Oceanic White-Tip Whaler

29 October 2020

Dear all – as you may recall, the Antipodean Albatross and the Oceanic White-tip Shark were added to Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) at its 13th Conference of Parties in February 2020.  Following the completion of our domestic processes, Minister Ley has included the Oceanic White-tip Shark in the list of migratory species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is important to note that the Antipodean Albatross is already included on the migratory species list under the EPBC Act due to its previous inclusion on Appendix II of the Convention.


As a listed migratory species, it is now an offence to kill, injure, take, trade, keep or move the Oceanic White-tip Shark in Commonwealth waters.  Any interactions with this species in Commonwealth waters will also need to be reported, as is currently the case with other protected species such as dugongs and whale sharks.  Further information on reporting requirements can be found at:


The necessary inclusion of the Oceanic White-tip Shark presented an opportunity to remove ineligible species from the migratory species list. Paragraph 209(3)(a) states that the list must include all migratory species that are included in the Appendices to the Convention, and are native species.


A recent review of the current list of migratory species has revealed that the Wanderer Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was included on the list at the inception of the EPBC Act in 2000. The Wanderer Butterfly is an introduced species to Australia, and is therefore ineligible to be included in the migratory species list. While the butterfly is included in Appendix II of the Convention as the species undertakes extensive north-south migrations in the Americas, in Australia the species does not migrate and the Convention does not recognise Australia as being a range state for the migratory butterfly. 


As such, Minister Ley has removed the Wanderer Butterfly from the list of migratory species.


Please let me know if you require any further information regarding the above matters.


Kind regards – Narelle


Narelle Montgomery

CMS Scientific Councillor for Australia

A/g Director

Migratory Species Section

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

p: 6274 2818 | f: 6275 9374 | e: narelle.montgomery@environment.gov.au


Please note that I am in the office Mon - Thurs (9.15am - 2.15pm)

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