Western Australia is renowned for its unique and diverse flora. However, the natural rarity, localised distribution and small population sizes of many species, combined with the level of disturbance that has occurred since settlement in the urban, agricultural and pastoral areas, has resulted in many of these flora being threatened with extinction unless suitable management occurs.

Special protection is therefore afforded to threatened flora in Western Australia, with the authorisation of the Minister being required before such flora can be taken. A lawful authority is required if the activity meets the definition of take or disturb as per section 5 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016:

  • take—in relation to flora, is:
    • (i) to gather, pluck, cut, pull up, destroy, dig up, remove, harvest or damage flora by any means;
    • (ii) to cause or permit anything referred to in subparagraph (i) to be done.
  • disturb—in relation to flora, is:
    • (i) to engage in an activity that has the effect, whether directly or indirectly, of altering the long term persistence of the flora in its habitat;
    • (ii) to cause or permit an activity referred to in subparagraph (i) to be engaged in

To take threatened flora without the authorisation of the Minister is an offence subject, on conviction, to a penalty of up to $500,000.

You will need a Threatened Flora Authorisation:

Application formDescription
TFL Authorisation Application Form IDENTIFICATIONTo take herbarium specimens of threatened flora for identification purposes or other samples of threatened flora for taxonomic research.
TFL Authorisation Application Form OTHER SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PURPOSESTo take threatened flora for other scientific/research purposes (if only for taxonomic research, complete 'Identification or taxonomic research purposes' form above).
TFL Authorisation Application Form MANAGEMENT OPERATIONTo take threatened flora during a management operation (for example, mining, road maintenance, weed control, or clearing for infrastructure/developments).
TFL Authorisation Application Form DBCA MANAGEMENT OPERATIONTo take threatened flora during a department operation (for example, a prescribed burn or weed control) for DBCA staff.
Threatened and priority flora report formWhen a new population of threatened or priority flora has been found, or visiting a known population.
Flora licencesTo take any flora native to Western Australia from Crown land excluding threatened species.
Application forms can be downloaded below. Alternatively, please contact Species and Communities on (08) 9219 8762 or SpeciesandCommunities@dbca.wa.gov.au to obtain copies of the application forms or for any other information.

Do I need a Threatened Flora Authorisation for fire mitigation?

On 15 October 2021, the Biodiversity Conservation (Exemptions) Amendment Order 2021 (Amendment Order) was published. The Amendment Order exempts landowners and occupiers who are undertaking specified bushfire mitigation activities on land that is not managed by DBCA from the requirement for an authorisation to take a threatened species under sections 40 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 under certain conditions. A series of fire information notes have been developed to assist landowners and occupiers to manage fuel loads while minimising impacts to threatened species.

How do I apply for authorisation to take or disturb threatened flora?

The department's Species and Communities Program is responsible for administering Threatened Flora Authorisations. Application forms are available below to cover the types of activities which may result in taking for identification purposes and/or taxonomic research, other scientific research purposes, in a management operation (non-department) and a department management operation. The questions in the application forms will assist in assessing the impacts of the activity on the threatened flora and ensure that the appropriate conditions are applied to the Authorisation.

All applications will be considered in the context of the object of the BC Act in section 3(1)(a) to conserve and protect biodiversity and biodiversity components in the State. As provided for in section 41 of the BC Act, conditions may be imposed to mitigate or offset the impact that an activity carried out under the authorisation is likely to have on the total known population of the relevant species in the state and on relevant habitat.

There are no fees associated with a Threatened Flora Authorisation. Completed application forms should be emailed to SpeciesandCommunities@dbca.wa.gov.au or posted to:

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Senior Technical Officer - Flora, Species and Communities Program
Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983

What if the species is listed as 'Threatened' nationally?

You may also need federal government approval for a species listed as a threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Note exemptions under the Biodiversity Conservation Act do not apply to the federal legislation.

More information

For further information, contact Species and Communities (08) 9219 8762 SpeciesandCommunities@dbca.wa.gov.au