The Marine chapter of the 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) report incorporates multiple expert templates developed from
streams of marine data. This metadata record describes the Expert Assessment "The state and trends of quality of species
and groups – sea snakes". The full Expert Assessment, including figures and tables (where provided), is attached to this
record. Where available, the Data Stream(s) used to generate this Expert Assessment are accessible through the "On-line
Resources" section of this record.
DESCRIPTION OF ECOLOGICAL PROCESS FOR EXPERT ASSESSMENT
Assessing the status of sea snakes is a priority based on evidence of significant declines in some populations (e.g., Guinea
2007, 2013, Lukoschek et al. 2007, 2013). Australia has approximately 32 sea snake species, more than half of global diversity,
including 13 endemic species. Sea snakes occur in a variety of shallow-water marine habitats in northern Australia, including
estuaries, reefs, soft-sediment habitats, and seagrass meadows. Two endemic species are listed as Critically Endangered under
the EPBC Act and IUCN Red List, a further two endemics listed as Endangered and Near Threatened by IUCN have not been assess
under the EPBC Act.
DATA STREAM(S) USED IN EXPERT ASSESSMENT
• Data primarily collected from an expert panel of sea snake researchers and marine resource managers during an IUCN Sea
Snake Specialist Group Red List workshop in February 2009.
• Updated status of sea snake populations from coastal WA and off-shore Timor Sea Reefs obtained from reports and publications
by Michael Guinea, Vimoksalehi Lukoschek, Blanche D’Anastasi and Kate Sanders
2016 SOE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY [see attached Expert Assessment for full details]
Status and trends within the Australian EEZ are largely unknown but likely to vary between species and bioregions. Species
have almost disappeared from Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, the reasons for which are unknown.
CHANGES SINCE 2011 SOE ASSESSMENT
Largely agrees with 2011 SOE assessment with the addition of the declines reported from the NW Shelf.
Dulvy NK, Fowler SL, Musick JA, Cavanagh RD, Kyne PM, Harrison LR, Carlson JK, Davidson LNK, Fordham SV, Francis MP, Pollock
CM, Simpfendorfer CA, Burgess GH, Carpenter KE, Compagno LJV, Ebert DA, Gibson C, Heupel MR, Livingstone SR, Sanciangco JC,
Stevens JD, Valenti S and White WT. (2014) Extinction risk and conservation of the world's sharks and rays. eLife 3:e00590.
Heupel MR (2015) Prioritisation of research and management needs for Australian elasmobranch species. National Environmental
Science Program Marine Biodiversity Hub, 19pp. (project website: http://www.nespmarine.edu.au/project/project-a6-prioritisation-research-and-management-needs-australian-elasmobranch-species)
QUALITY OF DATA USED IN THE ASSESSMENT
Varies between species but incorporates the most recent and up to date information available for all Australian species of
CUSTODIAN AND LOCATION OF DATA
All data sourced from publicly available reports and journal articles (details of specific data sets used to generate the
assessment have not been provided).
METHOD USED TO DETERMINE STATE OR RECENT TREND
Varies by species but generally based on survey results or fisheries catch and effort data where available. Inferences of
status were based on the IUCN Red List categories justifications (see www.iucnredlist.org)
When citing this Expert Assessment in a list of references use the following format:
citation author name/s (year metadata published), metadata title. Citation author organisation/s. File identifier and Data
accessed at (add http link).