Commonwealth of Australia
Amendments to the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EC25R)
I, GREG HUNT, Minister for the Environment, pursuant to paragraphs 184(1)(b), (c) and (d) and 194Q(2) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, hereby amend the list referred to in section 181 of that Act by:
updating the name of Shale/Sandstone Transition Forest to Shale Sandstone Transition Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion;
transferring from the endangered to the critically endangered category Shale Sandstone Transition Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion as described in the Schedule to this instrument; and
deleting from the endangered category Shale Sandstone Transition Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion
as described in the Schedule to this instrument.
Dated this….....4th...................day of…..............December.............. 2014
Minister for the Environment
Shale Sandstone Transition Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion
Shale Sandstone Transition 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 ecological community is found to the west of Sydney, on the edges of the Cumberland Plain, (particularly the southern edge), as well as on the sandstone-dominated Hornsby, Woronora and Lower Blue Mountains plateaux that adjoin the plain.
The vegetation of the ecological community is forest or woodland with an overstorey dominated by various Eucalypt species and an understorey typically comprising of sclerophyll shrubs, grasses and herbs. The structure and composition of vegetation are primarily determined by the transitional geology between Wianamatta shale and Hawkesbury sandstone and vary considerably depending on the degree and the source of shale influence (Wianamatta or Hawkesbury Group or Mittagong Formation).
The canopy is a mix of species typically including two or more of the following: Eucalyptus punctata (grey gum), E. crebra (narrow-leaved ironbark), E. fibrosa subsp. fibrosa (broad-leaved ironbark), E. tereticornis subsp. tereticornis (forest red gum), E. resinifera subsp. resinifera (red mahogany), E. eugenioides (or E. globoidea depending on local species present and degree of sandstone influence) and Angophora bakeri (narrow-leaved apple).
Where present, a small tree stratum is most often dominated by Eucalypt species as well as Allocasuarina littoralis (black she-oak) with Syncarpia glomulifera (turpentine) occurring less frequently in the ecological community.
Where present, the shrub layer is typically well-developed, diverse and dominated by Bursaria spinosa (blackthorn) in areas with low sandstone influence. Other common species include Kunzea ambigua (tick bush), Persoonia linearis (narrow-leaved geebung), Ozothamnus diosmifolius (rice flower, sago bush, white dogwood), Hibbertia aspera (rough guinea flower), Leucopogon juniperinus and Pultenaea villosa.
The ground layer is diverse and dominated by grasses and herbs including Aristida vagans (three-awned spear grass), Austrostipa pubescens (spear grass), Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi (poison rock fern), Dichondra repens (kidney weed), Echinopogon ovatus (forest hedgehog grass), Entolasia marginata (bordered panic), Entolasia stricta (wiry panic), Lepidosperma laterale (saw sedge), Lomandra multiflora, Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (weeping grass), Oxalis perennans (wood-sorrel), Pimelea linifolia subsp. linifolia, Phyllanthus hirtellus, Pomax umbellata, Pratia purpurascens (white root), Solanum prinophyllum (forest nightshade) and Themeda australis (kangaroo grass).
Shale Sandstone Transition Forest contributes substantially to the habitat used by the fauna of the region, including a characteristic avifaunal assemblage of the broader shale-associated grassy woodlands and forests; Saccolaimus flaviventris (yellow-bellied sheathtail bat); Varanus rosenbergii (Rosenberg’s monitor); Pseudophryne bibroni (Bibron’s or Brown toadlet); Pommerhelix duralensis (land snail); and P. corneovirens (Cumberland land snail).