McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest in the Nandewar and New England Tableland Bioregions - Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 (Endangered ecological communities) of the Act by inserting the McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest in the Nandewar and New England Tableland Bioregions (as described in the determination of the Scientific Committee under Division 5 Part 2) and as a consequence to omit reference to the McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest in the Nandewar and New England Tableland Bioregions (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published on pages 591 to 594 in the NSW Government Gazette No. 37 dated 9 February 2001. Minor amendments to the Schedules are provided for by Division 5 of Part 2 of the Act.

 

The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the amendment is necessary or desirable to correct minor errors or omissions in the Determination in relation to the Thackway and Cresswell (1995) reference.

 

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest is the name given to the plant community that is characterised by the following assemblage of species:

 

Acacia buxifolia

Acacia filicifolia

Acacia neriifolia

Angophora floribunda

Austrodanthonia eriantha

Austrostipa rudis

Brachyloma daphnoides subsp. glabrum

Callitris endlicheri

Calotis cuneifolia

Cassinia uncata

Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi

Clematis glycinoides

Desmodium varians

Dianella revoluta

Dichondra repens

Digitaria breviglumis

Echinopogon caespitosus

Echinopogon ovatus

Eucalyptus andrewsii

Eucalyptus banksii

Eucalyptus crebra

Eucalyptus mckieana

Eucalyptus melliodora

Eucalyptus stannicola

Euchiton sphaericus

Gahnia aspera

Galium gaudichaudii

Glycine clandestina

Hardenbergia violacea

Hibbertia acicularis

Hibbertia obtusifolia

Hybanthus monopetalus

Hypericum gramineum

Imperata cylindrica

Indigofera australis

Lagenifera stipitata

Lepidosperma laterale

Leptospermum brevipes

Leucopogon biflorus

Leucopogon lanceolatus

Leucopogon muticus

Lissanthe strigosa

Melichrus urceolatus

Microlaena stipoides

Monotoca scoparia

Myoporum montanum

Olearia elliptica

Opercularia aspera

Persoonia cornifolia

Pomaderris angustifolia

Pomax umbellata

Poranthera microphylla

Pteridium esculentum

Styphelia triflora

Vernonia cinerea

Veronica calycina

Viola betonicifolia

 

2. The total species list of the community is considerably larger than that given in 1 (above), with many species present in only one or two sites or in very small quantity. In any particular site not all of the assemblage listed in 1 may be present. At any one time, seeds of some species may only be present in the soil seed bank with no above-ground individuals present. The species composition of the site will be influenced by the size of the site, local conditions (eg. topography & rainfall) and by its recent disturbance history. The number of species and the above-ground composition of species will change with time since fire, and may also change in response to changes in fire frequency.

 

3. Characteristic tree species include Eucalyptus andrewsii, E. mckieana and Callitris endlicheri. The community is found on lateritic soils in low lying areas on hill slopes and open depressions.

 

4. The McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest Community has a restricted distribution occurring between Clayton Chase in the north and areas south of Gilgai. It is currently known from Inverell LGA, but may occur in Guyra and Uralla and possibly other LGAs. These areas are included in the Nandewar and New England Tableland Bioregions. Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).

 

5. The vegetation over much of the area supporting this community is severely fragmented. Many examples of the community occur on private property although small patches occur in Kings Plains National Park (J.T. Hunter 1999, Vegetation and floristics of Kings Plains National Park, Unpublished report to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service) and on the boundary of Severn River Nature Reserve.

 

6. Many current stands of the McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest Community exist as narrow remnants on roadsides and travelling stock routes. These remnants occur as narrow linear patches, and are subject to weed invasion and the possibility of being further reduced by road widening. Weeds occur throughout the community. Other substantial stands are fragmented as a result of fenceline and trail clearing. Clearing and fragmentation are continuing threats as a result of further subdivision, fenceline and trail work and maintenance of paddocks. Selective logging has occurred in some northern stands.

 

7. In view of the size and fragmented nature of existing remnants, the continuing threat of further fragmentation, clearing and other threatening processes, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the McKies Stringybark/Blackbutt Open Forest in the Nandewar and New England Tableland Bioregions is likely to become extinct in nature in New South Wales unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate and is eligible for listing as an endangered ecological community.

 

 

Dr Richard Major

Chairperson

Scientific Committee

 

Proposed Gazettal date: 02/12/11

Exhibition period: 02/12/11 – 03/02/12

 

Reference:

 

Thackway R, Cresswell ID (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia: a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program. (Version 4.0. Australian Nature Conservation Agency: Canberra.)

Page last updated: 02 December 2011