Eighteen threatened species occur within the SCA including two locally endemic plant species, six mammals and ten birds. The SCA provides a valuable refuge for existence, feeding, breeding and surviving from habitat losses.
The endemic shrub Prostanthera gilesii [formerly P. sp. C] (Giles’ Mintbush) is only known from two small colonies and has been listed as Critically Endangered under the BC Act.
The tree Eucalyptus canobolensis [syn. E. rubida subsp. canobolensis] (Silver-leaf Candlebark or Canobolas Candlebark) occurs throughout the SCA and is endemic to the Mt Canobolas precinct. Its stronghold is above 1,000 m altitude in the SCA but occurs sporadically down to ± 900 m altitude on the slopes surrounding the mountain. With a propensity to form hollows, the species provides valuable nesting and roosting habitat as well as copious manna exudate as a food source for arboreal mammals and birds. It is listed as
Vulnerable under the BC Act and Endangered under the EPBC Act.
Petauroides volans (Greater Glider) ranges throughout eastern Australia, occurring from north Queensland through to central Victoria, from sea level to 1200 m altitude. This Glider favours forests with a diversity of eucalypt species, providing food sources across seasons. It is a common glider in the SCA owing to an abundance of tree hollows and food provided by the diverse suite of eucalypts. It is listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
Petaurus australis (Yellow-bellied Glider) is an arboreal glider found along the east coast to the western slopes of the GDR. With a preference for tall mature eucalypt forest generally in areas with high rainfall and nutrient rich soils, the SCA provides an ideal habitat. E. canobolensis undoubtedly offers a valuable roosting habitat together with a food source from copious manna secretions. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act.
Saccolaimus flaviventris (Yellow-bellied Sheathtail Bat) is a wide-ranging insectivorous mammal that forages above forest and grassland canopies in northern and eastern Australia and is suspected of being migratory. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bat – profile
Miniopterus orianae oceanensis (Eastern Bent-wing Bat) is primarily a cave dwelling mammal found mainly in coastal districts of eastern Australia. This unusual species for the SCA is known to frequent other high altitude forest areas, making use of rock habitats and hunts insects, particularly moths in the montane environments. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Eastern Bentwing-bat – profile
Falsistrellus tasmaniensis (Eastern False Pipistrelle) is among the largest of the micro bats. It is favoured by tall forests, hunting just below the tree canopy and roosting in Eucalypt hollows and loose bark. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Eastern False Pipistrelle – Profile
Chalinolobus dwyeri (Large-eared Pied Bat) is a so-called wattled bat with skin lobes linking the ears and mouth. It is near to its southernmost range in the SCA, feeding within forest canopies and dwelling in rocky crevices, overhangs and caves. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act as well as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act with a national recovery plan to ensure its persistence. Large-eared Pied Bat – Profile
Artamus cyanopterus (Dusky Woodswallow) is widespread in eastern, southern and southwestern Australia and is widespread in NSW from the coast to inland, including the western slopes of the GDR and farther west. It occurs in a wide range of habitats but is considered to be a woodland dependent bird breeding mostly along the slopes and feeding mainly on invertebrates. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Dusky Woodswallow – profile
Petroica phoenicea (Flame Robin) is a small Australian Robin that occurs throughout south eastern Australia. Predominantly a woodland bird it breeds in higher terrain areas such as the SCA before dispersing over winter onto the slopes and near plains in NSW. The degradation and loss of primary habitat, especially those that contain abundant logs and fallen timber underlies its listing as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Flame Robin – Profile
Petroica boodang (Scarlet Robin) is a small Australian Robin that occurs throughout south eastern Australia. Predominantly a woodland bird it breeds in higher terrain areas such as the SCA before dispersing onto the slopes and near plains in NSW. The degradation and loss of primary habitat, especially those that contain abundant logs and fallen timber underlies its listing as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Scarlet Robin – Profile
Daphoenositta chrysoptera (Varied Sittella) is a small songbird. Although widespread in NSW it has undergone a decline due to the clearing of forest and woodland habitats. It feeds on arthropods in rough or decorticating bark, dead branches, standing dead trees and small branches and twigs in eucalypt canopies. As a sedentary species it is likely to be a permanent resident of the SCA. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Varied Sittella – Profile
Neophema pulchella (Turquoise Parrot) is a distinctively coloured Parrot that ranges throughout most of eastern NSW. Living mainly around the edges of woodlands it feeds mostly on the ground, foraging for seed, and nests in hollows of stumps and trees. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Turquoise Parrot Profile
Hieraaetus morphnoides (Little Eagle) is a medium sized bird of prey that has undergone declines in population principally due to clearing, habitat degradation and loss of prey species. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Little Eagle – Profile
Ninox strenua (Powerful Owl), the largest of the owls in Australasia, lacks the facial disc typical of owls and has large beady yellow eyes. Favoured by large tracts of forest and woodland the Powerful Owl has declined due to habitat loss, particularly west of the Great Dividing Range. It is listed as Vulnerable under the BC Act. Powerful Owl – Profile
Ninox strenua (Powerful Owl) is declining west of the Great Dividing Range. Photo taken on Mt Canobolas by Dr. Anne Kerle
Hirundapus caudacutus (White-throated Needletail), sighted swooping over heathlands on Mt Canobolas in 2021. The largest swift in Australia, it spends most of its life on the wing, roosting on foliage or clinging to bark at night. A migratory species breeding in north Asia and migrating to the east coast of Australia in October where they forage over the coast and ranges. They depart Australia in April.
Declines in the White-throated Needletail are attributed to loss of breeding habitat in the Taiga forests of north Asia, collision with wind turbines and powerlines, loss of roosting habitat in Australia and pesticides. Photo: ABC
Pachycephala inornata (Gilbert’s Whistler) is an elusive bird, rarely seen in the Central
Tablelands. Its natural range is mostly in the drier inland slopes, plains and mallee
shrub lands. Occasionally during drought times however, it is recorded further east where it is considered as an ephemeral drought migrant. Being a shy and unobtrusive bird it is seldom seen, but more often recognized by it’s powerful and distinctive song. It is also difficult to distinguish from other Whistlers. Gilbert’s Whistler – profile
Pachycephala inornata (Gilbert’s Whistler) Photo: Chris Tzaros (Birds Bush and Beyond).
Certhionyx variegatus (Pied Honeyeater) is a medium-sized honeyeater with a stout curved bill. It is a poorly understood but widespread bird of arid and semi-arid areas. Characteristically it is highly nomadic and during drought periods is occasionally sighted in eastern areas, being regarded as an ephemeral drought migrant.
Certhionyx variegatus (Pied Honeyeater). Photo by Dr Richard Medd
A Natural Laboratory | Endangered Ecological Communities
Say No to Mountain Bikes in Mt Canobolas State Conservation Area!