Biodiversity refers to the variety of all life forms: the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, their genes and the ecosystems of which they are a part. Protecting biodiversity and land resources is important because of its role in sustaining natural processes, such as nutrient cycling, soil formation and pollination. Maintaining biodiversity is essential for the survival of healthy ecosystems.
Australia is 1 of the most biologically diverse countries in the world; with a large portion of its species found nowhere else.
Urban development continues to be the most significant pressure on land in Blacktown City. A land use conflict exists between the need for urban expansion and the preservation of remnant native bushland. There are several issues relating to land resources and biodiversity that we are currently addressing. These include land contamination, urban salinity and the preservation of the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland.
Our Biodiversity Strategy is a compilation of existing legislation and data relating to biodiversity under our care and control.
It provides a comprehensive and complete set of maps that inform us of the natural environment and local flora and fauna within our local government area. It also provides a review of all relevant international, national, state, regional and local legislation, conventions and regulations resulting in the identification of our obligations and opportunities for biodiversity management.
We encourage you to learn more about plant species within our community.
The vegetation of Blacktown is special and unique with most of the plants living within these vegetation communities being listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 as rare, vulnerable, threatened, endangered or critically endangered.
Shale Hills Woodland
Shale Hills Woodland, along with Shale Plains Woodland, make up the Cumberland Plain Woodland Community. Shale Hills Woodland is the less common of the 2 forms in the Blacktown area. It occurs mainly on hills and slopes on the southern half of the Cumberland Plain. Originally there was over 122,000 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland across Western Sydney, but only 7% of this remains. It is listed as a critically endanged ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Shale Plains Woodland
Shale Plains Woodland, along with Shale Hills Woodland, makes up the Cumberland Plain Woodland vegetation community. Shale Plains Woodland is the more common of the 2 forms. It occurs mainly in the driest parts of the Sydney basin as it is well adapted to drought and fire. Originally there was over 122,000 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland across Western Sydney, but only 7% of this remains. It is listed as a critically endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Shale-Sandstone Transition Forest
There are 2 kinds of Shale Sandstone Transition Forest, low sandstone influence and high sandstone influence. High Sandstone influence sites occur on poor rocky soils.
Shale-Sandstone Transition Forest occurs where shale rock and clay soils gradually change to sandstone. As a result of this, the boundaries of this vegetation community are indistinct. Originally, it covered over 40,000 hectares. Today, about 20% of this remains. It is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Shale - Gravel Transition Forest
Shale - Gravel Transition Forest is an open forest community. It is a transitional plant community made up of species from both clay soils and poorer gravel soils. Originally there was about 7,000 hectares of this vegetation community in the Sydney Basin. Today, 1,721 hectares remain. It is a critically endangered ecological community.
River-flat eucalypt forest on coastal floodplains of the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner bioregions (alternatively known as Alluvial Woodland, Riparian Vegetation, Swamp Oak Forest or Red Gum Cabbage Gum Forest) grows along minor watercourses and on flat areas next to riparian forest. Riparian forest is the name given to the vegetation found on the banks of rivers. It is found on soils which were deposited by floods in the past, called alluvial soils. It is an important vegetation community as it plays an important role in maintaining aquatic ecosystems. It also stabilises riverbanks to prevent erosion and plays an important role as a wildlife corridor, giving many animals a safer way to move around in urban areas. There is only 4,176 hectares of Sydney Coastal River Flat Forest left, 9.7% of the original amount. It is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Castlereagh Ironbark Forest
Castlereagh Ironbark Forest consists of open forest to low woodland. It contains many pea flower plants in its understory which put on a very nice display when in flower. It occurs mainly on clay soils, but can also be found on shale soils of the Wianamatta Shales. According to National Parks and Wildlife Service, only 859 hectares of this community remains, just 7.2% of its original distribution. It is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. There are no remaining examples of Castlereagh Ironbark Forest in the Blacktown LGA.
Castlereagh Scribbly Gum Woodland
This vegetation type is not commonly found in the Blacktown LGA. The most obvious presence in this vegetation community is the Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus sclerophylla). Its distinctive smooth white bark that is usually covered in scribbles is hard to miss. Of all the original communities present in the Sydney Basin prior to European Settlement, Castlereagh Scribbly Gum Woodland has fared the best, with 56% of its original distribution still present.