Nature conservation

Threatened species

Shale Gravel Transition 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: Shale Gravel Transition Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 14 Oct 2011
Profile last updated: 20 Dec 2022


Has an open forest structure with a canopy dominated by Broad-leaved Ironbark Eucalyptus fibrosa, with Grey Box E. moluccana and Forest Red Gum E. tereticornis occurring less frequently. Paperbark Melaleuca decora is common in the small tree layer. A sparse shrub layer is usually present which includes Blackthorn Bursaria spinosa, Daviesia ulicifolia and Peach Heath Lissanthe strigosa. Contains many more species and other references should be consulted to identify these.


Mainly found in the northern section of the Cumberland Plain, western Sydney, in the Richmond, Marsden Park and Windsor districts. Also appears in the Liverpool/ Holsworthy area, and there are small occurrences at Bankstown, Yennora and Villawood and the Kemps Creek area. There are 1,721 ha remaining intact. Good examples can be seen at Windsor Downs Nature Reserve and Kemps Creek Nature Reserve.

Habitat and ecology

  • Occurs primarily where shallow deposits from ancient river systems overlay shale soils, but also associated with localised concentrations of iron-hardened gravel.
  • A transitional plant community which grades into Cumberland Plain Woodland where the influence of gravel soil declines, and grades into Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest or Castlereagh Scribbly Gum Woodland where gravel deposits are thick.
  • The shrub understorey includes a number of listed threatened species in the ‘pea’ flower group. The plants in this group rely on nitrogen fixing root nodules and soil/root fungi to extract nutrients form the poor soils.
  • There are periodic fires in Shale-Gravel Transition Forest and most species are able to regenerate from lignotubers and buds beneath the bark, as well as seed stored in the soil.

Regional distribution and habitat

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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