Sessional Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Written Submissions Received Volume 2 Issues associated with the progressive entry into the Northern Territory of Cane Toads October 2003
Tabled Paper 1123
Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Delia Lawrie
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Environment Australia Part I Written Submissions Cane Toad Inquiry Report Volume 2 110 Threatened species may be listed in the Northern Territory under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (TPWC Act) and/or nationally under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The northern quoll is not currently listed and has not been nominated for listing as threatened under the EPBC Act. It has been nominated for listing as vulnerable in the Northern Territory under the TPWC Act. To list a species under the EPBC Act, a nomination must be submitted for assessment by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee. This Committee provides advice to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment on whether species meet the criteria for listing as a threatened species under the Act. The Minister is required to consider the advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee before making a decision on listing a species. Once a species is listed under the EPBC Act, a recovery plan must be prepared for that species, either by the Commonwealth or jointly with State/Territory governments. The Commonwealth must implement the plan in Commonwealth areas and seek State/Territory cooperation to implement it elsewhere. Listing of cane toads as a key threatening process An introduced animal species, such as the cane toad, may be listed as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act if it threatens, or may threaten, the survival, abundance or evolutionary development of a native species or ecological community. Foxes, rabbits, feral cats and feral goats are examples of currently listed key threatening processes. If cane toads are to be listed as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act, a nomination would need to be submitted and assessed by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, which would then advise the Minister on whether the threatening processes meet the criteria for listing under the Act. There is no nomination currently before the Committee to list cane toads as a threatening process. Once a key threatening process has been listed, the Minister may have a threat abatement plan prepared, if that is a feasible, effective and efficient way to abate the process. Research into cane toad impacts Although cane toads have been present in Australia for nearly 70 years, there is still very limited information about the impacts of cane toads on native species and ecosystems. Some biological surveys are in progress in Kakadu as described above, and elsewhere in the NT as outlined in Attachment E. Further information is needed to assist governments in setting priorities for conservation of species and ecosystems likely to be adversely affected by cane toads. It would be beneficial to obtain more information about the long-term as well as short-term environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of cane toads. The types of research that would be useful include biological surveys and interviews of Aboriginal people in areas in which cane toads have recently arrived. Northern Territory, Western Australian and Commonwealth research and management agencies should consider the need for information about cane toad