Heath and Xanthoparmelia community at the-Walls - Mount Canobolas 2017

Why is Mt Canobolas so Special?

Mount Canobolas is an isolated landlocked island of high altitude montane and sub-alpine environments at the western edge of the Central Tablelands of the South Eastern Highlands bioregion of NSW. It supports distinctly different vegetation communities to similar habits along the Great Diving Range to east, as well as unique and irreplaceable biodiversity.

  • an isolated island of high montane / sub-alpine environments;
    • Mt Canobolas is at the north western extremity of the Central Tablelands with much less influence of coastal weather than similar environments on the Great Dividing Range
    • Cooler temperatures than the surrounds, Higher rainfall, More frequent winter snows with snow cover lasting much longer
    • Nearest areas of high montane / sub-alpine environments are on the Great Dividing Range, over 85 km to the east.
    • The intervening areas support lower montane environments at altitudes around 700 to 900 (occasionally 1000) m.
    • The high montane / sub-alpine parts of Mt Canobolas are likely to have been isolated for long periods over the last 2 million years or more.
  • a nursery for new species and a centre of biological diversification;
  • the last refuge for some relict species whose distributions have shrunk over the millennia. For many others, it is one of only a very few places they can now be found;
  • home to plant communities distinctly different from those in other high altitude areas;
  • habitat for a diversity of threatened flora and fauna;
  • habitat for populations of 168 species at their range limits;
  • only three percent of the original vegetation cover of the Canobolas compound shield volcano complex; and
  • the most important conservation reserve in our region by far