Nature conservation

Threatened species

O’Hares Creek Shale Forest - 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: O’Hares Creek Shale Forest
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 18 Dec 1998
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017


Occurs on small outcrops of Hawkesbury shale in the Darkes Forest area of the Woronora Plateau. The community is dominated by Eucalyptus piperita (Sydney Peppermint), E. globoidea (White Stringybark) and Angophora costata (Smooth-barked Apple), with the latter species sometimes being the dominant canopy species. The shrub layer is variable in density and height but is characterised by Acacia binervata, A. longifolia subsp. longifolia, Leucopogon lanceolatus var. lanceolatus and Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa. The groundcover is often the distinguishing feature of the community with an impressive cushion of ferns, lilies, grasses and rushes that include species such as Calochlaena dubia, Pteridium esculentum, Doryanthes excelsa, Dianella caerulea, Lomandra longifolia, Blechnum cartilagineum, Entolasia stricta and Imperata cylindrica var. major. O’Hares Creek Shale Forest is a component of Red Bloodwood - Smooth Barked Apple shrubby forest on shale or ironstone of coastal plateau, Sydney Basin.


The community occupies approximately 286 ha within the local government areas of Campbelltown, Wollondilly and Wollongong between the Cataract Special Area and Appin Road to Helensburgh.

Habitat and ecology

  • OHSFC forms part of a network of vegetation communities that occupy the remnant shales soils that lie above the sandstone plateau. The community is a component of the more broadly occurring Red Bloodwood - Smooth-barked Apple shrubby forest on shale or ironstone of coastal plateau, Sydney Basin community.
  • The depth of shale soil where the community occurs is variable and consequently, a greater influence of sandstone vegetation is found on the edge of larger shale patches or throughout smaller isolated examples.
  • Trees within the community are distinctively taller than those in the surrounding sandstone woodland vegetation.
  • Locations on the Darkes Forest ridge typically have a more mesic understorey than sites on the smaller shale outcrops further west.
  • The community persists within a narrow mean annual rainfall band of between 950mm and 1100mm and between elevations of 350 and 450 metres above sea level.

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 BasinSydney Cataract Known Campbelltown, Wollondilly and Wollongong LGAs between the Cataract Special Area and Appin Road to Helensburgh between 350 and 450 m altitude