Nature conservation

Threatened species

Hunter-Macleay Dry Sclerophyll Forests

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Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class


Dry open eucalypt forest to 30 m tall, with a mixed sclerophyll and mesophyll shrub stratum and semi-continuous grassy groundcover.


Corymbia maculata (spotted gum), Eucalyptus crebra (narrow-leaved ironbark), E. moluccana (grey box), E. propinqua (grey gum), E. siderophloia (grey ironbark) and Syncarpia glomulifera (turpentine). May also have Angophora costata (Sydney red gum) and Eucalyptus punctata (grey gum) though mainly in the eastern Hunter valley.


Acacia parvipinnula (silver-stemmed wattle) and Allocasuarina torulosa (forest oak) are present as tall shrubs or small trees. Smaller shrubs include Breynia oblongifolia (coffee bush), Daviesia ulicifolia (gorse bitter pea), Lissanthe strigosa (peach heath), Notelaea longifolia (large mock-olive), Persoonia linearis (narrow-leaved geebung), Pultenaea villosa, Rapanea variabilis (muttonwood).


Calotis lappulacea (yellow burr-daisy), Desmodium varians (slender tick-trefoil), Dichondra repens (kidney weed), Pratia purpurascens (white root), Vernonia cinerea, Cheilanthes sieberi (poison rock fern), Cymbopogon refractus (barbed wire grass), Entolasia stricta (wiry panic), Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (weeping grass), Themeda australis (kangaroo grass).


Foothills and undulating terrain in rain shadow valleys below 400 m elevation in the eastern parts of coastal rainshadow valleys, on well-drained loams derived from shales, foothills and undulating terrain below 400 m on loamy soils derived from shales. They are associated with the major coastal river valleys along the New South Wales coast, and occur in local areas that are transitional between Coastal Valley Grassy Woodlands and Northern Hinterland Wet Sclerophyll Forests.


Eastern parts of the Hunter, Manning and Macleay river valleys. Examples occur around Cessnock, the grounds of the University of Newcastle and further north on roads leading west from the towns of Taree and Kempsey. Unique to New South Wales.


Varies floristically with latitude and in response to clay influence. Grades locally into Coastal Valley Grassy Woodlands on soils with greater clay content and into Northern Hinterland Wet Sclerophyll Forests with increasing soil moisture status. Shares affinities with Clarence Dry Sclerophyll Forests in the north and Cumberland Dry Sclerophyll Forests in the south. Fragmented by clearing for agricultural land uses.


NPWS (1999); NPWS (2000)

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See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Hunter-Macleay Dry Sclerophyll Forests vegetation class.