State of the Environment Report title
2 0 0 4

2004 Report



Young

Native Species

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Young

The full extent of native animal and plant species diversity in Young Shire is not known. About 230 plant species (native and introduced) and 171 animal species have been recorded there, but these records are not comprehensive. Increases in reported animal species diversity compared with the last reporting period reflect factors such as improved use of data sources and survey effort since June 2000. No comparative data were available of plant species diversity in the last period.

One plant and sixteen vertebrate animal species that occur in the shire are listed as Vulnerable or Endangered. The number of species in the shire listed as nationally threatened remained unchanged since the end of the last reporting period, while the number of species listed as threatened in NSW increased by six. An additional 52 threatened plant and animal species are predicted to occur in the shire.

Native plants and animals in the shire are subject to national, state and local laws relating to biodiversity protection. Formal recovery plans are in place for two of the 17 listed threatened species; one plan was completed during the current reporting period. During the same period, recovery plans were being prepared for another two species. Fourteen animal species were covered by three national action plans. Although various recovery actions had been initiated for many of the threatened species, the extent to which activities were carried out in the shire and had been effective in conserving the species was not known.

Council carried out proactive and active measures during the reporting period to help protect biodiversity in the shire and provided support to other bodies for the regulation of paddock clearing and clearing of dead hollow trees, and stream and revegetation projects. Council undertakes a coercive and legislative approach to ecologically sustainable development in all its own works and through the approvals process for development.

What native species occur in the shire?

No comprehensive lists of plant or animal species were available for Young Shire. 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 shire 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 Young Shire

About 230 plant species, most of them native, have been recorded in the shire. Comparative data for the previous reporting period were not available. No information was available on the abundance of native plant species during the current period.

One plant recorded in the shire is listed as Vulnerable (see Table 1); it was listed prior to the current reporting period. Scientific experts predict that an additional five vulnerable or endangered species may also occur in the shire (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 Young Shire
Common
name
Scientific
name
Conservation status#Recovery Plan or Action Plan (Date if known)
NationalNSWChange*
McBarron's GoodeniaGoodenia macbarroniiVVNoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04)

# 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 Young Shire
Common nameScientific name
Philotheca ericifolia
A spear grassAustrostipa metatoris
A spear grassAustrostipa wakoolica
Austral PillwortPilularia novae-hollandiae
Crimson Spider OrchidCaladenia concolor
Fleshy MinuriaKippistia suaedifolia
Pine Donkey OrchidDiuris tricolor
Silky Swainson-peaSwainsona sericea
Slender Darling PeaSwainsona murrayana
Spike RushEleocharis obicis
Spiny PeppercressLepidium aschersonii
Tarengo Leek OrchidPrasophyllum petilum
Winged PeppercressLepidium monoplocoides
Woolly RagwortSenecio garlandii
Yass DaisyAmmobium craspedioides

Source: DEC 2005b

Animals (fauna)

List of native animal species in Young Shire

One hundred and seventy one native vertebrate animal species have been recorded in the shire, about 72% of them birds (see Table 3 and the list of animal species). This is 89 species more than reported in the previous reporting period; the increase probably reflects increased survey effort since June 2000, and possibly also the use of different data sources (see Differences between reporting periods). The number of invertebrate animals (insects etc) is not known. No specific information was available on the abundance of animal species.

Table 3. Number of vertebrate animal species known to occur in Young Shire
Animal group (Order)Number of species
20042000
Mammals187
Birds12365
Amphibians10-
Reptiles1910
Fish1-
Total17182

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

Sixteen animal species recorded in Young Shire are listed as vulnerable or endangered (see Table 4). They include two mammals, 13 birds and one fish. During the reporting period six species were listed as Vulnerable in NSW. Scientific experts predict that an additional 37 vulnerable or endangered animal species may occur in the shire (see Table 5), although there were no confirmed records of them at the end of the reporting period. One Critically Endangered species—the Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana)—is also predicted to occur in the area.

Table 4. Threatened animals known to occur in Young Shire
Common
name
Scientific
name
Conservation status#Recovery Plan or Action Plan (Date if known)
NationalNSWChange*
Mammals
Large-footed MyotisMyotis adversus VNoAction Plan (1999)3
Squirrel GliderPetaurus norfolcensisVNoAction Plan (1996)2
Birds
Black-chinned Honeyeater (eastern form)Melithreptus gularis gularisVListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000) 1
Brown Treecreeper (eastern subspecies)Climacteris picumnus victoriaeVListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)1
Diamond FiretailStagonopleura guttataVListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)1
Freckled DuckStictonetta naevosaVNoAction Plan (2000)1
Gilbert's WhistlerPachycephala inornataVNoNone
Grey-crowned Babbler (eastern subspecies)Pomatostomus temporalis temporalisVListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)1
Hooded Robin (south-eastern form)Melanodryas cucullata cucullataVListed as Vulnerable in NSW, 26/10/01Action Plan (2000)1
Painted HoneyeaterGrantiella pictaVNoAction Plan (2000)1
Regent HoneyeaterXanthomyza phrygiaEENoNational Recovery Plan 1999–2003; Action Plan (2000)1
Speckled WarblerChthonicola sagittataVNoAction Plan (2000)1
Superb ParrotPolytelis swainsoniiVVNoNational Recovery Plan in preparation (as at 28/02/04); Action Plan (2000)1
Swift ParrotLathamus discolorEENoNational Recovery 2001–2005; Action Plan (2000)1
Turquoise ParrotNeophema pulchellaVNoAction Plan (2000)1
Fish
Silver PerchBidyanus bidyanusVListed as Vulnerable 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

Table 5. Threatened animals predicted to occur in Young Shire
Common nameScientific name
Australasian BitternBotaurus poiciloptilus
Australian BustardArdeotis australis
Barking OwlNinox connivens
Black-breasted BuzzardHamirostra melanosternon
Black-chinned HoneyeaterMelithreptus gularis gularis
Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosa
Blue-billed DuckOxyura australis
Booroolong FrogLitoria booroolongensis
BrolgaGrus rubicundus
Brush-tailed PhascogalePhascogale tapoatafa
Bush Stone-curlewBurhinus grallarius
Chestnut Quail-thrushCinclosoma castanotus
Eastern Bentwing-batMiniopterus schreibersii oceanensis
Eastern Long-eared Bat (southeastern form)Nyctophilus timoriensis
Eastern Pygmy-possumCercartetus nanus
Glossy Black CockatooCalyptorhynchus lathami
Golden Sun MothSynemon plana
Grey-crowned Babbler (eastern subsp.)Pomatostomus temporalis temporalis
Grey FalconFalco hypoleucos
Inland Forest BatVespadelus baverstocki
KoalaPhascolarctos cinereus
Large-footed MyotisMyotis adversus
Little Pied BatChalinolobus picatus
MalleefowlLeipoa ocellata
Magpie GooseAnseranas semipalmata
Major Mitchell's CockatooCacatua leadbeateri
OspreyPandion haliaetus
Painted SnipeRostratula benghalensis
Pied HoneyeaterCerthionyx variegatus
Pine Donkey OrchidDiuris tricolor
Powerful OwlNinox strenua
Rosenberg's GoannaVaranus rosenbergi
Shy HeathwrenCalamanthus cautus
Southern Scrub-robinDrymodes brunneopygia
Spotted-tailed QuollDasyurus maculatus
Square-tailed KiteLophoictinia isura
Superb ParrotPolytelis swainsonii
Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-batSaccoclaimus flaviventris

Source: DEC 2005b

In the broader South Western Slopes bioregion within which Young Shire 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 shire is listed in Table 6.

Table 6. Native birds reported to be declining or increasing in the NSW South Western Slopes bioregion and known to occur in Young Shire*
Common NameScientific NameDecliningIncreasing
Australian Raven Corvus coronoides+
Barn OwlTyto alba+
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris+
Black SwanCygnus atratus+
Brown Falcon Falco berigora+
Crested Shrike-titFalcunculus frontatus+
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans+
Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa+
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis+
Grey FantailRhipidura albiscapa+
Grey Shrike-thrush Colluricincla harmonica+
Little EagleHieraaetus morphnoides+
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles+
Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides+
Noisy Friarbird Philemon corniculatus+
Pallid CuckooCuculus pallidus+
Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis+
Pied Currawong Strepera graculina+
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus+
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata+
Restless Flycatcher Myiagra inquieta+
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus+
Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus+
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita+
Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus+
Varied SittellaDaphoenositta chrysoptera+
White-browed WoodswallowArtamus superciliosus+
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae+
White-throated TreecreeperCormobates leucophaeus+
Yellow ThornbillAcanthiza nana+

* For a complete list of declining and increasing species in the bioregion, 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 abundance of native plant and animal species within the shire; with changes in landcover and landuse significant factors. 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 shire would have been subject to prolonged drought conditions during the current reporting period), actual drought impacts on species are generally not known or poorly understood. Such a natural event may however affect the abundance of species by causing localised deaths (plants and animals)and 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 Young Shire. They include:

The main known threats to the Vulnerable McBarron's Goodenia are habitat degradation through stock grazing, pig rooting, pugging and trampling, roadside disturbance, desiccation and competition from weeds (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 Young Shire. 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 shire. 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 and vulnerable animals occurring in the shire are shown in Table 7. 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 7. Selection of known threats to some listed Endangered and Vulnerable animals in Young Shire
Species Threats
Mammals
Squirrel Glider
  • habitat loss, fragmentation or degradation, e.g. through native vegetation clearance
Birds*
Brown Treecreeper (eastern subspecies); Hooded Robin (southern form); Painted Honeyeater; Regent Honeyeater; Swift Parrot; Turquoise Parrot
  • habitat loss, fragmentation or degradation through native vegetation clearance, overgrazing by stock and rabbits, tree loss through altered water tables
  • fox and cat predation
  • competition with Starlings for nest sites
  • road mortality
Fish
Silver Perch
  • habitat loss or degradation through loss of riparian vegetation, modification of natural river flows and temperatures as a result of river regulation, removal of snags, changes in water quality associated with agriculture and other land uses, siltation caused by clearing
  • illegal fishing (and possibly hooking injuries in accidentally caught fish)
  • competition from or interactions with introduced fish species such as trout, redfin perch, gambusia and carp
  • stocking of inappropriate genetic strains, poor quality silver perch or silver perch hybrids
  • diseases such as EHN (epizootic haematopoietic necrosis), which is carried by redfin perch

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

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 shire. 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.

Young Shire is located within the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (CMA) area. The CMA is required to work in partnership with Local Government as well as other stakeholders. The Lachlan Catchment Blueprint (Lachlan Catchment Management Board 2003), completed during the current reporting period, includes a range of management actions to restore, maintain or conserve biodiversity values.

Local government regulations, legislation or planning documents such as local environment plans may also provide some protection for native species, or limit or prohibit certain activities that may lead to the further decline of protected species. Any major Development Application involving land or vegetation disturbance is considered under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or an Environmental Impact Statement required, if necessary, under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Threatened species recovery planning

Of the 17 threatened species known to occur in Young Shire, formal recovery plans are in place for only two species (see Table 4); one was completed during the current reporting period. During the same period, national recovery plans were being prepared for another two species (see tables 1 and 4). Fourteen animal species were covered by three national action plans, at least two of which were completed prior to the current reporting period.

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

Other activities

Young Council carried out proactive and active measures during the reporting period to help protect biodiversity in the shire, and supported the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources process of regulating paddock clearing and clearing of dead hollow trees. Landcare groups and the supportive work of Council's Environmental Initiatives Committee saw the commencement of many projects for stream and revegetation work.

A range of nationally funded activities undertaken during the reporting period in the Lachlan catchment (DIPNR 2004) may also have enhanced the conservation of plant and animal species in the shire.

The Grassy Box Woodland Conservation Management Network initiated and commenced implemented of a Biodiversity Conservation in the NSW Sheep/Wheat Belt project during the reporting period. The project includes gathering information to assist in assessing the status and extent of endangered ecological communities and threatened bird species across the NSW sheep/wheat belt, of which Young Shire is a part. Surveys commenced just after the end of the current reporting period included sites located in the shire. The surveys are expected to be continued for several years, with each year's survey results being provided to local and regional planning authorities.

Young Shire supports eight Landcare groups. The Landcare NSW website has information on the range of activities occurring in the shire and the Lachlan catchment.

About the data

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

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 and 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 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 2000 lists, and species which were duplicated in the lists from the 2000 State of the Environment Report, 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 2000 species counts mentioned in this report and species counts mentioned in the 2000 State of the Environment Report.

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

The number of data sources for this state of the environment report appears to be greater than that used for 2000 State of the Environment Report. The animal species counts for this report include only records from current sources and do not include an amalgamation with species determined from 2000 State of the Environment Report 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.

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.

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

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 Conservation (NSW) (2005c) South West Slopes Conservation Management Network Database, Department of Environment and Conservation, Queanbeyan.

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 (NSW) (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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Prober, S and Thiele, K (1993) Surviving in Cemeteries – the Grassy White Box Woodlands, National Parks Journal 37 (1):13–15.

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