Amendments to the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EC119 and EC129) (04/03/2015)

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2015L00300

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Commonwealth of Australia
 
Amendments to the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EC119 and EC129)
 
 
I, GREG HUNT, Minister for the Environment, pursuant to paragraph 184(1)(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, hereby amend the list referred to in section 181 of that Act by:
including in the list in the critically endangered category
Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion; and
including in the list in the endangered category
Castlereagh Scribbly Gum and Agnes Banks Woodlands of the Sydney Basin Bioregion
as described in the Schedule to this instrument.
 
 
 
 
 
Dated this 4th day of March 2015
 
 
 
 
Greg Hunt
 
 
 
 
GREG HUNT
Minister for the Environment
 
SCHEDULE
 
Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion
 
Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion occurs only in New South Wales, within the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as defined by version 7 of the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia).
The vegetation of the ecological community is open-forest to low woodland with an overstorey usually dominated by Eucalyptus fibrosa (broad-leaved ironbark) and Melaleuca decora (paperbark) and an understorey typically comprising sclerophyllous shrubs, with sparse grasses and herbs.
The ecological community occurs on clay-rich soils derived from Tertiary alluvium, Wianamatta Shale derived soils found next to Tertiary alluvium and in some areas, on Holocene Alluvium. The ecological community grades into other communities where clay soils are very poorly drained, and may show variation where there are subtle grades in the substrate sourced from Tertiary sand, sandstone bedrock, shale and ironstone.
In addition to the dominant canopy species (Eucalyptus fibrosa and Melaleuca decora),
E. longifolia (woollybutt) is also often present and a number of other species may be present: E. racemosa (narrow-leaved scribbly gum), Angophora costata (smooth-barked apple), Angophora bakeri (narrow-leaved apple), E. parramattensis subsp. parramattensis, E. moluccana and E. eugenioides. Hybrids of canopy species may be present.
The understorey shrub stratum is variable, often dense and dominated by Melaleuca nodosa (prickly-leaved paperbark) and Lissanthe strigosa (peach heath), and to a lesser extent M. decora. It also includes a range of pea flower shrubs, including Dillwynia tenuifolia, Pultenaea villosa (hairy bush-pea) and Daviesia ulicifolia (gorse bitter pea).  Dillwynia parvifolia, Cassinia arcuata and Hibbertia serpyllifolia are common species in eastern sites and less commonly found in the west. Other common species include Ozothamnus diosmifolius, Bursaria spinosa and Acacia falcata.
The ground layer is relatively sparse (more so in areas of dense shrub cover) and commonly includes Entolasia stricta (wiry panic), Lepidosperma laterale, Opercularia diphylla, Dianella revoluta subsp. revoluta (blue flax-lily), Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass), Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides, and Lobelia purpurascens (whiteroot).
Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest contributes substantially to the habitat used by the fauna of the region, including Gerygone mouki (brown gerygone), G. olivacea (white throated gerygone), Lathamus discolor (swift parrot), Myiagra rubecula (leaden flycatcher), Myzomela sanguinolenta (scarlet honeyeater), Turnix varius varius (painted button-quail), Petaurus australis (yellow-bellied glider), Petaurus breviceps (sugar glider), Nyctophilus geoffroyi (lesser long-eared bat), Chalinolobus morio (chocolate wattled bat),  Vespadelus vulturnus (little forest bat), Tadarida australis (white-striped freetail-bat), Litoria aurea (green and golden bell frog), Limnodynastes dumerilii (banjo frog), Ramphotyphlops nigrescens (blackish blind snake), Tiliqua scincoides (eastern blue-tongue), Diplodactylus vittatus (eastern stone gecko), and Meridolum corneovirens (Cumberland land snail).
Castlereagh Scribbly Gum and Agnes Banks Woodlands of the Sydney Basin Bioregion
 
The Castlereagh Scribbly Gum and Agnes Banks Woodlands of the Sydney Basin Bioregion ecological community occurs only in New South Wales, within the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as defined by version 7 of the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia).
Castlereagh Scribbly Gum and Agnes Banks Woodlands ranges from woodland to open woodland, with canopy species reaching an average 15 m in height, and some trees growing to around 20 m. The ecological community occurs primarily on Tertiary sands and gravels of the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system. At Agnes Banks the ecological community primarily occurs on aeolian (wind-blown) sands overlying Tertiary alluvium.
The canopy contains, and is often dominated by, one or more of the following species: Angophora bakeri (narrow leaved apple), Eucalyptus racemosa (narrow-leaved scribbly gum) and E. parramattensis subsp. parramattensis (Parramatta red gum). Melaleuca species including M. decora (paperbark) and M. nodosa (prickly-leaved paperbark) may also be prominent in the canopy (and/or mid layer). Eucalyptus fibrosa (red ironbark) is also often present.
The ecological community’s understorey has a prominent and diverse mid-layer of sclerophyll shrubs. It typically has a patchy ground cover of sedges and grasses. In areas of poorly drained soil there may be less species diversity in the mid layer and the ground layer may contain a high diversity of sedges and grasses.
Mid layer species that may be present include: Banksia aemula (wallum), Conospermum taxifolium (variable smoke bush) (particularly at Agnes Banks), B. serrata (old man banksia), B. oblongifolia (fern-leaved banksia), B. spinulosa (hairpin banksia), Melaleuca decora (paperbark), Leptospermum trinervium (flaky-barked tea-tree), Dillwynia sericea (showy parrot-pea), Monotoca scoparia (broom heath), Platysace ericoides, Persoonia nutans (nodding geebung), Pimelea linifolia subsp. linifolia (slender rice-flower) and Hakea sericea (silky hakea).
Ground layer species that may be present include: Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass), Entolasia stricta (wiry panic), Cyathochaeta diandra, Dianella revoluta subsp. revoluta, Lepidosperma urophorum (particularly at Agnes Banks), Stylidium graminifolium (grass triggerplant), Lepyrodia scariosa, Mitrasacme polymorpha, Trachymene incisa subsp. incisa, Laxmannia gracilis (slender wire lily), Lomandra spp. and Aristida warburgii.
Castlereagh Scribbly Gum and Agnes Banks Woodlands contributes substantially to the habitat used by the fauna of the region, including the following avifauna: Smicrornis brevirostris (weebill), Lathamus discolor (swift parrot), Pachycephala rufiventris and P. pectoralis (rufous and golden whistler), Melanodryas cucullata (hooded robin), Pardalotus striatus and P. punctatus (striated and spotted pardalote), Daphoenositta chrysoptera (varied sittella), Petroica goodenovii (red-capped robin) and Tyto javanica (barn owl). Other species that utilise habitat in the ecological community include: Ctenotus taeniolatus (striped skink), Dasyurus maculatus (spotted-tailed quoll), Petaurus breviceps (sugar glider), Petaurus norfolcensis (squirrel glider), Myotis macropus (large-footed myotis), Litoria aurea (green and golden bell frog) and L. verreauxii verreauxii (Verreaux's tree frog).