The Vertebrate Fauna of Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve

Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve lies on the western edge of the Blue Mountains and forms a critical part of the reserve system in NSW. It is contiguous with over one million hectares of wilderness of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area - a globally important conservation area.

The reserve is special due to its spectacular and complex network of limestone caves. Many thousands of bats reside in the cave system and there are at least two important roost sites for the threatened eastern bentwing-bat. Several other threatened species also make use of the caves, including sooty owls, brush-tailed rock-wallabies and spotted-tailed quolls. In the case of sooty owls there is sub-fossil evidence that cave use goes back 20,000 years. These deposits provide a remarkable record of sooty owl diets in the past, giving insight into ecosystem changes over time. There are few other places in Australia that offer such insights.

Outside the caves, the surrounding forests and woodlands of the reserve are also home to an impressive array of wildlife. Some 235 native terrestrial vertebrate fauna species have been recorded. Of these 35 are recognised as threatened species - a remarkable number given the small size of the reserve. In addition 13 introduced species are known from the reserve.

This report presents the current knowledge on the vertebrate fauna of the reserve. It summarises the findings of a systematic fauna survey carried out in 2011. The report is intended to guide the management of native vertebrate fauna across the reserve. Threats to fauna have been identified and ranked in order of priority and mitigating actions have also been listed and ranked. Cave-dwelling fauna have been given special attention in a stand-alone section at the end of the report.

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Page last updated: 17 March 2014