The vertebrate fauna of the Nattai and Bargo reserves


The Nattai and Bargo Reserves study area covers over 80,000 hectares of a prominent sandstone tableland dissected by dramatic gorges and valleys. The study area includes Nattai National Park, Nattai State Conservation Area, Bargo State Conservation Area (and recent extensions) and the Bargo River crown lands.

This report collates and summarises documented information known on the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of the area, and presents the results of extensive surveys completed over the last few years. There have been 195 systematic fauna surveys in the study area, sampling diurnal and nocturnal birds, reptiles, frogs, arboreal and ground mammals and bats. This has been supplemented by many hours searching and recording fauna during field traverses and targeted habitat searches.

The Nattai and Bargo reserves contain fauna species and assemblages that are typical of the sandstone plateaux of the Sydney region. However:

  • There are subtle indications that the fauna found in the drier and cooler climates of the Nattai Tableland are more closely aligned to the Lower Blue Mountains than they are to the Woronora Plateau.
  • The broad rainshadow valley adjoining the Wollondilly River supports groups of species that are not found in sandstone habitats. The species of this valley are more typical of the fauna found on the NSW western slopes. The bird assemblages are of particularly high conservation value, with eight threatened bird species recorded. These are the regent and black-chinned honeyeaters, diamond firetail, turquoise and swift parrots, hooded robin, speckled warbler and brown treecreeper.

In addition, the surveys found:

  • a previously unknown population of brush-tailed rock-wallabies in the Bullio portion of Nattai National Park
  • a previously unknown population of koalas within and adjoining southern Nattai National Park near High Range
  • a total of 286 species, with 187 birds, 34 reptiles, 14 frogs, 17 bats, seven arboreal mammals and 27 ground mammals recorded
  • dingo and emu populations persisting in the Burragorang Valley
  • two threatened frog species - the red-crowned toadlet and giant burrowing frog - in the reserves for the first time
  • 11 species of introduced mammal, with rabbits, pigs and foxes the most regularly reported
  • six species of introduced bird, with the common starling being the most prevalent.

Good numbers of several threatened species, including the yellow-bellied glider, powerful owl, glossy black-cockatoo, sooty owl, eastern bent-wing bat and large-eared pied bat, were also found. Other threatened species recorded include the masked owl, eastern freetail bat, large-footed myotis and spotted-tailed quoll. The report concluded that a number of threatened species are highly likely to occur, since records have been confirmed from adjoining areas and suitable habitat is present in the reserves.

All the records collected during the survey have been entered into the Atlas of NSW Wildlife, which can be accessed by park management staff and members of the public.


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The format and structure of this publication may have been adapted for web delivery.

Page last updated: 19 March 2014