Science and Research

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Wandering Albatross in flight (Diomedea exulans). Photo: Michael Double.
Wandering Albatross in flight (Diomedea exulans)
Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Birds flock to Coongie Lakes Ramsar site in flood. Photo: Chris Schweizer.
Birds flock to Coongie Lakes Ramsar site in flood
Egg collection
Bird and egg collection
Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Photo: Paul Candlin.
Toolona Creek, Lamington National Park
Project Eden predator-proof fence. Photo: Nick Rains.
Predator-proof fence, Shark Bay region

Science and research plays an important part in the protection of biodiversity. The department takes advice from scientists and administers a range of programs and facilities involved in scientific research into the conservation and sustainable use of Australia's biodiversity.

Australia's biodiversity science and research​

Organisations and programs

Research permits

Permits are required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for:

  • research activities in Commonwealth Parks and reserves
  • research activities that affect threatened species or communities in Commonwealth areas
  • whales, dolphins and porpoises in Commonwealth waters and outside Australian waters
  • the import and export of plants, animals and other organisms
  • research activities involving protected species in the Territories of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Coral Sea Islands

Export or import of specimens for research purposes

The non-commercial export or import of a specimen may be approved for scientific research if the project will result in a better understanding or increased knowledge: of the taxon; of the conservation of biodiversity; or of the maintenance and/or improvement of human health.


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The Department has released a new spatial information metadata catalogue and search tool Find Environmental Data (FED) to replace Discover Information Geographically (DIG). FED will allow integration with other Commonwealth services such as Australian Government’s spatial data catalogue FIND and
The Collaborative Australian Protected Area Database (CAPAD) is used to provide a national perspective of the conservation of biodiversity in protected areas.
Applications for the 2015 ABRS Churchill Fellowships are now open. Applications for research funding close on 16 February 2015.
Applications are now open for groups of research institutions to form research hubs to commence in January 2015. Applications close 5 November 2014.
The Department of the Environment has released more than 1700 new maps and data that local communities can use to find threatened species in their area.

The Cleaner Environment Plan

The Australian Government's Plan for a Cleaner Environment - Clean Air, Clean Land, Clean Water and National Heritage​ - will help realise the vision of a great society by protecting and improving our environment for future generations.​

State of the Environment reporting

In Australia, State of the Environment (SoE) reporting occurs at both the national and state/territory level.