The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in New South Wales

PestAnimalThreatsNSW2007_coverAlien species (pest animals and weeds) are acknowledged widely as a major cause of global biodiversity decline. However, there are very few studies that have quantified the specific biodiversity at risk from alien species, or the alien species posing the threat. This lack of knowledge has hampered policy development and alien species management directed at biodiversity conservation.

This report quantifies the threat posed by alien animals (hereafter referred to as pest animals) on a broad cross-section of biodiversity in New South Wales. This assessment was achieved by examining the described threats to 972 threatened species in New South Wales, being those species (ie mammals, birds, fish, insects, plants, fungi and algae), populations and ecological communities listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994; approximately half of which are also listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Information on threats was compiled from a vast range of sources (spanning over 2000 documents) to establish the full range of threats to each species.

These data sources included NSW Scientific Committee determinations, fact sheets, threatened species books, recovery and threat abatement plans and scientific studies. Less than 2% of the data was derived from peer-reviewed scientific studies, highlighting the ongoing need for scientific research in this area. A total of 5666 threat descriptions were identified across all threatened species, many of which were similar in nature (ie they used different terms to describe the same threat), so a hierarchy and standard terms were developed to group threats of a similar nature, and to analyse the relative impact of each type of threat.

Author Aaron J. Coutts-Smith, Paul S. Mahon, Mike Letnic and Paul O. Downey
Date null
Year 2007
Place published City
Publisher Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.
Institution NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change
Pages 124 pp
Notes Notes
ISBN/ISSN Web ISBN 978-0-9803194-3-9
Region NSW

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