Nature conservation

Threatened species

Moist Shale Woodland 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: Moist Shale Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Critically Endangered
Gazetted date: 19 Apr 2002
Profile last updated: 26 Oct 2020


Similar to Cumberland Plain Woodland. It differs in having a shrub understorey that contains plants from moist habitats. Dominant canopy trees include Forest Red Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis, Grey Box E. moluccana, Narrow-leaved Ironbark E. crebra and Spotted Gum Corymbia maculata. Small trees, such as Hickory Wattle Acacia implexa and Sydney Green Wattle A. parramattensis subsp. parramattensis are also common. The shrub layer includes Breynia oblongifolia, Hairy Clerodendrum Clerodendrum tomentosum and Indian Weed Siegesbeckia orientalis subsp. orientalis. Contains many more species and other references should be consulted to identify these. This community is listed as Critically Endangered under the "Western Sydney Dry Rainforest and Moist Woodland on Shale" in the EPBC Act.


Moist Shale Woodland usually occurs on soils derived from Wianamatta Shale on high country in the southern half of the Cumberland Plain, and occurs mainly in Wollondilly local government area. Also occurs in smaller amounts further north in the Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool and Penrith local government areas. There are 604 ha remaining intact. A small remnant can be seen in Western Sydney Regional Park.

Habitat and ecology

  • Mainly occurs in the hilly country with higher elevations where there is increased rainfall.
  • Occurs on clay soils derived from Wianamatta shale and is intermediate between Cumberland Plain Woodland on drier sites and Western Sydney Dry Rainforest on wetter sites.
  • Understorey shrubs in moist habitats are sensitive to fire and would be lost from the community with frequent fire.
  • The shrubs and trees of Moist Shale Woodland provide excellent habitat for birds and insects, and provide ideal nesting hollows for mammals and birds.

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 Predicted Area between Thirlmere and Werombi
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None