The Greater Blue Mountains Area was granted World Heritage status by the United Nations on 29 November 2000.

The nomination was accepted because of two outstanding features of the region - its eucalypt / sclerophyll (hard leaved) ecosystems and its biodioversity, both of which are considered to be of global importance. 

Header image: Blue Mountains Dwarf Mountain Pine 

Why is the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area so unique?

The area is home to:

  • 100 eucalypt taxa (13% of the global total)
  • 80 plant communities – including sclerophyll (eucalypt), rainforest, heath and swamp/wetland
  • 8% of plants are endemic (ie are found only in the Blue Mountains) 
  • 265 native birds (one third of Australia’s total)
  • 52 mammals
  • 62 reptiles
  • 30 amphibians
  • 4000 moths (estimate)
Image: The Blue Mountains Dwarf Mountain Pine has inhabited the upper Blue Mountains for over 200 million years

160 rare or threatened plants & animals including the:       

Dwarf Blue Mountains Pine Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii (755 recorded 2018) - Watch Video

Broad headed Snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides (31 recorded in 2019) - Learn more 

Giant Burrowing Frog Heleioporus australiacus (18 recorded in 2016) - Learn more 

Giant Dragonfly Petalura gigantea (134 recorded in 2015) - Read flyer

Blue Mountains Water Skink Eulamprus leuraensis (114 recorded in 2018) - Learn more

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus (70 recorded in 2019)  - Read about the Blue Mountains Koala Project

Glossy Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami (517 recorded in 2019) - Learn more 

Spotted-tailed Quoll Dasyurus maculatus (314 recorded in 2019) - Learn more 

Greater Glider Petauroides Volans (193 recorded in 2019) - Learn more

Our Local Government Area contains approximately 10 percent of the listed threatened species in New South Wales.

What is Council doing to protect our rare & threatened species? 

Council is involved in a number initiatives to protect our native rare & threatened species. 

We also understand that part of threatened species management includes preventing species from becoming threatened, as well as caring for those that already are. 

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Image: Giant Burrowing Frog 

Current BMCC conservation and restoration projects include:

Bushcare – Since 1992 Council has been coordinating up to 500 dedicated volunteers and 600 local school students to work at over 60 bush regeneration and restoration sites across the Blue Mountains. Bushcare aims to promote ecologically sound management of bushland fostering a sense of community responsibility for the natural environment through weed removal, stormwater control, seed collection, erosion control and track maintenance. Bushcare works in key project areas that protect endangered ecological communities such as the Blue Mountains Swamps -  an example of this is Council’s partnership with the Indigenous community at The Gully, South Katoomba.

The Bushcare website offers a wide range of information highlighting news, groups and timetables, how to join, useful resources including manuals, previous Gecko Newsletters, Bushcare Kids, videos and apps and links. https://www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/ or contact Bushcare on bushcare@bmcc.nsw.gov.au
Read the latest Bushcare news in the Sept edition of The Gecko here: https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/environment/gecko.

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Image: Bushcare volunteers engaged in bush regeneration

Remote Bushcare – The Blue Mountains City Council remote Bushcare Program began 16 years ago, working in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) across several adjoining land tenures. These remote events are planned with Bushcare/Landcare Groups to extend their work further into parts of the catchment that are difficult to access. It provides an opportunity for group members to gain a better understanding of their sub catchments and the issues they face such as seed dispersal.

Swampcare - Swampcare is the flagship program for the threatened community, the Blue Mountains Swamps. Delivered by Bushcare, Swampcare aims to increase awareness and understanding of Blue Mountains Swamps and the threatened species living within and provide practical opportunities for volunteers to work in the fragile swamp environment and rehabilitate degraded swamps enhancing habitats for the threatened species such as the Blue Mountains Water Skink and Giant Dragonfly.

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Image: Spotted Tail Quoll

Bush Backyards program – Our Bush Backyards scheme provides support, training opportunities, workshops, and advice to private landholders committed to the conservation of native plants, animals and bushland on their properties. Find out more.

Endangered Ecological Communities - Council is working to protect Endangered Ecological Communities throughout the Blue Mountains such as the Temperate Peat Swamps on Sandstone in the Upper Mountains and the Shale Sandstone Transition Forest, the Sydney Turpentine and Ironbark Forest, the Sun Valley Cabbage Gum Forest, the Blue Gum Riverflat Forest and the Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forests in the Lower Mountains.  

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Image: Blue Mountains Water Skink

Our Environmental Scientist is engaged in a number of community education and awareness raising programs to support the conservation of endemic threatened species such as the Blue Mountains Water Skink and Dwarf Mountain Pine. 

The Natural Area Operations Team, in partnership with specialised bush regeneration contractors, have recently been undertaking management activities to mitigate threats to Endangered plant species Leupogogon fletcheri. These activities include site-based weed control, monitoring habitat condition and disturbance impacts, and flora monitoring. The population occurs in the Critically Endangered Ecological Community (CEEC) of the lower mountains Shale Sandstone Transition Forest. These activities aim to sustain the long term viability of the species' current population and deliver conservation outcomes for the entire CEEC.

Weed Management. One of the biggest threats to our native flora and fauna are invasive weeds. Our Natural Area Management and Weed Compliance teams take a co-ordinated approach to working with residents, community groups and other agencies to identify and safely remove weeds from the Greater Blue Mountains Area. Find out more in our Priority Weeds information booklet.

 

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Image: Young Female Glossy Black Cockatoo (Photo credit: Bas Hensen)

The Blue Mountains Fauna Project This project was a joint partnership between the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network and Blue Mountains City Council, with grant funding from the Greater Sydney Local Land Services. The Project sought to collate all existing records of fauna in the Blue Mountains and supplement these records with input from the community. Read the Blue Mountains Fauna Project Inventory Report here

Emergency Management (preparing for, and recovering from Bushfires). Council has established a Wildlife Recovery Mayoral Reference Group (WRMRG) in response to the long term drought and recent bush fires which have affected the City’s biodiversity. The WRMRG includes experts from WIRES, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Crown Lands, Landcare and Bushcare volunteers, Blue Mountains City Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and other wildlife and ecological scientists. The Group will facilitate three workshops within 12 months of its formation, to: 

  • Review the impacts of the 2019-20 bush fires on the wildlife of the City of the Blue Mountains.
  • Evaluate the post-fire response by the community and Council, to support wildlife impacted by the fires.
  • Provide recommendations on how to improve and coordinate the often community-led wildlife support response for current and future fire events. Find out more about how the City is preparing for bushfires. 

 

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Image: Epacris hamiltonii

What can you do to help our native flora & fauna?

  • Engage in wildlife friendly behaviour – for example one of the best things you can do for local wildlife in your backyard is provide clean, fresh water (as a consideration in drought conditions where water availability is low). Water stations should be kept away or protected from potential predators – foxes and cats for example who can prey on birds at these drinking stations.
  • Various water stations have been designed to consider clean water, safety and predation issues https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research-and-publications/publications-search/wildlife-drinking-stations
  • Change the water daily and clean the container regularly to prevent disease
  • Use shallow bowls to prevent drowning (a real risk for animals, frogs and reptiles).
  • Insert a stable, clean rock to create a safe exit.
  • Keep water out of reach of dogs, cats and children. 
  • WIRES has more tips: wires.org.au
  • Never allow detergents, pesticides, sediment, chemicals, paint or fertilisers to enter stormwater drains as these will contaminate our waterway
  • Avoid planting invasive species in your garden that could become weeds.
  • Remove bush-invaders you may already have. For more information read our Priority Weeds Booklet.
  • Be a responsible pet owner (see dog and cat fact sheets on this page)
  • Become a Bushcare volunteer – go to: https://www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/groups or email: bushcare@bmcc.nsw.gov.au.
  • Register with the Bush Backyards program – enquire here: lthomas@bmcc.nsw.gov.au