Nature conservation

Threatened species

Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Critically Endangered
Gazetted date: 06 Oct 2000
Profile last updated: 19 Oct 2017


Characteristic tree species of this ecological community are Mountain Blue Gum (Eucalyptus deanei), Monkey Gum (E. cypellocarpa) and Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera). Other tree species include Sydney Red Gum (Angophora costata), Rough-barked Apple (A. floribunda), Mountain Mahogany (E. notabilis), Sydney Peppermint (E. piperita) and Grey Gum (E. punctata). Tree species composition varies between sites depending on geographical location and local conditions (e.g. topography, rainfall exposure).


Known from the local government areas of Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury, both within the Sydney Basin Bioregion. It may occur elsewhere in the Bioregion, and communities within Wollondilly LGA certainly show similarities to this community.

Habitat and ecology

  • Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest is found on deep fertile soils formed on Wianamatta Shale, on moist sheltered sites at lower to middle altitudes of the Blue Mountains and Wollemi areas. Extensive occurrences of shale are at Springwood, Berambing to Kurrajong Heights, Mountain Lagoon and Colo Heights.
  • Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest includes vegetation that is part of Map Unit 9a Shale Cap Forest of the Royal Botanic Gardens' 1:100 000 vegetation maps and vegetation that is part of Smith and Smith's Eucalyptus deanei–Syncarpia glomulifera Tall Open Forest .
  • Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest is a rich habitat for fauna, supporting greater numbers and a greater diversity of mammals and birds than the typical lower, drier eucalypt forests and woodlands of the Blue Mountains. The Eucalyptus deanei trees are a major provider of nest hollows for owls, parrots, gliders and other hollow dependent fauna including the threatened species Powerful Owl and Glossy Black-Cockatoo.
  • Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest has been extensively cleared for agricultural and urban development and is poorly represented in Blue Mountains and Wollemi National Parks.
  • The structure of the community was originally tall open forest to open forest, depending on site conditions and history, but as a result of partial clearance may now exist as woodland or as groups of remnant trees.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None