Sensitive species are central to significant research, industry activities and key Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictional policies, programs and regulation. Sensitive species data can include threatened species locations, biosecurity threats to the nation’s agriculture or privacy-related details about people who made observations.

This data often resides in jurisdictional data repositories without nationally consistent licensing and access. The 2019-20 bushfires showed lack of accessibility of national scale data is a significant barrier to research and decision-making critical to conservation of the nation’s biodiversity and supporting resource industries. Data aggregators such as the Atlas of Living Australia provide access, but it is “fuzzed” to protect species, individuals and because of different access and licensing arrangements.

This project will streamline processes and systems to enable the sharing of sensitive species data for users with appropriate authority. A national aggregated sensitive species data source will enable approved researchers and other users to be able to undertake species distribution models, locate possible populations for research, aid the listing of species to improve conservation and a multitude of other research and policy outcomes.

1 National Framework on Sensitive Species Data
An agreement between jurisdictions on the processes, approvals, permissions and data licensing to enable the formation of, loading data to, and downloading from, a centralised Sensitive Species Data Repository.
2 Sensitive Species Data Source
Establishment of a comprehensive data source that data providers supply data to, and registered, approved users can access data from.
3 Secure Data Safe Haven
Establishment of a proof of concept workspace for modelling in which registered users can work with sensitive species data from the repository.
4 Sustainability
Establishment of governance and report mechanisms that ensure post project evolution to a business as usual model and ongoing demonstration of relevance. Projects are due to be completed by the end of March 2023 and final reports will be published.

Core features

Transdisciplinary research
National, high resolution, cross-jurisdictional data will enable researchers, government and industry to research and answer questions more precisely with the most up-to-date data.
Community support and involvement
A sensitive species data repository offers an opportunity for researchers, industry and the public to contribute to decision-making by recording more about sensitive species.
Impactful decision-making
A secure data haven for modelling allows government, researchers and industry users to develop sensitive species models for research and decision-making.
Evidence based decision making
Approved access to cross-jurisdictional species data, at full resolution, will support researchers, industry and government agencies in making evidence-based decisions

Who is this project for?

  • Researchers
  • Peak bodies
  • Research organisations
  • Infrastructure providers
  • Commercial eInfrastructure providers
  • Government (state, territory and commonwealth)
  • Data analysts
  • Resource sector industries
  • Environmental consultants

What does this project enable?

This project mobilises data on Australia’s most sensitive species to deliver national datasets and models to support timely, best-practise decision-making and high quality research outcomes. Threatened and sensitive species information and data is central to significant research and policy effort. They are the focus of research effort in areas of biodiversity, ecological systems, anthropogenic and climate change and are central to key Commonwealth and state jurisdictional policies, programs and regulation, including under the Environment Protection and Biosecurity Conservation Act (1999). Sensitive species form a central component of biosecurity legislation (Biosecurity Act 2015) aimed at managing risk to human health, trade, agriculture and the environment from the introduction of exotic species, viruses and pathogens.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (NSW)Visit
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NT)Visit
The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (ACT)Visit
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (WA)Visit
Department of Environment and Water (SA)Visit
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Vic)Visit
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas)Visit
Department of Environment and Science (Qld)Visit
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (Commonwealth Government)Visit
Atlas of Living Australia, CSIROVisit
EcoCommons AustraliaVisit
Pawsey Supercomputing CentreVisit
The Western Australian Biodiversity Science InstituteVisit
Council of Heads of Australian Faunal CollectionsVisit