Brown Barrel - Ribbon Gum - Messmate Wet Grassy Forest in the NSW North Coast and New England Tableland Bioregions - rejection of ecological community listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to REJECT a proposal to list the Brown Barrel – Ribbon Gum – Messmate Wet Grassy Forest in the NSW North Coast and New England Tableland Bioregions, as an ENDANGERED ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY in Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Act. Rejection of nominations is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

 

The Scientific Committee has found that:

 

1. Brown Barrel – Ribbon Gum – Messmate Wet Grassy Forest in the NSW North Coast and New England Tableland Bioregions is a component of the grassy Brown Barrel forest assemblage identified in Kendall & Snelson’s (2009) floristic analysis of forests in north-eastern New South Wales. It differs from Kendall & Snelson’s (2009) shrubby Brown Barrel forest assemblage by having a sparser and less diverse shrub stratum, a more continuous and diverse grassy ground stratum and a distribution that extends well beyond the Barrington Plateau. Within the classification of forest ecosystems of north-east New South Wales (NPWS 1999), the community most closely resembles ‘High Elevation Messmate Brown Barrel’ (Forest Ecosystem 68), but also has some affinities with ‘Brown Barrel’ (Forest Ecosystem 14) and ‘Brown Barrel – Gum’ (Forest Ecosystem 15). Brown Barrel Wet Grassy Forest belongs to the Northern Tablelands Wet Sclerophyll Forests vegetation class of Keith (2004).

 

2. Following the exhibition of a Preliminary Determination in May 2009 to support a proposal to list Brown Barrel – Ribbon Gum – Messmate Wet Grassy Forest in the NSW North Coast and New England Tableland Bioregions as an Endangered Ecological Community, further information on the circumscription of this ecological community has been received. This necessitated a re-examination and re-analysis of the community. In the light of this analysis, the Committee has determined that there is currently insufficient evidence to draw a conclusion about the circumscription, and consequently the status, of Brown Barrel – Ribbon Gum – Messmate Wet Grassy Forest in the NSW North Coast and New England Tableland Bioregions. There is a possibility that such an assemblage may exist and may otherwise meet the criteria for listing under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 but until further data are available, no conclusion about the status of this community can be made.

 

3. In view of the above, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Brown Barrel – Ribbon Gum – Messmate Wet Grassy Forest in the NSW North Coast and New England Tableland Bioregions is not eligible to be listed as an Endangered Ecological Community in Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Act .

 

Associate Professor Michelle Leishman

Chairperson

Scientific Committee

 

Proposed Gazettal date: 04/05/12

Exhibition period: 04/05/12 - 29/06/12

 

References

 

Keith DA (2004) ‘Ocean shores to desert dunes: the native vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT.’ NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Sydney.

 

Kendall P, Snelson B (2009) The role of floristic survey data and quantitative analysis in identification and description of ecological communities under threatened species legislation: a case study from north-east New South Wales. Ecological Management and Restoration 10, S16-S27.

 

NPWS (1999) Forest ecosystem classification and mapping for the upper and lower north east Comprehensive Regional Assessment. Report to Resource and Conservation Division, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, Sydney.

 

Page last updated: 04 May 2012