Western Sydney Dry 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 Western Sydney Dry 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 Western Sydney Dry Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published on pages 2301 to 2305 in the NSW Government Gazette No. 39 dated 24 March 2000. 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 Western Sydney Dry Rainforest (WSDR) is the name given to the plant community from the local government areas of Camden, Wollondilly, Fairfield, Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion sensu Thackway and Cresswell 1995) that is characterised by the following assemblage of species:


Abutilon oxycarpum

Acacia elata

Acacia implexa

Acacia maidenii

Acacia parramattensis

Acacia penninervis

Adiantum aethiopicum

Allocasuarina torulosa

Alphitonia excelsa

Aphanopetalum resinosum

Arthropodium milleflorum

Asplenium flabellifolium

Austrostipa ramosissima

Backhousia myrtifolia

Brachychiton populneus

Breynia oblongifolia

Brunoniella australis

Bursaria spinosa

Callistemon salignus

Carex declinata

Carex inversa

Carex longebrachiata

Cassine australis var. australis

Cayratia clematidea

Celastrus australis

Cheilanthes distans

Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi

Chloris truncata

Chloris ventricosa

Cissus antarctica

Citriobatus pauciflorus

Claoxylon australe

Clematis aristata

Clematis glycinoides var. glycinoides

Clerodendrum tomentosum

Commelina cyanea

Convolvulus erubescens

Corymbia maculata

Croton verreauxii

Cymbopogon refractus

Cynanchum elegans

Cyperus enervis

Cyperus gracilis

Cyperus imbecillis

Cyperus laevis

Danthonia racemosa var. racemosa

Deeringia amaranthoides

Desmodium brachypodum

Desmodium varians

Dianella longifolia

Dichondra repens

Diospyros australis

Doodia aspera

Doodia caudata var. caudata

Echinopogon caespitosus var. caespitosus

Echinopogon ovatus

Ehretia acuminata

Einadia hastata

Einadia nutans subsp. nutans

Einadia trigonos subsp. trigonos

Entolasia marginata

Entolasia stricta

Eragrostis leptostachya

Eucalyptus crebra

Eucalyptus moluccana

Eucalyptus pilularis

Eucalyptus quadrangulata

Eucalyptus tereticornis

Eustrephus latifolius

Exocarpos cupressiformis

Ficus rubiginosa

Galium binifolium

Galium migrans

Galium propinquum

Geijera latifolia

Geitonoplesium cymosum

Geranium homeanum

Geranium solanderi var. solanderi

Glycine clandestina

Glycine sp.A

Glycine tabacina

Gnaphalium sphaericum

Guioa semiglauca

Hardenbergia violacea

Hydrocotyle tripartita

Hymenanthera dentata

Imperata cylindrica var. major

Juncus usitatus

Kennedia rubicunda

Legnephora moorei

Leucopogon juniperinus

Maclura cochinchinensis

Marsdenia flavescens

Marsdenia rostrata

Marsdenia viridiflora

Melaleuca styphelioides

Melia azedarach var. australasica

Melicope micrococca

Mentha satureioides

Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides

Morinda jasminoides

Notelaea longifolia forma longifolia

Notelaea venosa

Nyssanthes erecta

Olearia viscidula

Omalanthus populifolius

Omalanthus stillingiifolius

Oplismenus aemulus

Oplismenus imbecillis

Oxalis perennans

Pandorea pandorana

Parsonsia straminea

Paspalidium criniforme

Passiflora herbertiana subsp. herbertiana

Pellaea falcata var. falcata

Persoonia linearis

Phyllanthus gasstroemii

Phyllanthus gunnii

Pittosporum revolutum

Plantago debilis

Plectranthus parviflorus

Poa affinis

Poa labillardieri

Polyscias sambucifolia subsp. A

Pratia purpurascens

Pseuderanthemum variabile

Psychotria loniceroides

Pteridium esculentum

Pteris tremula

Pyrrosia rupestris

Rapanea variabilis

Ripogonum album

Rubus parvifolius

Rubus ulmifolius

Rumex brownii

Sarcopetalum harveyanum

Scutellaria humilis

Senecio hispidulus var. hispidulus

Senecio linearifolius

Senecio quadridentatus

Senna clavigera

Sicyos australis

Sigesbeckia orientalis subsp. orientalis

Smilax glyciphylla

Solanum brownii

Solanum prinophyllum

Solanum pungetium

Solanum stelligerum

Stellaria flaccida

Stenocarpus salignus

Stephania japonica var. discolor

Streblus brunonianus

Stypandra glauca

Syncarpia glomulifera

Toona ciliata

Trema aspera

Tylophora barbata

Urtica incisa

Wahlenbergia gracilis


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 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. WSDR has been recorded from the local government areas of Camden, principally near Cobbitty, Fairfield (Fairfield City Farm) and Wollondilly (Razorback Range), Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion). Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).


4. WSDR is typically associated with gullies and sheltered slopes of hilly, relatively steep sections of the generally elevated Cumberland Plain in the Razorback Range from Cobbitty to Picton, and sporadically elsewhere in Western Sydney including Fairfield City Farm, Grose Vale and Cattai. Soils are clay soils on Wianamatta Shale.


5. The structure of the community was originally a canopy of dry vine thicket rainforest as a similar understorey in eucalypt forest or woodland, but as a result of partial clearance it may now exist as woodland or shrubland.


6. WSDR includes vegetation described by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) – referred to as Dry Rainforest in UBBS (1997); referred to as Vine Thicket in Benson & Howell (1990); referred to as Dry Rainforest in Benson, Howell & McDougall (1996) and James, McDougall & Benson (1999). The vegetation was also referred to as Cobbitty Vine Thicket and is included in the Camden Significant Tree and Vegetated Landscape Study.


7. Significant species for WSDR listed by NPWS (1997) include: Cynanchum elegans, Croton verreauxii, Streblus brunonianus, Legnephore moorei, Deeringia amaranthoides, Diospyros australis, Celastrus australis, Geijera latifolia, Solanum stelligerum, Maclura cochinchinensis, Aphanopetalum resinosum and Senna clavigera.


8. Sites where WSDR remnants are found are less than 2 ha. in area and are mostly located on private property. An occurrence of WSDR is known from Cattai National Park.


9. Occurrences of WSDR have been reduced to tiny remnants by clearing. The remnants are subject to disturbance and edge effects as a consequence of small size and threatened by woody weed invasion particularly by African Olive Olea europea subsp africana.


10. In view of the small size of existing remnants, the threat of further clearing and disturbance, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Western Sydney Dry Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion is likely to become extinct in nature unless factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate and that listing as an endangered ecological community is warranted.



Dr Richard Major


Scientific Committee


Proposed Gazettal date: 14/10/11

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


Note this ecological community was originally listed in 2000 as indicated in the determination




Benson, D and Howell, J. (1990) Taken for Granted; The Bushland of Sydney and its Suburbs. (Kangaroo Press: Kenthurst).


Benson, D., Howell, J. and McDougall, L (1996) A Guide to Natural Vegetation in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment. (Royal Botanic Gardens: Sydney).


National Parks & Wildlife Service (1997), Urban Bushland Biodiversity Survey of Western Sydney. (National Parks and Wildlife Service: Sydney).


James, T. McDougall, L & Benson, D. (1999) Rare Bushland Plants of Western Sydney (Royal Botanic Gardens: Sydney).


Landarc Landscape Architects (1993) Camden Significant Tree and Vegetated Landscape Study (Camden Municipal Council).


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