Biodiversity

Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area (SCA) is home to over 1000 species of native flora and fauna, which is very high for a small reserve of only 1672 ha. Among these are 12 endemic species that occur only in the SCA and its immediate surrounds, and depend on it for their survival. Many of the endemic species exist in very small numbers and are at high risk of extinction.

There are also 16 threatened species for which the SCA is important for maintaining their wider populations. One of the threatened species, the Giles Mintbush, is endemic to the SCA, and is listed as Critically Endangered and therefore at high risk of extinction. A second threatened species, the Silver-leaf Candlebark (Canobolas Candlebark) is also endemic to the Mount Canobolas Volcanic Complex and is listed as Vulnerable. Four threatened ecological communities are also recorded for the SCA, two of which are listed as Critically Endangered.

Owing to the large areas of exposed rock outcrops and the cool, wet climate, Mt Canobolas features a high diversity of lichens, with four endemic species and Australia’s only listed threatened lichen community. Similarly, the cool wet conditions favour bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) with 75 recorded species.

Ground Orchid Mt Canobolas

Area of Outstanding Biodiversity Value

A submission lodged with the Office of Environment and Heritage nominates Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area as an Area of Outstanding Biodiversity Value under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. The data on biodiversity overwhelmingly supports that the SCA merits such recognition.

Lichen covered Rock - SAVE MT Canobolas SCA

A Natural Laboratory

Mt Canobolas SCA is a natural laboratory providing many fertile avenues for research and education. It functions as both a refugium for declining species and an evolutionary nursery for new species. At least ten scientific institutions or organisations use the SCA and much remains to be understood – limited formal studies of biota have been undertaken.

Endangered Ecological Community -Eucalyptus dalrympleana (Mountain Gum) and E. pauciflora (Snow Gum)

Endangered Ecological Communities

Vegetation on Mt Canobolas resembles that in other high altitude parts of eastern Australia, but many differences set it apart. In all, seven vegetation types occur, including up to three listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. In addition, there is a unique endangered lichen community on Mt Canobolas that is endemic to the SCA.

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