Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

NSW 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 Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the determination of the Scientific Committee under Division 5 Part 2) and as a consequence to omit reference to the Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published in the NSW Government Gazette No. 201 dated 1 November 2002 (pages 9359 and 9360) and in the NSW Government Gazette No. 210 dated 8 November 2002 (pages 9561 to 9562). 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. The Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest is the name given to the ecological community that occurs on basaltic soils (on Milton Monzonite), deep alluvium and soils of the Conjola Formation enriched by monzonite in the Milton Ulladulla area (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion sensu Thackway and Cresswell 1995) and is characterised by the following assemblage of species

 

Acmena smithii

Adiantum flabellifolium

Alectryon subcinereus

Aphanopetalum resinosum

Arthropteris tenella

Baloghia inophylla

Breynia oblongifolia

Cissus antarctica

Cissus hypoglauca

Citriobatus pauciflorus

Clayoxylon australe

Dendrocnide excelsa

Diospyros australis

Doodia aspera

Eustrephus latifolius

Ficus spp.

Geitonoplesium cymosum

Gymnostachys anceps

Legnephora moorei

Malaisia scandens

Marsdenia rostrata

Notelaea venosa

Oplismenus imbecillus

Pandorea pandorana

Pellaea falcata

Pittosporum undulatum

Plectranthus parviflorus

Sarcopetalum harveyanum

Smilax australis

Stephania japonica

Streblus brunonianus

Syzygium australe

Toona ciliata

 

2. The total species list of the community is considerably larger than that given above, with many species present in only one or two sites or in very small quantity. The species composition of a site will be influenced by the size of the site, recent rainfall or drought condition and by its disturbance (including fire) history. The number of species, and the above ground relative abundance of species will change with time since fire, and may also change in response to changes in fire regime (including changes in fire frequency). At any one time, above ground individuals of some species may be absent, but the species may be represented below ground in the soil seed banks or as dormant structures such as bulbs, corms, rhizomes, rootstocks or lignotubers. The list of species given above is of vascular plant species, the community also includes micro-organisms, fungi, cryptogamic plants and a diverse fauna, both vertebrate and invertebrate. These components of the community are poorly documented.

 

3. The structure of Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest is dense forest up to 15 m high with an emergent tree layer to over 25 m often present. Characteristic tree species in the Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest include Clayoxylon australe, Acmena smithii, Dendrocnide excelsa, Ficus species, Syzygium australe, Streblus brunonianus, Baloghia inophylla and Toona ciliata (K. Mills pers. comm.). There is generally a sparse shrub layer and ground cover with a diverse mix of lianas, vines, and ferns, or if disturbed there are components of indigenous native species sufficient to facilitate the restoration of the characteristic habitat.

 

4. The name Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest is an appropriate description for rainforest in the Milton-Ulladulla area. In a broader context the rainforests in the area fall into both subtropical (suballiance 14) and dry rainforest (suballiance 23) in Floyd’s 1990 classification (Floyd, A.G. 1990. Australian rainforests in New South Wales Vols. 1 and 2. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton).

 

5. Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest provides habitat for several threatened species including the Powerful Owl, Ninox strenua and the Grey-headed Flying Fox, Pteropus poliocephalus. The community contains many “subtropical” rainforest plant species that are found no further to the south, and are rare on the South Coast (K. Mills pers. comm.)

 

6. Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest has been recorded from the local government area of Shoalhaven (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion) and may occur elsewhere in the Bioregion. Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).

 

7. Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest occurs in one conservation reserve, Yatteyattah Nature Reserve.

 

8. Large areas of Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest have been cleared leaving remnants that are small and fragmented and surrounded by agricultural land. Remnant rainforest in this region has been found to suffer from edge effects, associated with grazing, light intrusion, wind and weed invasion. Other threats include urban developments, cutting of trees for firewood, fires, rubbish dumping, road widening and utility easements.

 

9. In view of the above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion is likely to become extinct in nature in NSW unless circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease.

 

Dr Richard Major

Chairperson

Scientific Committee

 

Proposed Gazettal date: 14/10/11

Exibition period: 14/10/11 - 9/12/11

 

Note this ecological community was originally listed in 2002 as indicated in the determination

 

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: 14 October 2011