Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for Migratory Species
Recommended National Environmental Standards
Appendix B to the Final Report sets out in detail 4 recommended National Environmental Standards that were developed by the Review following consultation with science, Indigenous, environmental and business stakeholders and with input from technical experts.
Migratory species are those animals that migrate to Australia and its external territories or pass though or over Australian waters during their annual migrations. Examples of migratory species are species of birds (e.g. albatrosses and petrels), mammals (e.g. whales) or reptiles (e.g. marine turtles). Migratory species are those listed on international migratory species conventions and agreements to which Australia is a party.
Migratory species are protected, conserved and managed within Australia.
The protection, conservation and management of migratory species within Australia is supported by actions, decisions, plans and policies that:
Requirements in Commonwealth areas:
Requirements for cetaceans:
International commitments relating to migratory species:
Australia is a signatory to the following international conventions and agreements that aim to protect, conserve and restore populations and habitats of migratory species:
The Species Profiles and Threats (SPRAT) database contains links to Wildlife Conservation Plans and as well as an interactive map showing the species modelled habitat and other important information sources like listing advices, Threat Abatement Plans, survey guidelines and policy statements.
This Standard should be applied in conjunction with the Overarching MNES Standard, relevant matter-specific Standards and other National Environmental Standards.
Best available information: is the best and most up to date information available for migratory species that provide important context for consideration in actions, decisions, plans and policies and which may not be reflected in all statutory documents. This may be through research, monitoring, and/or conservation action implemented as part of statutory plans, or population or habitat impacts which arise from unexpected events that change a species situation in the wild for example; Wildfires, disease outbreaks, drought, cyclones or contamination events.
Cumulative impacts: the collective impacts from all actions, decisions, plans, policies and other pressures, measured against a stipulated baseline. See Significant Impact Guidelines 1.2 (2013), Significant Impact Guidelines 1.3 (2013) and Reef 2050 Plan: Cumulative Impact Management Policy (2018) for further explanation of the concept of cumulative impacts.
Ecologically significant proportion: listed migratory species cover a broad range of species with different life cycles and population sizes. Therefore, an ‘ecologically significant proportion’ of the population varies with the species. Factors that should be considered include the species’ population status, genetic distinctiveness and species-specific behavioural patterns (site fidelity, and dispersal rates). See Significant Impact Guidelines 1.1: Matters of National Environmental Significance (2013).
Habitat: the biophysical medium or media: (a) occupied (continuously, periodically or occasionally) by an organism or group of organisms; and (b) once occupied (continuously, periodically or occasionally) by an organism or group of organisms and into which organisms of that kind have the potential to be introduced, and (c) biophysical media projected to become suitable for occupation under future climates if specified in the Conservation Advice.
Important habitat: for a migratory species is:
- Habitat utilised by a migratory species occasionally or periodically within a region that supports an ecologically significant proportion of the population of the species; and/or
- Habitat that is of critical importance to the species at particular life-cycle stages; and/or
- Habitat that is utilised by a migratory species which is at the limit of the species range; and/or
- Habitat within an area where the species is declining.
- Habitat as specified in the relevant Wildlife Conservation Plan.
This definition is consistent with the Significant Impact Guidelines 1.1: Matters of National Environmental Significance (2013). Important habitat for migratory shorebirds is defined in EPBC Act Policy Statement 3.21 - Industry guidelines for avoiding, assessing and mitigating impacts on EPBC Act listed migratory shorebird species (2015).
Key threats: the threats to a listed migratory species identified in a Wildlife Conservation Plan, Key Threatening Process or Threat Abatement Plan as key threats to that listed migratory species.
No net reduction: the net outcome of activities to avoid, mitigate and offset impacts as a result of an action, measured against a stipulated baseline. See EPBC Act Environmental Offsets Policy (2012, as updated from time to time) for further information.
Offset: measures that may be used once it has been demonstrated that all reasonable steps have been taken to avoid and minimise impacts, that are provided to compensate, repair or replace an impacted value, including changes to the integrity, quality, condition and/or extent of habitat. Offsets must be consistent with the EPBC Act Environmental Offsets Policy (2012, as updated from time to time), or an accredited policy relating to offsets of a state or territory. Offsets must be achievable and ecologically feasible:
- An offset is achievable where demonstrated scientific knowledge exists on how to restore the habitat with a high confidence of success, and its long-term protection is assured (for example through conservation covenants or conservation agreements), and
- An offset is ecologically feasible where it can be demonstrated that the species or community can be reliably restored in a timeframe proportionate to effectively address the impact of the action and enough space exists to undertake restoration (not ecologically or tenure constrained).
Permit: a permit required under Part 13 of the EPBC Act.
Population: a population of a species or ecological community means an occurrence of the species or community in a particular area, as defined under section 528 of the EPBC Act.
Section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993: provides that holders of native title rights covering certain activities do not need authorisation required by other laws to engage in those activities.
Threat Abatement Plan: a plan made or adopted under section 270B of the EPBC Act.
Wildlife Conservation Plan: a plan made or adopted under section 285 of the EPBC Act.