Threatened Species and Ecological Communities

Gang Gang Cockatoo and Native birds in Wingecarribee Shire.jpg


A Threatened Species is a plant or animal that has been assessed to determine their risk of extinction. A plant or animal can be considered if: 

  • There is a reduction in its population size 
  • It has a restricted geographical distribution, or 
  • There are few mature individuals

In NSW, a threatened species is a plant or animal species that is listed under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 or the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994.  

Some species may also be listed nationally by the Australian Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). 

Under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, a species may be listed as: 

  • Vulnerable 
  • Endangered 
  • Critically endangered, or 
  • Presumed extinct 

The Southern Highlands is home to 50 threatened or endangered native plant species and 53 threatened or endangered native animal species. 

Locally the threats  impacting threatened species include: predation and competition from pest species, land clearing, water pollution and habitat removal (e.g. hollow bearing trees).

What is a Threatened Ecological Community?

An ecological community is a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms living in a unique habitat. A healthy ecological community is vital for their survival. 

Some ecological communities are threatened and at risk of extinction. 

This interactive map will provide you with information about Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs) that are found within Southern Highlands bushland reserves and National Parks.   

Threatened Species Projects in the Southern Highlands

The are a variety of proactive and positive actions you can undertake to support native species throughout the Southern Highlands. Working with the Saving our Species scientists, Wingecarribee Council is supporting threatened species research in the Southern Highlands. Projects include:

Walk See Play

In 2020, Council partnered with the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program to deliver the Walk See Play initiative. This self-directed initiative asks participants to keep an eye out for and photograph biodiversity tracks, traces and habitat features while they walk along trails in bushland reserves and national parks.

What to look for;

  • Animal tracks and scratches
  • Feather
  • Flaking bark
  • Leaf litter
  • Water plants
  • Tree hollows
  • Flower
  • New Plant Growth

During September, visitors to Southern Highlands bushland reserves and National Parks can use the Walk See Play web app to photograph three or more over the above listed tracks, traces or habitat features. 

By participating in the Walk See Play initiative visitors received more information about biodiversity, threatened species and related projects happening in the Southern Highlands.

Walk See Play signs were situated at Cecil Hoskings Nature Reserve, Mt Gibraltar Reserve, Echo Point (Morton National Park), Gibbergunyah Reserve, Mansfield Reserve, Bong Bong Common, River Bend Reserve, Robertson Nature Reserve and Carrington Falls.

Walk See Play Interactive Map

Complementing the nature play game's narrative of observing and understanding habitat features, is an interactive map that allows you to get more information about Threatened Ecological Communities.