Nature conservation

Threatened species

Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest 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: Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 10 May 2002
Profile last updated: 15 Dec 2022


Ranges from open forest to low woodland, with a canopy dominated by Broad-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa) and Paperbark (Melaleuca decora). The canopy may also include other eucalypts such as Woolybutt (E. longifolia). The dense shrubby understorey consists of Prickly-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca nodosa) and Peach Heath (Lissanthe strigosa), with a range of ‘pea’ flower shrubs, such as Dillwynia tenuifolia, Hairy Bush-pea (Pultenaea villosa) and Gorse Bitter Pea (Daviesia ulicifolia) (can be locally abundant). The sparse ground layer contains a range of grasses and herbs. Contains many more species and other references should be consulted to identify these.


Occurs in western Sydney, and the extent of intact remnants is now reduced to 1011 hectares, with the most extensive stands occurring in the Castlereagh and Holsworthy areas. Smaller remnants occur in the Kemps Creek area and in the eastern section of the Cumberland Plain. Good examples can be seen at the Castlereagh and Windsor Downs Nature Reserves.

Habitat and ecology

  • Has a very restricted natural distribution and mainly occurs on clay soils derived from the deposits of ancient river systems (alluvium), or on shale soils of the Wianamatta Shales.
  • Can intergrade into Shale-Gravel Transition Forest (where the alluvium is shallow), Castlereagh Swamp Woodland (in moist depressions) and Castlereagh Scribbly Gum Woodland (on sandier soils).
  • Most species in the community are able to regenerate from lignotubers and buds beneath the bark as well as seeds stored in the soil.

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 BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None