The Vertebrate Fauna of Southern Yengo National Park and Parr State Conservation Area

Overview

Southern Yengo National Park and Parr State Conservation Area together comprise approximately 155 000 hectares of land primarily within the catchments of the Macdonald River and Webbs Creek, north of the Sydney metropolitan area. This report compiles Atlas of NSW Wildlife data on the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of these reserves and documents the extensive systematic surveys undertaken by the Department of Environment and Climate Change between 1997 and 2007. A total of 290 systematic survey sites have sampled birds, frogs, reptiles, bats, arboreal and terrestrial mammals. This is the first time that a thorough inventory of all vertebrate fauna within the southern Yengo and Parr reserves has been compiled. The project has contributed greatly to knowledge of the current composition and distribution of wildlife across the study area, identified numerous threatened species, and improved the understanding of conservation management priorities. Some of the key findings are summarised below.

  • Two hundred and fifty-three (253) species of native terrestrial vertebrate fauna are known to inhabit the southern Yengo and Parr reserves. This is made up of 19 frogs, 45 reptiles, 139 native diurnal birds, eight nocturnal birds and 42 native mammals. In addition, the Dingo, 10 feral introduced mammals and one introduced bird species have been detected.
  • Of the 30 threatened fauna species confirmed to occur in the southern Yengo and Parr reserves, the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby is considered to be the highest priority for conservation management. A further fifteen threatened species are considered a high priority for conservation management being the Regent Honeyeater, Grey-crowned Babbler, Speckled Warbler, Squirrel Glider, Brown Treecreeper (eastern subspecies), Broad-headed Snake, Black-chinned Honeyeater (eastern subspecies), Masked Owl, Turquoise Parrot, Barking Owl, Grey-headed Flying-fox, Koala, East-coast Freetail-bat, Black Bittern and Brush-tailed Phascogale. The last species was identified in the reserves for the first time during the 2006-07 surveys.
  • Four high conservation priority fauna habitats have been identified: Grassy Alluvial Forests and Woodlands; Coastal River Oak or Swamp Mahogany Forests; Ironbark Forests; and Mellong Swamps Woodlands. Directing resources to management of these habitats will confer maximum benefit to threatened fauna in the reserves. A number of threatening processes continue to operate within the Grassy Alluvial Forests and Woodlands, in particular, which should be the focus of key management actions.
  • A number of threatened species were found to be widespread and relatively abundant in the reserves including Red-crowned Toadlet, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Glossy Black-cockatoo and Yellow-bellied Glider. At this stage these species do not require targeted management actions. The eastern and southern sections of the study area support a large number of Koalas and include some of the largest expanses of protected habitat for this species in the northern half of the Sydney Basin. The study area and adjacent land to the east and west is likely to play a critical role in the regional conservation of the Koala.
  • Pest species are widespread across the southern Yengo and Parr reserves, with the Fox and Wild Dog being the most commonly recorded. Foxes were more frequently recorded in Parr SCA, with records from southern Yengo concentrated towards the perimeters of the park. Importantly, Foxes have not been recorded to date between the Macdonald River and Timor Creek, where much of the Grassy Alluvial Forests and Woodlands high priority fauna habitat occurs. Feral Goat, Feral Deer and Common Starling are currently only limited in extent in the study area, but have the potential to have significant impacts on native fauna in the future if not actively managed.
  • The composition of the vertebrate fauna is largely typical of Sydney Basin hinterland sandstone plateau. However, the proximity of the south-eastern corner of the study area to the coast, and of the northern end of the study area to the drier environments of the Hunter Valley translates to the occurrence of a few additional fauna species that are more typical of those regions. Examples include the coastal Little Bentwing-bat and the inland Southern Freetail-bat (long penis form).

This project has identified key areas for threat abatement, set priorities for future land acquisition, suggested focus areas for community awareness and involvement, and provided key recommendations for further targeted survey and monitoring. The data collected for this project will later be used to model habitat for threatened species across the region.


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Page last updated: 17 March 2014