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Threatened species in the Singleton region
What is an ecological community?
North Rothbury Persoonia (Persoonia pauciflora)
North Rothbury Persoonia
(Persoonia pauciflora)
An ecological community is a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms that are interacting in a unique habitat. The community's structure, composition and distribution are determined by environmental factors such as soil type, position in the landscape, altitude, climate and water availability.

The native plants and animals within an ecological community all have different roles and relationships that together, contribute to the healthy functioning of the environment. Protecting native communities also supports ecosystem services which contribute to better productivity of our land and water benefiting people and society.

What is a threatened ecological community?
River Red Gum - Eucalyptus camaldulensis
River Red Gum
(Eucalytus camaldulensis)
An ecological community becomes threatened when it is at risk of extinction. That is, the natural composition and function of the ecological community have been significantly depleted across its full range. This can occur for a number of reasons including; clearing of native vegetation, inappropriate fire regimes, non–native or invasive species, climate change, water diversion, pollution and urban development. Because of these threats, many ecological communities in Australia have undergone, and continue to be affected by a rapid and significant reduction in geographic distribution and/or ecological function.

In NSW more than 840 species, 35 populations and 75 ecological communities are threatened. They are classified under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) and many are also considered threatened nationally and are listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Over 70 other species are presumed to be extinct.

In the Singleton area, almost 20 threatened flora species and more than 70 threatened fauna species have been recorded. These include many rare species, with restricted ranges including some endemic to the region, and species reaching the southern or northern limits of their distribution in eastern Australia.

A list of threatened flora, fauna and ecological communities is available here.

Key threatened species include:

Endangered ecological communities
Banan Orchid (Cymbidium canaliculatum)
Banana Orchid
(Cymbidium canaliculatum)
The NSW Threatened Species Conservation (TSC) Act 1995 categorises threatened species and communities to reflect their decline and likelihood of extinction.  These categories are Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.

There are currently 28 endangered ecological communities (EECs) within the Hunter Valley with 10 EECs occurring in the Singleton area.

Endangered ecological communities in the shire include the Hunter Valley Weeping Myall Woodland and the Warkworth Sands Woodland. Both of these communities are under threat from further mine expansion.

In addition to lists of threatened species, 30 key threatening processes (KTPs) are identified in the TSC Act.  A KTP adversely affects threatened species, or could cause those that are not threatened to become threatened. If left unchecked, KTPs will inevitably cause the extinction of species, populations and communities.

What can we do to protect biodiversity?
The challenges we face to protect our biodiversity may seem daunting and overwhelming. Extinction is forever and time is running out for many of our fellow sentinel species. If all of us play just a small part it will make significant differences.

One of the most important ways to help threatened plants and animals survive is to protect their habitats permanently in national parks, nature reserves or wilderness areas or even in our own backyards.
 
Plant an indigenous garden
Indigenous plants and trees thrive in local soil and climate conditions. They are resistant to pests and diseases and are more likely to attract local wildlife. 
 
Place a birdbath in your yard
Let your garden become a wildlife sanctuary in your community. We need to create a mosaic of these sanctuaries all through the city, attracting birds, butterflies and possibly even frogs.

Use compost in your garden.

Composting food scraps and organic materials reduces the amount of waste going to landfill, reduces the need for chemical fertilisers and is friendly to soil biology

For further information on what you can do in your own backyard visit the backyard buddies website.

The role of local government
Eastern Pygmy Possum
Eastern Pygmy Possum
Local government has a key role in the conservation and management of biodiversity, threatened species and endangered ecological communities ( EECs). As land use planners, local government has a pivotal responsibility for planning and regulating many activities which may impact on threatened species and their communities. In addition they also manage large areas of public lands, many of which contain important biodiversity values.

Legislation and threatened species
Regent Honeyeater - Xanthomyza phtygia
Regent Honeyeater
(Xanthomyza Phrygia)
NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 establishes the legal framework for the conservation of threatened species, populations and ecological communities of plants and animals in NSW. It also aims to improve identification, conservation and recovery of threatened species and reduce the threats faced by those species.

Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Federal Government's central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places - defined in the Act as matters of national environmental significance.

The EPBC Act focuses Australian Government interests on the protection of matters of national environmental significance, with the states and territories having responsibility for matters of state and local significance.


Singleton Council
PO Box 314 Singleton NSW 2330
Ph: 02 6578 7290