is something along the lines of "likely to go
without active protection of populations and habitat".  Higher
classifications are more likely to require direct intervention such as
habitat restoration or captive breeding to avoid extinction.


On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 3:51 PM, Peter Shute <>

So is "vulnerable" better or worse than "endangered"?  I was
assuming it
was better, in which case I would have said it was "facing a high
risk of
becoming endangered" rather than "extinct".  Their wording makes me
think Im
wrong, and that it's worse than "endangered".

Peter Shute

-----Original Message-----
From:  [mailto:
 On Behalf Of 
Sent: Tuesday, 12 May 2009 12:50 PM
To: michael norris; Birding-Aus
Subject: Superb Parrot in the news - Conservation

The definition of 'vulnerable' under the EPBC Act is in Sub-section
179 (5)
    A native species is eligible to be included in the vulnerable
category at a particular time if, at that time:
    (a)     it is not critically endangered or endangered; and
    (b)     it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in
medium term future, as determined in accordance with the prescribed

The prescribed criteria are in Regulation 7.01.  Links to the Act
and the
Regulations may be found here

Frank Antram

-----Original message-----
From: "michael norris" 
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 09:17:58 +1000
To: "Birding-Aus" 
Subject: Superb Parrot in the news - Conservation

What does 'Vulnerable' mean these days?

Please, someone, give us the precise definitions of the status of
threatened species in the EPBC Act or the URL for the orders which
contain the criteria.

Best wishes

Michael Norris

37° 59' S  145° 0' E

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU