Blue Mountains Swamps in the Sydney Basin Bioregion

Justification for allocation to this management stream

This is a threatened ecological community.

Management areas and sites across NSW

Critical actions for this ecological community

The key threats to the viability of landscape-managed ecological communities are loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, and widespread pervasive factors such as impacts of climate change. Many of these threats are addressed by NSW planning, native vegetation, and biodiversity legislation, policy and programs including the offsets program (BioBanking, NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects), Biodiversity Certification, management of environmental water and reservation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Threats to this ecological community are outlined here.

The actions listed in the action toolbox are supplementary to NSW legislation, policy and programs and can be used by stakeholders, where applicable to guide management at a site, regional or state scale.

Action toolbox

Action DescriptionScale
Liaise with land managers to minimise habitat degradation. Implement appropriate water sensitive urban design to reduce impacts of urban runoff on this threatened ecological community and implement best practice stormwater and soil conservation principles and practices (e.g. identify problem stormwater input locations (to swamps), install stormwater treatment trains and maintain (including regular clearing) sediment traps etc). Implement weed control and buffer re-establishment programs. Area
Undertake rehabilitation and restoration works where required to repair damage such as sedimentation, erosion and weed invasion. Site
Rehabilitate and manage access to tracks (including vehicle and pedestrian) that impact on this community. Take all practical steps (such as track rerouting or closure) to prevent vehicle access to this threatened ecological community. Site
Undertake community education about choice of pesticide, method of application and compliance with pesticide use regulations (as outlined on labels on bottles) within or adjacent to swamp vegetation, particularly where enforceable control of priority weeds is required under the Biosecurity Act. Target education to domestic landholders. Area
Liaise with relevant land managers to manage fire trails and unsealed roads adjacent to and in the upstream catchments of these swamps to reduce sedimentation impacts on this threatened ecological community. Avoid unnecessary disturbance of such track surfaces and where feasible seal unsealed roads (or parts thereof where runoff will flow towards wetlands) where other options are unavailable to prevent further sedimentation of swamps. Implement appropriate sediment controls on water diversions to ensure flows are maintained but sediment loads are kept as low as possible. Site
Liaise with Water NSW to ensure that all bores and harvested springs within the Blue Mountains local government area are mapped, licensed and have meters installed to measure water use. Area
Liaise with relevant landholders at freehold sites containing this threatened ecological community about its ecological significance and sensitivity to disturbance. Negotiate management agreements (preferably in-perpetuity covenants) and provide incentives to promote best practice management if/where appropriate. Site
Consult with the Rural Fire Service and/or National Parks and Wildlife Service and Blue Mountains City Council to ensure that prescribed burning and mechanical hazard reduction including the installation and maintenance of Asset Protection Zones (APZs) are conducted with minimal impact on swamp habitat, e.g. no vehicles in swamps, maintain buffers around swamps, selective shrub removal rather than trittering if APZ encroaches into swamp vegetation. Ensure land managers are also responsible for controlling weeds in areas adjoining or near swamps where Hazard Reduction activities have been undertaken (e.g. post-fire recruitment of obligate seeding weeds such as Broom and Gorse), including mechanical fuel reduction (e.g. slashing) where such activities promote weed establishment or disperse weed propagules. Area
Avoid frequent (less than 15 years) or intense fires impacting this threatened ecological community. Encourage land managers (Rural Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service) with responsibility for Hazard Reduction and broad-scale Strategic Fire Advantage Zones (in particular) to avoid intentionally igniting swamps or causing ignition adjacent to swamps, wherever possible, unless for scientifically justified, ecological purposes. Ensure, wherever possible during Strategic Fire Advantage Zone burns and wildfire emergency back-burning operations, that helicopter-delivered aerial incendiaries are not dropped on or near swamps and that appropriate protocols are established. State
Identify swamps that are likely to have the greatest resilience to climate change impacts in order to prioritise these for protection. These are likely to be larger, wetter more connected swamp systems. Site
Monitor, prevent and respond to identified vertebrate pest incursions by pigs and Sambar Deer working in collaboration with Greater Sydney Local Land Service, Central Tablelands Local Land Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Lithgow City Council and Blue Mountains City Council. Potential avenues onto the escarpment need to be identified and monitored via remote cameras so that these species do not get the opportunity to establish on the Blue Mountains Plateau, in the swamps and adjacent bushland. Area
Conduct targeted research on the groundwater hydrology of peat swamps and perched aquifers to assess the cumulative impact of water extraction on this threatened ecological community to inform future water management. Area

How will this ecological community be managed?

Key management sites for this ecological community are being identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage and other program partners, where feasible, cost-effective and beneficial to the ecological community. Currently, 1 management site has been identified for this ecological community.

Management sites

Click on column headers to sort
Site nameSite typeStatusLocal government area (LGA)
Blue Mountains Priority Management SiteProposed Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow 

Are you or is someone you know doing conservation work for this ecological community or in this area?

Contact us to tell us about the work. Your input will help OEH evaluate the status of threatened ecological communities and provide a broader picture of conservation work across NSW.