State of the Environment Report title
2 0 0 4

2004 Report



Palerang

Native Species

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Palerang

The full extent of native animal and plant species diversity in Palerang Council Area is not known. Almost 2000 plant species (native and introduced) and 315 animal species have been recorded there, but these records are not comprehensive. Differences in reported species diversity compared with the last reporting period reflect factors such as changes in the size of the council area and improved use of data sources.

Photograph of Blue Devil, Eryngium sp.; Credit: Rebecca Hall

Blue Devil Eryngium sp

Photograph of Robber Fly; Credit: Rebecca Hall

Robber Fly

Twenty-seven plant and 51 vertebrate animal species that occur in the council area are listed as either Vulnerable or Endangered in NSW or nationally. The number of species in the council area listed as threatened in NSW increased by five during the reporting period while the number listed as threatened nationally increased by three. Four species had their status upgraded during the current reporting period, one animal and two plants from Vulnerable in NSW to Endangered in NSW, and one animal from nationally Vulnerable to nationally Endangered. A further 67 threatened plant and animal species are predicted to occur in the council area.

Native plants and animals in the council area are subject to national, state and local laws relating to biodiversity protection. Formal recovery plans were in place for five listed threatened species; plans for at least three species were adopted during the current reporting period. During the same period, recovery plans were being prepared for 19 species and were exhibited for another two species. Twenty-three listed animal species were covered by national action plans. Although various recovery actions had been initiated for many threatened species, no data were available on the extent to which activities were carried out in the council area or on their effectiveness in conserving the species.

The main actions Council took to protect biodiversity were to work within the appropriate environmental legislation, employ appropriate environmental consultants, ensure compliance of its own activities, and liaise with relevant groups and committees to help plan and deliver programmes that would have positive environmental outcomes in the council area.

What native species occur in the council area?

No comprehensive lists of plant or animal species were available for Palerang Council Area. As past extensive clearing has resulted in significant loss of natural habitat for native plants and animals, species occurring in vegetation remnants within or near the council area provide some indication of the area's former native species diversity. Important areas containing remnant vegetation include national parks, nature reserves, travelling stock reserves, road reserves and cemeteries.

Plants (flora)

List of plant species in Palerang Council Area

Almost 2000 plant species, most of them native and including many lichens and other lower plants, have been recorded in the council area. Although this is considerably more than reported in the 2000 State of the Environment Report in the former Tallaganda Shire, the change reflects factors such as differences in data sources and the size of the council area between reporting periods (see Differences between reporting periods). No information was available on the abundance of native plant species in the council area during the reporting period.

Twenty-seven plant species in the council area are listed as endangered or vulnerable in NSW and/or nationally (see Table 1). Two species—Budawangs Wallaby Grass (Plinthanthesis rodwayi) and Tessellated Spider Orchid (Caladenia tessellata)— had their status upgraded from Vulnerable in NSW to Endangered in NSW during the reporting period.

Scientific experts predict that an additional 51 vulnerable or endangered species may also occur in the council area (see Table 2), although there were no confirmed records of them at the end of the reporting period.

Table 1. Threatened plants known to occur in Palerang Council Area
Common
name
Scientific
name
Conservation status#Recovery Plan or Action Plan (Date if known)
NationalNSWChange*
Araluen GumEucalyptus kartzoffianaVVNoNone
Araluen ZieriaZieria adenophoraEENoNational Recovery Plan (?2001); NSW Recovery plan (2001)
Austral ToadflaxThesium australeVVNoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Budawangs Bush-peaPultenaea baeuerleniiVVNoNone
Budawangs Cliff-heathBudawangia gnidioidesVVNoNone
Budawangs Wallaby GrassPlinthanthesis rodwayiVEChanged from Vulnerable in NSW to Endangered in NSW, 01/11/02None
Button WrinklewortRutidosis leptorrhynchoidesEENoNone
Creeping Hop-bushDodonaea procumbensVVNoNone
Deane's BoroniaBoronia deaneiVVNoNone
Dense Cord-rushBaloskion longipesVNoNone
Doubletail ButtercupDiuris aequalisVENoNone
Hoary SunrayLeucochrysum albicans var. tricolorENoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Illawarra IreneIrenepharsus trypherusEENoNSW Recovery Plan adopted; National Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Majors Creek Leek OrchidPrasophyllum sp. Majors CreekENoNone
Michelago Parrot-peaDillwynia glauculaENoNone
Monga Tea TreeLeptospermum thompsoniiVVNoNone
Mongarlowe MalleeEucalyptus recurva
E
E
No
National Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Nerriga GrevilleaGrevillea renwickiana ENoNone
Pale PomaderrisPomaderris pallidaVVNoNone
Pygmy Cypress PineCallitris oblongaVVNoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Rough EyebrightEuphrasia scabraENoNone
Silky Swainson-peaSwainsona sericeaVNoNone
Small Purple-peaSwainsona rectaEENoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Small Snake OrchidDiuris pedunculataEENoNone
Tangled BedstrawGalium australeENoNone
Tarengo Leek OrchidPrasophyllum petilumEENoDraft Recovery Plan (01/03)
Tessellated Spider OrchidCaladenia tessellataVEChanged from Vulnerable in NSW to Endangered in NSW, 13/12/02None

# Status (threat category): E = Endangered; V = Vulnerable
† National status under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; ‡ NSW status under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995; * Change in status since the end of the last reporting period (see also Threatened species—national status).
Source: ANH 2005; DEC 2005b; DEH 2005; NSW Government 2005

Table 2. Threatened plant species predicted to occur in Palerang Council Area
Common nameScientific name
Albatross MalleeEucalyptus langleyi
Bauer's Midge OrchidGenoplesium baueri
Bega WattleAcacia georgensis
Bog GrevilleaGrevillea acanthifolia subsp. paludosa
Box Range ZieriaZieria buxijugum
Bredbo GentianGentiana bredboensis
Bynoe's WattleAcacia bynoeana
Chef's Cap CorreaCorrea baeuerlenii
Cotoneaster PomaderrisPomaderris cotoneaster
Crimson Spider OrchidCaladenia concolor
David's WestingiaWestringia davidii
Deane's PaperbarkMelaleuca deanei
Delicate PomaderrisPomaderris delicata
East Lynne Midge OrchidGenoplesium vernale
Ettrema MalleeEucalyptus sturgissiana
Few-seeded BossiaeaBossiaea oligosperma
Genoa River CorreaCorrea lawrenceana var. genoensis
Grey Deua PomaderrisPomaderris gilmourii var. cana
Imlay MalleeEucalyptus imlayensis
Kydra WestringiaWestringia kydrensis
Lacy PomaderrisPomaderris elachophylla
Large-leafed MonotaxisMonotaxis macrophylla
Leafless Tongue OrchidCryptostylis hunteriana
Lemon ZieriaZieria citriodora
Matted Bush-peaPultenaea pedunculata
Mauve Burr-daisyCalotis glandulosa
Monaro Golden DaisyRutidosis leiolepis
Nalbaugh NematolepisNematolepis rhytidophylla
Narrabarba WattleAcacia constablei
Nowra Heath MyrtleTriplarina nowraensis
Pale Golden MothsDiuris ochroma
Parris' Bush-peaPultenaea parrisiae subsp. parrisiae
Parris' PomaderrisPomaderris parrisiae
Parris' ZieriaZieria parrisiae
Ralston's LeionemaLeionema ralstonii
Rhyolite Midge OrchidGenoplesium rhyoliticum
Silky PomaderrisPomaderris sericea
Silver-leafed GumEucalyptus pulverulenta
Small-leaved GumEucalyptus parvula
Solanum celatumSolanum celatum
Swamp EverlastingXerochrysum palustre
Tall KnotweedPersicaria elatior
Tallong Midge OrchidGenoplesium plumosum
Trailing MonotocaMonotoca rotundifolia
Velvet ZieriaZieria murphyi
Warty ZieriaZieria tuberculata
Wee Jasper GrevilleaGrevillea iaspicula
Wingello GrevilleaGrevillea molyneuxii
Woolly RagwortSenecio garlandii
Yass DaisyAmmobium craspedioides
Yellow LoosestrifeLysimachia vulgaris var. davurica

Source: DEC 2005b

Animals (fauna)

List of native animals species in Palerang Council Area

Three hundred and fifteen native vertebrate animal species have been recorded in the council area, approximately two thirds of them birds (see Table 3). Although this is 137 species more than reported in the 2000 State of the Environment Report for the former Tallaganda Shire, the change reflects factors such as differences in data sources and the size of the council area between reporting periods (see Differences between reporting periods). The number of invertebrate animals (insects and so on) is not known. No specific information was available on the abundance of animal species in the council area during the reporting period.

Table 3. Number of vertebrate animal species known to occur in Palerang Council Area
Animal group (Order)Number of species
State of the Environment 2004
Number of species
State of the Environment 2000
Mammals4823
Amphibians2614
Birds200125
Reptiles3916
Fish2-
Total315178

Source: Birds Australia 2005; CSIRO 2005; NSW Government 2005; OCE 2000

Fifty-one vertebrate animal species recorded in the Palerang Council Area are listed as endangered or vulnerable (see Table 4). They include 16 mammals, 23 birds, seven amphibians, three reptiles and two fish. During the reporting period five species were listed as Vulnerable in NSW, two as nationally vulnerable and one as nationally endangered. The status of two species was upgraded during the current reporting period—the Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) from nationally Vulnerable to nationally Endangered, and the Stuttering Barrred Frog (Mixophyes balbus) from Vulnerable to Endangered in NSW.

Table 4. Threatened animals known to occur in Palerang Council Area
Common
name
Scientific
name
Conservation status#Recovery Plan or Action Plan (Date if known)
NationalNSWChange*
Mammals
Brush-tailed PhascogalePhascogale tapoatafa VNoAction Plan (1996)²
Eastern Bentwing-batMiniopterus schreibersii oceanensis VNoNone
Eastern False PipistrelleFalsistrellus tasmaniensis VNoNone
Eastern Freetail-batMormopterus norfolkensis VNoNone
Eastern Pygmy-possumCercartetus nanus VListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 08/06/01None
KoalaPhascolarctos cinereusVNoRecovery Plan exhibited (21/03/03)
Large-eared Pied BatChalinolobus dwyeriVVListed as nationally Vulnerable, 04/04/01Action Plan (1999)³
Large-footed MyotisMyotis adversusVNoAction Plan (1999)³
Long-nosed PotorooPotorous tridactylusVVListed as nationally Vulnerable, 16/07/01National Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Smoky MousePseudomys fumeusEENoNational Recovery Plan (2003–07) in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Southern Brown Bandicoot (eastern)Isoodon obesulus obesulusE EListed as nationally Endangered, 04/04/01National Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Spotted-tailed QuollDasyurus maculatusE VChanged from nationally Vulnerable to nationally Endangered,
14/05/04
National Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04); Action Plan (1996)2
Squirrel GliderPetaurus norfolcensis VNoAction Plan (1996)²
White-footed DunnartSminthopsis leucopus VNoAction Plan (1996)²
Yellow-bellied GliderPetaurus australis VNoRecovery Plan (gazetted 07/03/03);
Action Plan (1996)²
Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-batSaccolaimus flaviventris VNoNone
Birds
Australasian BitternBotaurus poiciloptilus VNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Barking OwlNinox connivens VNoRecovery Plan exhibited (10/03/03); Action Plan (2000)¹
Black BitternIxobrychus flavicollis VNoNone
Blue-billed DuckOxyura australis VNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Brown Treecreeper (eastern subspecies)Climacteris picumnus victoriae VListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)¹
Diamond FiretailStagonopleura guttata VListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)¹
Eastern BristlebirdDasyornis brachypterusE ENoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Eastern Ground ParrotPezoporus wallicus wallicus VNoNone
Freckled DuckStictonetta naevosa VNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Glossy Black-cockatooCalyptorhynchus lathami VNoNone
Hooded Robin (south-eastern form)Melanodryas cucullata cucullata VListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)¹
Magpie GooseAnseranas semipalmata VNoNone
Masked OwlTyto novaehollandiaeVNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Olive WhistlerPachycephala olivacea VNoNone
Painted HoneyeaterGrantiella pictaE VNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Pink RobinPetroica rodinogaster VNoNone
Powerful OwlNinox strenuaVNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Regent HoneyeaterXanthomyza phrygiaEENoNational Recovery Plan adopted (for period 1999–2003); Action Plan (2000)1
Sooty OwlTyto tenebricosaVNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Speckled WarblerPyrrholaemus sagittatus VNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Square-tailed KiteLophoictinia isuraVNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Superb ParrotPolytelis swainsoniiVVNoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04); Action Plan (2000)1
Turquoise ParrotNeophema pulchella VNoAction Plan (2000)¹
Amphibians
Booroolong FrogLitoria booroolongensis ENoRecovery Plan in preparation
Giant Burrowing FrogHeleioporus australiacusV VNoNone
Green and Golden Bell FrogLitoria aureaV ENoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Littlejohn's Tree FrogLitoria littlejohniV VNoNone
Southern Bell FrogLitoria raniformisVENoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Stuttering Barrred FrogMixophyes balbusVEChanged from Vulnerable to Endangered in NSW,
13/12/02
National Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Yellow-spotted Bell FrogLitoria castaneaEENoNational Recovery Plan (2004); NSW Recovery Plan (2001)
Reptiles
Little Whip SnakeSuta flagellum VNoNone
Pink-tailed Worm-lizardAprasia parapulchellaV VNoRecovery Plan in preparation (Draft Plan in 2002); national Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Rosenberg's GoannaVaranus rosenbergi VNoNone
Fish
Macquarie PerchMacquaria australasicaE ENoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)
Silver PerchBidyanus bidyanusVListed as Vulnerable in NSW under Fisheries Management Act 1994, August 2000Native Fish Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin 2003–2013 (2003)4

# Status (threat category): E = Endangered; V = Vulnerable
† National status under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; ‡ NSW status under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995; * Change in status since the end of the last reporting period (see also Threatened species—national status).
References: 1 = Garnett & Crowley 2000; 2 = Maxwell et al. 1996; 3 = Duncan et al. 1999; 4 = MDBMC 2003; Other sources: Birds Australia 2005; CSIRO 2005; DEC 2005b; DEH 2005; DPI 2005; Graham 2005; NSW Government 2005

Scientific experts predict that an additional 16 vulnerable or endangered animal species may occur in the council area (see Table 5), although there were no confirmed records of them at the end of the reporting period. They include one invertebrate, the Critically Endangered Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana).

Table 5. Threatened animals predicted to occur in Palerang Council Area
Common nameScientific name
Alpine Tree FrogLitoria verreauxii alpina
Black-chinned Honeyeater (eastern subspecies)Melithreptus gularis gularis
Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosa
Broad-headed SnakeHoplocephalus bungaroides
Brush-tailed Rock-wallabyPetrogale penicillata
Bush Stone-curlewBurhinus grallarius
Golden Sun MothSynemon plana
Golden-tipped BatKerivoula papuensis
Grassland Earless DragonTympanocryptis pinguicolla
Greater Broad-nosed BatScoteanax rueppellii
Grey-headed Flying-foxPteropus poliocephalus
Hooded PloverThinornis rubricollis
Long-footed PotorooPotorous longipes
Striated FieldwrenCalamanthus fuliginosus
Striped Legless LizardDelma impar
Swift ParrotLathamus discolor

Source: DEC 2005b

In the broader South Eastern Highlands and South East Corner bioregions within which Palerang Council Area is located, some bird species that are not listed as threatened are reported to have decreased in abundance over the last 20 years, although others are reported to have increased (Barrett et al. 2003). A selection of these species that occur in the council area is listed in Table 6.

Table 6. Native birds reported to be declining or increasing in the South Eastern Highlands and South East Corner bioregions and known to occur in Palerang Council Area*
Common NameScientific NameDecliningIncreasing
Australian Raven Corvus coronoides+
Black SwanCygnus atratus+
Brown Falcon Falco berigora+
Buff-rumped ThornbillAcanthiza reguloides+
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans+
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis+
Grey FantailRhipidura albiscapa+
HardheadAythya australis+
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles+
Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides+
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis+
Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus+
Wedge-tailed EagleAquila audax+
White-throated TreecreeperCormobates leucophaeus+

* For a complete list of declining/increasing species in the bioregions, see Barrett et al. 2003, pages 757–788.; Source: Barrett et al. 2003; Birds Australia 2005; CSIRO 2005; NSW Government 2005.

Threats and impacts on native species

Habitat disturbance and fragmentation are major threats to the distribution and/or abundance of native plant and animal species within the council area; changes in land cover are discussed in more detail in indicator results for Landuse Landuse landuse.htm. There is little documented information however on the specific impacts of habitat disturbance, fragmentation or other threatening factors on species.

Although native plants and animals in the council area would have been subject to prolonged drought conditions during the current reporting period (see Rainfall results weather.htm), actual drought impacts on species are generally not known and/or poorly understood. Such a natural event may however affect the abundance of species by causing localised deaths (plants and animals) and/or migration out of the area (animals).

Threatening processes affecting plants

Several key processes listed as threatening in Schedule 3 of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 are relevant to plant species in Palerang Council Area. They include:

The main known threats to some of the threatened plants in Palerang Council Area are outlined in Table 7. For information on known threats for other threatened plants in the area, including species predicted to occur there, see http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/index.aspx.

Table 7. Selection of known threats to listed Endangered and Vulnerable plants in Palerang Council Area
Species Threats
Austral Toadflax
  • loss or degradation of habitat and populations for residential, infrastructure and agricultural developments, and by intensification of grazing regimes, weed invasion and from road works (particularly widening or re-routing)
Dense Cord-rush
  • populations close to road edges may be threatened by roadworks and weed spraying
  • pigs rooting for food
Doubletail Buttercup
  • habitat clearing or degradation through rural-residential subdivision and associated land uses (e.g. horse and goat grazing, illegal rubbish dumping, roadworks
Mongarlowe Mallee
  • effects of inbreeding from narrow genetic base
  • unauthorised collection of specimens by interested visitors
  • site damage from visitors' vehicles
Rough Eyebright
  • pig and deer damage, illegal grazing by stock and off-road vehicular disturbance
  • competition from the vigorous native Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and blackberries
  • changes to swamp hydrology and vegetation
Silky Swainson-pea
  • loss and degradation of habitat or populations for residential and agricultural developments, intensification of grazing regimes, weed invasion and from road works (particularly widening or re-routing)

Source: DEC 2005b

Threatening processes affecting animals

Several key processes listed as threatening in Schedule 3 of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 are relevant to animal species in Palerang Council Area. They include:

Eight key threats identified for native fish within the Murray-Darling Basin (MDBMC 2003) may also be relevant to fish species within the council area. These threats are low regulation, habitat degradation, lowered water quality, barriers, alien species, exploitation, diseases, and translocation and stocking.

Specific threats identified for many of the endangered/vulnerable animals occurring in Palerang Council Area are shown in Table 10. The threats include a range of factors that affect species habitat, food sources or population viability. Habitat clearance and fragmentation threaten many of the species. For information on known threats for individual threatened animal species in the area, and for other threatened species predicted to occur there, see http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/index.aspx.

Table 8. Selection of known threats to listed Endangered and Vulnerable animals in Palerang Council Area
Species Threats
Mammals*
Eastern Bentwing-bat; Eastern Pygmy-possum; Koala; Large-footed Myotis; Spotted-tailed Quoll; Squirrel Glider; Yellow-bellied Glider.habitat loss, fragmentation and/or degradation through native vegetation clearance, forest harvesting and associated activities, loss of hollow bearing and mature roost trees, loss of nest sites due to removal of firewood, declining shrub diversity from overgrazing by stock and rabbits, changed fire regimes
removal of old buildings
predation from cats, dogs and foxes
competition with foxes and feral cats
strychnine baiting for dingoes
non-target mortality from trapping and poisoning
mortality as a result of raiding caged birds
Birds*
Australasian Bittern;
Barking Owl (southern form); Blue-billed Duck;
Brown Treecreeper (eastern subspecies);
Glossy Black-cockatoo;
Hooded Robin (southern form); Magpie Goose; Masked Owl; Olive Whistler; Painted Honeyeater; Powerful Owl; Regent Honeyeater;
Speckled Warbler; Superb Parrot; Turquoise Parrot.
habitat loss, fragmentation and/or degradation through native vegetation clearance, residential development, tree loss through altered water tables, overgrazing by stock and rabbits, loss in availability of nest trees
diversion of water for irrigation
drainage of deep permanent wetlands or degradation of such from introduced fish or cattle
reduction of river flows
salinisation
fox and cat predation
reduction in suitably-sized prey
poisoning, disturbance and predation by foxes on fledglings
competition with Starlings for nest sites
road mortality
Amphibians*
Booroolong Frog; Green and Golden Bell Frog; Southern Bell Frog; Yellow-spotted Bell Frog.habitat loss, fragmentation and/or degradation through destruction/infilling of wetlands, modification of steam channels, loss of cobble banks, loss of native streamside vegetation, stock damage to stream margins, weed invasion of streamside habitats (particularly by willows), removal of fallen timber, rocks or other debris used as shelter
predation of eggs and tadpoles by introduced fish
disease—chytrid fungus
changes to water quality through sedimentation and use of herbicides or pesticides near streams
alteration of drainage patterns and stormwater runoff
predation by feral animals such as foxes and by exotic fish such as Plague Minnow; predation of eggs and tadpoles by introduced fish, particularly Gambusia
herbicides and other weed-control measures
Road mortality, where populations are already small due to other threats
Reptiles*
Little Whip Snake; Pink-tailed Worm-lizard; Rosenberg's Goanna.
habitat loss and fragmentation through land clearing for residential, agricultural and industrial developments, removal termite mounds and fallen timber
road kill from moving vehicles
predation by cats and dogs

* Each threat listed does not necessarily apply to every species; Source: DEC 2005b

What is being done to conserve native species?

Laws and policy

National and state laws provide a framework for the protection of native plant and animal species within the council area. Two state laws were enacted during the reporting period: the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the Catchment Management Authorities Act 2003. These two laws and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 provide a landscape scale framework for biodiversity management. The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, other state laws including the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the national Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 provide the framework for the recognition and protection of threatened plant and animal species, and usually require the species to be taken into account during proposed developments. More information on these laws is provided in government laws and policies.

Palerang Council Area is located within the Murrumbidgee and Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) areas. Each CMA is required to work in partnership with Local Government as well as other stakeholders. The Murrumbidgee Catchment Blueprint (Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Board 2003) and South East Catchment Blueprint (South East Catchment Management Board 2002), both of which were completed during the current reporting period, include a range of management actions to restore, maintain or conserve biodiversity values.

Local government regulations, legislation or planning documents may also provide some protection for native species, or limit or prohibit certain activities that may lead to the further decline of protected species. Palerang Council's Local Environment Plan and Development Control plans include provisions for protection of native species (Bromley 2005). Proposed land developments must take into account the possible occurrence of any of the threatened species known or predicted to occur in the council area (see tables 1, 2, 4 and 5).

During the current reporting period the document A Planning Framework for Natural Ecosystems of the ACT and NSW Southern Tablelands (Fallding 2002) was produced to provide a regional approach to conservation of biodiversity. The Palerang Council Area is part of the Southern Tablelands region. The framework identifies species of conservation importance, including threatened species, and provides a methodology for integrating biodiversity issues into land use and the development planning processes.

Threatened species recovery planning

Of the 78 threatened plant and animal species known to occur in Palerang Council Area, only five have formal recovery plans in place; plans for at least three species were adopted during the current reporting period. During the same period, recovery plans for two species were exhibited, and were being prepared for another 19 species (see tables 2 and 6). Twenty-three animal species were covered by three action plans, at least two of which were completed prior to the current reporting period (see Table 4).

An array of actions has been detailed by various conservation management agencies for many of the threatened species occurring in Palerang Council Area. Although recovery actions had been initiated during the reporting period by researchers and the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation for some of threatened species with no recovery plans (DEC 2004), these actions did not necessarily occur within the council area. The extent to which recovery actions are proving effective in conserving targeted threatened species within Palerang Council Area is not clear.

Other activities

To help protect biodiversity in its area, Council employed appropriately qualified and experienced environmental consultants and continually sought to improve activities and procedures with regard to compliance of its own activities and its statutory role as a Regulatory Authority (Bromley 2005).

A range of nationally funded activities undertaken during the reporting period in the Murrumbidgee and Southern Rivers catchments (DIPNR 2004) may also have enhanced the conservation of plant and animal species in the council area. Council liaised with local landcare groups, Catchment Management and Coordinating Committees and Catchment Management Authorities, to help plan and deliver local, state and national programmes for the development of positive environmental outcomes (Bromley 2005). The Palerang Council Area includes the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee.

The Palerang Council Area supports 26 Landcare groups. The Landcare NSW website has more information on activities in the council area and in the Murrumbidgee and Southern Rivers.

The Molonglo Catchment Group, a community-driven group formed in 2003 as part of the ACT Natural Resource Management strategy to develop integrated catchment management on a sub-catchment basis, also operates within the council area. Amongst other things, Council provided support for the group through the provision of meeting venues. During the reporting period the group commenced development of a Catchment Strategy for the Molonglo–Queanbeyan Rivers catchment. The Molonglo Catchment Strategy is due for release within the next reporting period.

About the data

Data for species lists were obtained from the sources listed below.

BioNet (NSW Government 2005)—this database includes records from the Australian Museum, Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and Department of Primary Industries (DPI). The DEC data includes data from the former NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Atlas of NSW Wildlife database (DEC 2005a) and the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium Collection database (Royal Botanic Gardens 2005). The DPI data includes data from the former NSW State Forests and the former NSW Fisheries.

Atlas of NSW Wildlife (DEC 2005a)—species records are submitted to the Atlas as incidental sightings or systematic surveys, or imported from existing databases. Location details are validated on data entry, based on the grid references supplied. An accuracy index of location is applied and all records are automatically assigned a reliability category, based on the observers' experience. Unusual sightings that fail validations are queried and further validation may occur.

Australian National Wildlife Collection Database (CSIRO 2005).

Australia's Virtual Herbarium database—contains flora records from the Australian National Herbarium and other major herbaria in Australia (ANH 2005).

NSW State Forests data—flora and fauna records held by NSW State Forests South Coast, Eden and Riverina Regions.

Atlas of Australian Birds database (Birds Australia 2005)—records of threatened and migratory birds only. Detail about the database, accuracy of its records and other relevant information is outlined in Barrett et al. (2003).

Data compiled by Cornish (undated) which gives a monthly synopsis of plants in flower in the region.

Plant lists from 14 sites within the Flora Survey of South-East Yarrowlumla (Barrer 1997) which fall within Palerang Council Area.

Selection of species records

Species records were selected from between July 1955 to June 2004. This date range was used to eliminate species which had not been recorded in the last 50 years, and to eliminate historic records with poor locational or taxonomic detail.

Where possible, an attempt was made to exclude exotic species from all species lists. However, due to extensive data and time constraints, some exotic plant species may be included in the list of native plant species and hence also included in the plant species total for the shire.

Some species, especially plants, may appear more than once in the species lists of native plants and animals where slight variations in spelling or formatting of scientific names have occurred between or within the datasets used to compile these lists.

The total number of plant and animal species referred to in this report equals the total number of taxa listed in the lists of native plant and animal species (i.e. the total 'species' count includes varieties, subspecies, forms and hybrids).

Differences between reporting periods

Where possible, any exotic species included in the lists from the 2000 State of the Environment Report, and species which were duplicated in the those lists, were eliminated and not counted in the total number of species for this report. Species records for 2000 and 2004 which did not include a full scientific name (i.e. genus and species) were also eliminated from both lists. These three factors mean there will be discrepancies between species counts for 2000 mentioned in this report and species counts reported in the 2000 State of the Environment Report.

The current Palerang Council Area comprises the former Tallaganda Shire, a large part of the former Yarrowlumla Shire and small parts of Mulwaree and Gunning shires. The species counts for 2000 quoted in this report were calculated using data just from the former Tallaganda Shire. All records for the current reporting period cover the new Palerang Council Area boundary, which is larger in area than the former Tallaganda Shire. Comparisons for species counts between the two reporting periods are thus difficult because of the increase in council area size. However, this change probably contributes to the increased number of plants and animals reported in 2004 compared with 2000.

Species counts in the State of the Environment 2000 report may include historic records, assuming the 2000 data were sourced from the Atlas of NSW Wildlife (see OCE 2000). Historic records (>50 years old) were excluded from the current report.

The number of data sources for State of the Environment 2004 appears to be greater than that used for State of the Environment 2000. The species counts for State of the Environment 2004 only include records from current sources and do not include an amalgamation with species determined from State of the Environment 2000 sources unless the source was one of the following:

Threatened species—national status

Plant and animal species listed under the Commonwealth Government's Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 were automatically transferred to the new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and were formally listed under the EPBC Act on 16 July 2000. Although this listing date falls within the current reporting period, the status of such species was considered to remain unchanged from the previous reporting period.

Threatened species predicted to occur in the council area

Data were provided from DEC, Threatened Species Unit, Southern Directorate as an extract from its Property Vegetation Planning Database. The information contained in this database is available on the internet (DEC 2005b), however the website is still being developed. The underlying data is being refined, additional utilities will be added and a number of known bugs resolved before the site is officially launched.

Recovery planning data

DEC provided the results of a search of the NSW Recovery Planning Database (DEC 2004). The results showed recovery actions undertaken for all threatened species within NSW for the current reporting period. The search was carried out on 15 December 2004.

References

ANH—see Australian National Herbarium

Australian National Herbarium (2005) Australia's Virtual Herbarium database, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO and Australian National Botanic Gardens, Department of Environment and Conservation, Canberra.

Barrer, P (1997) The Flora of South-East Yarrowlumla—a preliminary assessment, Consultant's report to the Save the Bush grants scheme and the Stoney Creek Landcare Group.

Barrett, G, Silcocks, A, Barry, S, Cunningham, R and Poulter, R (2003) The New Atlas of Australian Birds, Royal Australasian Ornithologist's Union, Melbourne.

Birds Australia (2005) Atlas of Australian Birds database, Birds Australia, Melbourne.

Bromley, K (2005) Environmental Coordinator, Palerang Council, personal communication.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (2005) Australian National Wildlife Collection Database, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra.

Cornish, R (undated) Local Plants in Flower—a monthly synopsis. Unpublished report.

CSIRO—see Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

DEC—see Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW)

DEH—see Department of Environment and Heritage (Commonwealth)

Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) (2004) Recovery Planning Database, Threatened Species Unit, Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville.

Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) (2005a) Atlas of NSW Wildlife Database, Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville.

Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW) (2005b) Threatened Species, Populations and Ecological Communities of NSW Catchments, viewed 12 April 2005, http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/index.aspx.

Department of Environment and Heritage (Commonwealth) (2005) Species Profile and Threats Database, viewed December 2005, http://www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/sprat.pl.

Department of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources (NSW) (2004) 2003/04 Combined NSW Catchment Management Authorities Annual Report, Volume 1: CMA Activities and Achievements, Department of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources, Sydney.

Department of Primary Industries (2005) Fisheries Scientific Committee Final Recommendations, viewed April 2005, http://www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au/threatened_species/fsc/recomend.

DIPNR—see Department of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources (NSW)

DPI—see Department of Primary Industries (NSW)

Duncan, A, Baker, GB and Montgomery, N (eds) (1999) The Action Plan for Australian Bats, Environment Australia, Canberra.

Fallding, M (2002) Planning framework for natural ecosystems of the ACT and NSW Southern Tablelands, Natural Heritage Trust, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Land and Environment Planning.

Garnett, ST and Crowley, GM (2000) The Action Plan for Australian Birds, Environment Australia, Canberra.

Graham, C (2005) Charles Sturt University, personal communication.

Maxwell, S, Burbidge, AA and Morris, K (eds) (1996) The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes, Environment Australia, Canberra.

MDBMC—see Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council

Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council (2003) Native Fish Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin 2003–2013, Murray Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.

Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Board (2003) Murrumbidgee Catchment Blueprint, NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney, online at http://www.dlwc.nsw.gov.au/care/cmb/blueprints/pdf/murrumbidgee_blueprint.pdf.

NSW Government (2005) BioNet System, NSW Government, viewed 11 April 2005, http://www.bionet.nsw.gov.au/BioNet.cfm?is_ie5up.

OCE—see Office of the Commissioner for the Environment

Office of the Commissioner for the Environment (2000) Australian Capital Region State of the Environment Report 2000, Office of the Commissioner for the Environment, Canberra.

Royal Botanic Gardens (2005) Herbarium Collection Database, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

South East Catchment Management Board (2002) South East Catchment Blueprint – An Integrated Catchment Management Plan for the South East Catchment 2002, NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney, online at http://www.dlwc.nsw.gov.au/care/cmb/blueprints/pdf/south_east_blueprint.pdf.