Aquatic macroinvertebrates found in western Sydney
Aquatic macroinvertebrates include insects (beetles, moths, dragonflies), aquatic earthworms, freshwater mussels, snails and limpets, and prawns and crayfish. The 1995-96 Western Sydney Urban Bushland Survey used a combination of all available sources of data to compile a list of 446 species in the western Sydney region. These numbers indicate that the region is rich in macroinvertebrate biodiversity.
Aquatic macroinvertebrates rely on local streams and river systems for their survival. Of the streams on the Cumberland Plain and surrounding region, very few remain in their orginal natural condition. The few that are in their natural condition are vital for conservation. The Hawkesbury-Nepean River, which is a major river system in western Sydney, is important for the conservation of aquatic macroinvertebrates as it supports some unique dragonflies and many mussel species.
Habitat profile: Blaxland Creek
Blaxland Creek, on Department of Defence land near Penrith, is probably the last near-pristine freshwater stream in the Cumberland Plain. Conservation efforts will be vital in ensuring that freshwater streams with their specialised aquatic species are protected. Blaxland Creek, because it has been relatively untouched by development, can be used not only as a touchstone for understanding the biodiversity of other freshwater streams on the Cumberland Plain but as a way of reintroducing native species to other streams.
Page last updated: 03 May 2011