Nature conservation

Threatened species

Illawarra Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - profile

Indicative distribution

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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: Illawarra Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 01 Nov 2002
Profile last updated: 23 Mar 2022


Illawarra Subtropical Rainforest (ISR) is a rainforest community that occupies high nutrient soils in the Illawarra region, south of Sydney. Characteristic tree species include Baloghia inophylla (Brush Bloodwood), Brachychiton acerifolius (Flame Tree), Dendrocnide excelsa (Giant Stinging Tree), Diploglottis australis (Native Tamarind), Ficus spp., Pennantia cunninghamii (Brown Beech), and Toona ciliata (Red Cedar). Species of Eucalyptus, Syncarpia and Acacia may also be present as emergents or incorporated into the dense canopy. While rainforest canopies are generally closed, in highly disturbed stands the canopy of ISR may be irregular and open. The height of the canopy varies considerably, and structurally some stands of ISR are scrub.


Recorded from the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Kiama, but may occur elsewhere in the Sydney Basin Bioregion. The main occurrences of ISR are located between Albion Park and Gerringong (referred to as the Illawarra Brush in Mills & Jakeman 1995) and on the Berkeley Hills north of Lake Illawarra (referred to as the Berkeley Brush in Mills & Jakeman 1995). Outlying occurrences extend south to the Shoalhaven River and west into the Kangaroo Valley.

Habitat and ecology

  • Occupies the Illawarra coastal plain and escarpment foothills, rarely extending onto the upper escarpment slopes.
  • Usually found on Permian volcanic rocks, but can occur on a range of rock types.

Regional distribution and habitat

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None