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Blue Mountains Water Skink
Blue Mountains Water Skink
photo: Ian Baird
Threatened and Endangered species
of the Blue Mountains
World Heritage
National Park

Australia is a diverse, unique environment which has come to evolve its own unique flora and fauna many species which are endemic to Australia alone. Since European settlement of Australia just over 200 years ago we have become the leader in the world for species extinction.

A record for me that is as much ghastly as embarrassing. Within this world record of flora and fauna destruction, 27 mammalian species, 4 frog species and 23 bird species are recorded as extinct over this short space of time (Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species LTD).

Copper Butterfly
Copper Butterfly - photo by Robin Murray
click image to see a larger version

In the year 2000 the Greater Blue Mountains National Park was inaugurated into the World Heritage List due to its diverse natural values (Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2012).

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park is home to a diverse array of locally endemic and Nationally Endemic flora and fauna species. With 344 Flora and Fauna species listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park. With 174 of these species classified as vulnerable, 97 endangered and 12 critically endangered.

This threatened species list also includes 10 endangered populations, 33 endangered ecological communities, 2 vulnerable ecological communities and 35 key threatening processes described (Environmental Protection and Regulation Division Department of Environment and Conservation 2006).

This large array of threatened flora and fauna species is a staggering 10% of New South Wales’ threatened species and exemplifies the diversity of the Blue Mountains and its flora and fauna (Blue Mountains City Council).


Consequences of listing a species under the TSC Act and the EPBC Act include that:

Consideration must be given to the species when assessing the impacts of developments and activities, with the aim of minimising adverse impacts; and other actions that are likely to result in the harming or picking of that species or damage to its habitat must be licensed (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation 2005).

The main objectives of the TSC Act are to;



Tiger Quoll
Tiger Quoll - photo by Nakia Belmer
click image to see a larger version
Fauna

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park is home to 440 different species of fauna including 23 classified as declining, 9 as culturally significant and 65 threatened under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Of these 65 threatened species over 10 are classified as endangered, over 40 as vulnerable and 10 already locally extinct (Sydney Catchment Authority and Parks and Wildlife Group of the Department of Environment and Climate Change 2007).


Flora

Over 1500 flora species are described within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park area with over 100 species of Eucalypt which 12 of are found only locally in the Sydney basin. Within this diverse array of endemic flora 30 species are classified as threatened under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 with approximately 20 classified as endangered and approximately 10 classified as vulnerable (Environmental Protection and Regulation Division Department of Environment and Conservation 2006).


Threatened ecological communities

Ecological communities are groups of plants and animals that occur together in a particular area. Any given ecological community may be distinguished from others by its set of characteristic species and the area in which it occurs. Ecological communities are complex, so correct diagnosis often requires specialist advice. The places they occur are typically characterised by a set of environmental conditions which define their suitable habitats. For example, the soil types, landforms and climatic conditions of a particular area (New South Wales Government Environment and Heritage).

Giant Dragonfly
Giant Dragonfly - photo by Ian Baird
click image to see a larger version
What is a threatened ecological community?

The NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) defines an ecological community as ‘an assemblage of species occupying a particular area’. Ecological communities can be listed under the TSC Act as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable, depending on their risk of extinction.

An ecological community may be considered threatened under the Threatened Species Conservation Regulation 2010 for one of three main reasons

Key threatening processes

A key threatening process is defined in the Threatened Species Conservation Act as a process that threatens, or could threaten, the survival or evolutionary development of species, populations or ecological communities (New South Wales Government Environment and Heritage).

Something can be a threatening process if it:

List of key threatening processes

This list shows all currently listed key threatening processes in NSW. There are currently 37 key threatening processes listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.


Criteria and protocol for inclusion as a threatened species in NSW

Threatened species listing criteria

The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 establishes Schedules 1, 1A and 2 as the official list of threatened species, populations and ecological communities. These schedules contain several categories representing the level of threat a species, population or ecological community is facing (New South Wales Government Environment and Heritage).

Species presumed extinct

A species is eligible to be included in this category at a particular time if it has not been recorded in its known or expected habitat in NSW, despite targeted surveys, over a time-frame appropriate to its life cycle and form (New South Wales Government Environment and Heritage).

Critically endangered

A species is eligible to be included in the critically endangered category if it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in NSW in the immediate future. An ecological community is eligible to be included in the critically endangered category if it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in NSW in the immediate future (New South Wales Government Environment and Heritage).

Leucopogon fletcheri ssp fletcheri
Leucopogon fletcheri ssp fletcheri
photo by Robin Murray
click image to see a larger version
Endangered

A species is eligible to be included in the endangered category if

A population is eligible to be included in the endangered category if it is facing a high risk of becoming extinct in nature in NSW and it is of conservation value at the State or regional level for one or more of the following reasons

An ecological community is eligible to be included in the endangered category if

Vulnerable

A species is eligible to be included in the vulnerable category at a particular time if

An ecological community is eligible to be listed in the vulnerable category if

Key threatening processes

A threatening process is eligible to be listed as a key threatening process if

List of known current threatened species, ecological communities and their key threatening processes of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park.

Fauna   -   Flora   -   Ecological Communities   -   Key Threatening Processes


 © 2015  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.