Conservation Management Plan for the Southern Right Whale: A Recovery Plan under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 2011–2021

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2012

About the recovery plan

The southern right whale is listed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as endangered.

An updated recovery plan, the Southern Right Whale Conservation Management Plan, has now been made under s269A(2) of the EPBC Act.

In 2005, the Australian Government released the first southern right whale recovery plan. Under s279(2) of the EPBC Act, the Environment Minister must review a recovery plan at intervals of not longer than five years. A review into the southern right whale recovery plan was conducted in 2010.

The review found that the distribution of southern right whales in their Australian habitats remain limited compared with their historical range, and that their numbers are still well below estimated historical abundance. Based on this information and its other findings, the review concluded that a recovery plan for the southern right whale is still required and should be updated to reflect new knowledge.

The updated recovery plan, the Southern Right Whale Conservation Management Plan, is aligned with the format of the International Whaling Commission's 'Conservation Management Plan' framework, while still meeting all of the requirements of a recovery plan under the EPBC Act.