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In the mid to late 19th century, New South Wales passed laws protecting from over-hunting just a few native bird and mammal species, despite scientists having documented the disappearance and decline of once-common species. As public concern grew over the decline of useful or commercially exploited species, and as scientific societies lobbied for their increased protection, so more bird and mammal species, and from 1927 some native plant species, gained protection. Realisation of the detriment of broad-scale agriculture led to laws setting aside reserves where land-uses that threatened species could be excluded. Mid-20th century laws introduced professional administration of reserves and of biodiversity laws, and increased the range of protected taxa. From the 1990s, with conservation politically potent, modern laws sought to conserve all biodiversity, not just individual species, but also ecosystems and their intrinsic processes, and to manage threatening processes. Such laws affect other planning and land-use laws, at all jurisdictional levels; they are embedded in a nationally integrated set of laws and reflect international agreements to conserve biodiversity. Biodiversity laws have grown in complexity, coverage and importance. Science and society will contribute to their continuing change.

Barrett, J. 1925 Save Australia. A Plea for the Right Use of our Flora and Fauna. MacMillan and Co., Melbourne.
Bennett, G. 1860 Gatherings of a Naturalist in Australasia: being observations principally on the animal and vegetable productions of New South Wales, New Zealand and some of the Austral Islands. John van Voorst, London. (Facsimile edition 1982 The Currawong Press, Milson's Point, NSW)
Campbell, A. J. 1908. Vice-Presidential Address: Bird Protection in the Old World. The Emu 7: 126-136
Clarke, W. B. 1876. Effects of forest vegetation on climate. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 10: 179-232
Darwin, C. 1845 The Voyage of the Beagle. Collier and Sons, New York.
Darwin, C. 1872 The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 6th edition. John Murray, London.
Department of Environment, Sport and Territories 1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity. Australian Government Publication, Canberra
Finney, C. M. 1993 Paradise Revealed. Natural History in nineteenth-century Australia. Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
Gilbert, L. A. 1981. Plants, politics and personalities in Colonial New South Wales. Pp 220-258 in People and Plants in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Gould, J. 1863 The Fauna of Australia, Volume II, Macropodidae. Published in facsimile as Kangaroos: John Gould, with commentary by J. M. Dixon, Macmillan, Melbourne and Sydney, 1973
Hall, R. 1900 The Insectivorous Birds of Victoria with chapters on birds more or less useful. Published by the author, Melbourne.
Heathcote, R. A. 1981. Goyder's Line - a Line for all Seasons? Pp 295-321 in People and Plants in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Hoare, M. 1981. Botany and Society in Eastern Australia. Pp 183-219 in People and Plants in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Hutton, D. and Connors, L. 1999 A History of the Australian Environment Movement. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and Melbourne
IUCN. 1994 IUCN Red List Categories. Prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Jarman, P. J. 1994 Kangaroos: two centuries of ecosystem management. Inaugural lecture, University of New England, Armidale, NSW.
Jarman, P. J. and Johnson, K. A. 1978. Exotic mammals, indigenous mammals, and land use. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 10: 146-166
Krefft, G. 1866. On the vertebrated animals of the lower Murray and Darling: their habits, economy and geographical distribution. Transactions of the Philosophical Society of New South Wales 1862-65, 1-33.
Le Souef, A. S. 1925. The Australian native animals. How they stand today, and the cause of the scarcity of certain species. Pp175-184 in Save Australia. A plea for the right use of our flora and fauna, edited by J. Barrett. MacMillan and Co., Melbourne.
Long, J. L. 1981 Introduced Birds of the World. Reed, Sydney, NSW.
Lunney, D. 1994. Royal Commission of 1901 on the Western Lands of New South Wales - an ecologist's summary. Pp 221-40 in Future of the Fauna of Western New South Wales, edited by D. Lunney, S. Hand, P. Reed and D. Butcher. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW.
Lunney, D., Curtin, A. L., Ayers, D., Cogger, H. G., Dickman, C. R., Maitz, W., Law, B. and Fisher, D. 2000. The threatened and non-threatened native vertebrate fauna of New South Wales: status and ecological attributes. Environmental and Heritage Monograph Series No. 4. Pp 1-132. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Lunney, D., Matthews, A., Stein, J. A. and Lunney, H. W. M. 2003. Australian bat research: the limitations of The Action Plan for Australian Bats in determining the direction of research. Pacific Conservation Biology 8: 255-60.
Lunney, D., Matthews, A., Cogger, H. and Dickman, C. R. 2004. The neglected 74% - the non-threatened vertebrates - and a reflection on the limitations of the process that fashioned the current schedules of threatened species in New South Wales. Pp 145-157 in Threatened Fauna Legislation: is it just an Act? edited by P. Hutchings, D. Lunney and C. Dickman. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW.
Marsh, G. P. 1864 Man and Nature, or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action. New York. (Re-printed edition, edited by D. Lowenthal, 1964, Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Nicholls, B. 1925. The Mammals of Australia. Pp 85-99 in Save Australia. A plea for the right use of our flora and fauna, edited by J. Barrett. MacMillan and Co., Melbourne.
Parsons, W. J. 1981. The history of introduced weeds. Pp 179-193 in Plants and Man in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Powell, J. M. 1976 Environmental Management in Australia, 1788-1914. Guardians, Improvers and Profit: an Introductory Survey. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Pressey, R. L. 1990. Reserve selection in New South Wales: Where to from here? Australian Zoologist 26: 70-75.
Pressey, R. L., Humphries, C. J., Margules, C. R., Vane-Wright, R. I. and Williams, P. H. 1993. Beyond opportunism: key principles for systematic reserve selection. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8: 124-128.
Ryan, C. S. 1907. The President's Address: The Protection of Native Birds. The Emu 6: 95-103.
Short. J. 1998. The extinction of rat-kangaroos (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) in New South Wales, Australia. Biological Conservation 86: 365-377.
Strahan, R. 1992. The origin and early history of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 28: 6-10.
Tsamenyi, M., Rose, G. and Castle, R. 2003. International marine conservation law and its implementation in Australia. Pp 1-17 in Conserving marine environments. Out of sight, out of mind, edited by Pat Hutchings and Daniel Lunney. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW.
Walker, R. B. 1991. Fauna and Flora Protection in New South Wales, 1866-1948. Journal of Australian Studies 28: 17-28.
Whitehouse, J. F. 1990. Conserving what? The basis for nature conservation reserves in New South Wales 1967-1989. Australian Zoologist 26: 11-21.
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References

Barrett, J. 1925 Save Australia. A Plea for the Right Use of our Flora and Fauna. MacMillan and Co., Melbourne.
Bennett, G. 1860 Gatherings of a Naturalist in Australasia: being observations principally on the animal and vegetable productions of New South Wales, New Zealand and some of the Austral Islands. John van Voorst, London. (Facsimile edition 1982 The Currawong Press, Milson's Point, NSW)
Campbell, A. J. 1908. Vice-Presidential Address: Bird Protection in the Old World. The Emu 7: 126-136
Clarke, W. B. 1876. Effects of forest vegetation on climate. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 10: 179-232
Darwin, C. 1845 The Voyage of the Beagle. Collier and Sons, New York.
Darwin, C. 1872 The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 6th edition. John Murray, London.
Department of Environment, Sport and Territories 1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity. Australian Government Publication, Canberra
Finney, C. M. 1993 Paradise Revealed. Natural History in nineteenth-century Australia. Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
Gilbert, L. A. 1981. Plants, politics and personalities in Colonial New South Wales. Pp 220-258 in People and Plants in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Gould, J. 1863 The Fauna of Australia, Volume II, Macropodidae. Published in facsimile as Kangaroos: John Gould, with commentary by J. M. Dixon, Macmillan, Melbourne and Sydney, 1973
Hall, R. 1900 The Insectivorous Birds of Victoria with chapters on birds more or less useful. Published by the author, Melbourne.
Heathcote, R. A. 1981. Goyder's Line - a Line for all Seasons? Pp 295-321 in People and Plants in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Hoare, M. 1981. Botany and Society in Eastern Australia. Pp 183-219 in People and Plants in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Hutton, D. and Connors, L. 1999 A History of the Australian Environment Movement. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and Melbourne
IUCN. 1994 IUCN Red List Categories. Prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Jarman, P. J. 1994 Kangaroos: two centuries of ecosystem management. Inaugural lecture, University of New England, Armidale, NSW.
Jarman, P. J. and Johnson, K. A. 1978. Exotic mammals, indigenous mammals, and land use. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 10: 146-166
Krefft, G. 1866. On the vertebrated animals of the lower Murray and Darling: their habits, economy and geographical distribution. Transactions of the Philosophical Society of New South Wales 1862-65, 1-33.
Le Souef, A. S. 1925. The Australian native animals. How they stand today, and the cause of the scarcity of certain species. Pp175-184 in Save Australia. A plea for the right use of our flora and fauna, edited by J. Barrett. MacMillan and Co., Melbourne.
Long, J. L. 1981 Introduced Birds of the World. Reed, Sydney, NSW.
Lunney, D. 1994. Royal Commission of 1901 on the Western Lands of New South Wales - an ecologist's summary. Pp 221-40 in Future of the Fauna of Western New South Wales, edited by D. Lunney, S. Hand, P. Reed and D. Butcher. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW.
Lunney, D., Curtin, A. L., Ayers, D., Cogger, H. G., Dickman, C. R., Maitz, W., Law, B. and Fisher, D. 2000. The threatened and non-threatened native vertebrate fauna of New South Wales: status and ecological attributes. Environmental and Heritage Monograph Series No. 4. Pp 1-132. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Lunney, D., Matthews, A., Stein, J. A. and Lunney, H. W. M. 2003. Australian bat research: the limitations of The Action Plan for Australian Bats in determining the direction of research. Pacific Conservation Biology 8: 255-60.
Lunney, D., Matthews, A., Cogger, H. and Dickman, C. R. 2004. The neglected 74% - the non-threatened vertebrates - and a reflection on the limitations of the process that fashioned the current schedules of threatened species in New South Wales. Pp 145-157 in Threatened Fauna Legislation: is it just an Act? edited by P. Hutchings, D. Lunney and C. Dickman. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW.
Marsh, G. P. 1864 Man and Nature, or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action. New York. (Re-printed edition, edited by D. Lowenthal, 1964, Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Nicholls, B. 1925. The Mammals of Australia. Pp 85-99 in Save Australia. A plea for the right use of our flora and fauna, edited by J. Barrett. MacMillan and Co., Melbourne.
Parsons, W. J. 1981. The history of introduced weeds. Pp 179-193 in Plants and Man in Australia, edited by D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr. Academic Press, Sydney.
Powell, J. M. 1976 Environmental Management in Australia, 1788-1914. Guardians, Improvers and Profit: an Introductory Survey. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Pressey, R. L. 1990. Reserve selection in New South Wales: Where to from here? Australian Zoologist 26: 70-75.
Pressey, R. L., Humphries, C. J., Margules, C. R., Vane-Wright, R. I. and Williams, P. H. 1993. Beyond opportunism: key principles for systematic reserve selection. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8: 124-128.
Ryan, C. S. 1907. The President's Address: The Protection of Native Birds. The Emu 6: 95-103.
Short. J. 1998. The extinction of rat-kangaroos (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) in New South Wales, Australia. Biological Conservation 86: 365-377.
Strahan, R. 1992. The origin and early history of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 28: 6-10.
Tsamenyi, M., Rose, G. and Castle, R. 2003. International marine conservation law and its implementation in Australia. Pp 1-17 in Conserving marine environments. Out of sight, out of mind, edited by Pat Hutchings and Daniel Lunney. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW.
Walker, R. B. 1991. Fauna and Flora Protection in New South Wales, 1866-1948. Journal of Australian Studies 28: 17-28.
Whitehouse, J. F. 1990. Conserving what? The basis for nature conservation reserves in New South Wales 1967-1989. Australian Zoologist 26: 11-21.
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