Ecological communities provide natural management of clean air, water, provide nutrients for the soil, protection against erosion and salinity and a healthy environment for the group’s species.
An ecological community is threatened when it is at risk of extinction. This can occur because of a significant reduction in its distribution across regions or a decline in ecological function.
The decline can occur if there is a change in community structure or composition, disruption of ecological processes, invasion by exotic species, or habitat degradation or fragmentation.
Managing threatened ecological communities well helps us protect the environment with a large-scale or landscape-based approach to biological processes.
Agnes Banks Woodlands
The Agnes Banks Woodlands ecological community in the Sydney Basin is listed as critically endangered by the NSW Scientific Committee.
The woodlands originally extended over about 615 hectares, but now has only 98 hectares remaining intact, mostly near Agnes Banks on the east bank of the Hawkesbury River, in the Penrith local government area.
The main threat to the community is further clearing or burn-off for sand mining or rural development. Impacts include:
- altered soil and water levels
- weed invasion
- damage to community diversity
An ecological community may be listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 depending on the level of threat and risk of its collapse.