Nature conservation

Threatened species

Southern Montane Heaths

Vegetation class map

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Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class


Closed heath dominated by a dense uniform shrub canopy up to 1 m tall, broken occasionally by lone trees or emergent mallee eucalypts and banksias up to 3 m tall. A very sparse ground cover of grasses, sedges and forbs develops beneath the shrubs, but are more abundant where the canopy of casuarinas is thinner with occasional emergents up to 2 m tall and a sparse groundcover.


Typically none, but emergent mallees of Eucalyptus kybeanensis and E. latiuscula, or scattered individuals of E. dalrympleana subsp. dalrympleana (mountain gum), E. dives (broad-leaved peppermint) or E. pauciflora (white sally) may be present.


The escarpment heaths are dominated by Allocasuarina nana, Banksia canei, Brachyloma daphnoides (daphne heath), Euryomyrtus denticulata, Hakea dactyloides (broad-leaved hakea), Hibbertia pedunculata, Isopogon prostratus (prostrate drumsticks) and Kunzea sp. 'Wadbilliga' (Rodd 6168). The scrubs of rocky outcrops are commonly dominated by Kunzea ambigua (tick bush) and Melaleuca armillaris subsp. armillaris, with Allocasuarina littoralis (black sheoak), Platysace lanceolata, and Stypandra glauca (nodding blue lily) also present.


Dampiera fusca, Haloragodendron monogyna, Stylidium graminifolium (grass triggerplant), Austrodanthonia tenuior, Austrostipa pubinodis, Joycea pallida (silvertop wallaby grass), Lepidosperma gunnii, L. tortuosum, L. urophorum, Lomandra glauca (pale mat-rush), Notodanthonia longifolia (long-leaved wallaby grass), Schoenus apogon (common bog-rush).


High, wind-swept ridges at altitudes of 600-1200 m on the southern ranges of New South Wales with stony, skeletal, infertile soils derived from quartzites, slates and schists. Rocky outcrops of rhyolite, granite and related substrates at lower altitudes (200-800 m) carry scrubby plant communities that are only loosely allied to the escarpment heathlands in this class.


Southern escarpment ranges from the upper Shoalhaven River to Bombala. Unique to New South Wales. Examples may be seen on the Kybean Range in Wadbilliga National Park and in the Coolumbooka and Bondi Gulf nature reserves near Bombala. Examples of the rocky outcrop communities occur at lower elevation in remote parts of Deua national park, in the vicinity of Egan Peaks, to the west of Eden, and around Wog Wog Mountain east of Bombala.


A distinctive but species-poor group of asemblages showing latitudinal trends. Shares floristic affinities with South-east and Southern Tablelands Dry Sclerophyll Forests.


Keith & Bedward (1999); Thomas et al. (2000)

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See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Southern Montane Heaths vegetation class.