The Landscape

The bushcare site, native plants and animals, and weeds.

A great way to become familiar with the site is to view our eight minute film, Bushcare Blue Mountains: South Lawson Park:  https://vimeo.com/verahong/south-lawson-bushcare . Many thanks to Vera and Craig at Seconds Minutes Hours Productions for their wonderful cinematography.

The bushcare site

The site is located in south Lawson, Blue Mountains, NSW. It commences 400 metres to the south east of the Lawson shopping centre, and extends over the upper catchment of Lawson Creek.

The site is approximately bounded by Waratah Street to the north and Junction Falls in the south, and within these points is focused on Lawson Creek and its tributaries, riparian zone and adjoining  woodlands. The site is located on public land managed by BMCC.

Our work area is focused around Lawson Creek

Our work area is focused on Lawson Creek (BMCC photo)

Significant adverse impacts on the catchment are weeds, unmanaged stormwater flows, rubbish dumping, feral animals and pollutants. In particular, activities that disturb intact bushland, such as maintenance of essential infrastructure, can allow weeds to to become established in a particular area. Intact and healthy bushland tends to repel weed invasion.

The altitude of Lawson is 700 metres and average annual rainfall is approximately 1250mm, with summer and autumn being the wettest months (Bureau of Meteorology). Temperature ranges are on average, mild.

Native plants/flora

There are four vegetation types present at the South Lawson Park bushcare site.

  1. Woodlands. There are two main groups of open canopy tree community:

Eucalyptus piperita (Sydney Peppermint) – Angophora costata (Smooth-barked Apple); and

Corymba gummifera (Red Bloodwood) – Eucalyptus sieberi (Black or Silvertop Ash).

Woodland is the most extensive form of vegetation present and it has evolved to grow on sandstone based soils that are of average to low fertility and very well drained.

2. Blue Mountains Swamps. The sedges and shrubs of the swamps grow in peaty  soils that contain large amounts of vegetative matter and are located in permanently damp situations.

3. Blue Mountains Riparian Complex. Sections of the Creek banks have richer than average soils that have a higher content of deposited alluvium and clay particles and support some moisture loving plants such as ferns, as well as Woodland plants.

4. Rainforest. The small patch of rainforest is dominated by the tall tree Ceratopetalum apetalum (Coachwood). The rainforest plant community also enjoys the richer Lawson Creek bank soils.

(Ref: BMCC Interactive Maps http://bmcc.nsw.gov.au/bmccmap/Disclaimer_bmccmap.cfm Agree to the conditions, click “view interactive maps”, search 48-78 Wilson Lawson, click “view map”, select the “vegetation” map view)

The State and Commonwealth listed Vulnerable species Persoonia acerosa (Needle Geebung) and the endemic species Acacia ptychoclada, a wattle, are present on the site.

Plague Soldier Beetles on Leptopsermum sp. Tea tree, August 2014 (Photo: K Hising BMCC)

Plague Soldier Beetles on Leptospermum sp., Tea- tree, August 2014 (BMCC photo)

Callistemon citrinus (Crimson Bottlebrush) flowering, Lawson Creek swamp, Nov 2011. Open woodland background. Note weedy grasses

Callistemon citrinus, Crimson Bottlebrush flowering Lawson Creek swamp Nov 2011. Open canopy woodland in background. Weedy grasses

 

 

 

 

A thick stand of Gleichenia dicarpa (Coral Fern), Lawson Swamp July 2009

Spectacular hanging swamp, South Lawson Park

Spectacular hanging swamp, South Lawson Park June 2016

——————————————————————

Native animals/fauna

These fauna notes and photographs are recordings of casual observations and are not intended to be a  comprehensive and scientific listing of the native fauna population of the south Lawson area.

Ring-tailed Possum in the newly regenerated area April 2016

Ring-tailed Possum near Waratah Street, April 2016

Euastacus sp., Spiny Crayfish, a local species, Lawson Creek, 2016. Threatened by poor water quality and fox predation

Euastacus sp., Spiny Crayfish, a local species, Lawson Creek, 2016. Threatened by poor water quality and fox predation

Visitor to the South Lawson bushcare site. Probably Chelodina longicollis, Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Photo: BMCC)

Probably Chelodina longicollis, Eastern Long-necked Turtle c2000  (BMCC photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiliqua scincoides, Eastern Blue-Tongued Skink Waratah Street c2000

Tiliqua scincoides, Blue Tongue Lizard, Waratah Street, Lawson c2000 (BMCC photo)

Birds

Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Eastern Spinebill

Anthochaera carunculata Red Wattlebird

Calyptorhynchus funereus Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Corvus coronoides Australian Raven juv.

Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing Kookaburra

Dicaeum hirundinaceum Mistletoe Flowerpecker

Malurus sp. Fairy-wren sp.

Myiagra rubecula Leaden Flycatcher juv.

Ninox novaeseelandiae Southern Boobook

Platycercus elegans Crimson Rosella

Psophodes olivaceus Eastern Whipbird

Ptilonorhynchus violaceus Satin Bowerbird

Podargus strigoides Tawny Frogmouth

Menura novaehollandiae Superb Lyrebird

Phylidonyris novaehollandiae New Holland Honeyeater

Butterflies

Carol Probets 20/02/17, Bellevue Park, 9 species:

Candalides hyacinthina Varied Dusky-blue

Delias sp. Jezebel sp.

Dispar compacta Barred Skipper

Grass-dart species probably

Ocybadistes walkeri Greenish Grass-dart

Hesperilla idothea Flame Sedge-skipper

Netrocoryne repanda Bronze Flat

Tissiphone abeona Varied Sword-grass Brown

Toxida peron Dingy Grass-skipper

Vanessa itea Yellow Admiral

———————————

 

Frogs

Crinia signifera Common Eastern Froglet

A green frog probably

Litoria phyllochroa Leaf-green Tree Frog

Limnodynastes peronii Striped Marsh Frog

Marsupials

Antechinus sp. Antechinus sp.

Pseudocheirus peregrinus Common Ringtail Possum

Trichosurus vulpecula Common Brushtail Possum

Wallabia bicolor Swamp Wallaby

Reptiles

Lampropholis guichenoti Common Garden Skink

Morelia spilota Diamond Python

Notechis scutatis Tiger Snake

Pseudechis porphyriacus Red-bellied Black Snake

Pseudonaja textilis Eastern Brown Snake

Insects

Chauliognathus lugubris Plague Soldier Beetles

Megabats

Pteropus poliocephalus Grey-headed Flying Fox

 

————————————————————————–

Weeds

The purpose of bushcare is to contribute to the  preservation of the naturally evolved bushlands and ecosystems of a region. So for the purposes of bushcare, a weed is considered to be a plant that is growing in or is likely to spread into but is not a naturally evolved species of the local and regional bushland and ecosystems. So a weed can be an overseas species, or an Australian native species that has been transferred into an ecosystem to which it does not naturally belong.

Some, but not all, introduced plants, in the absence of the natural population control factors of their original ecosystem, grow and spread so vigorously that they destroy many of the locally and regionally evolved plants that constitute the local ecosystem, significantly altering and even destroying the functioning of that ecosystem. This type of weed may be declared noxious by the NSW Minister for Primary Industries and then public authorities and private landowners are required to manage the weed in a specified way.

This listing of site weeds is not meant to be exhaustive.

The most prevalent and threatening weeds located on the site are:

Blackberry (noxious);

Broom, a highly invasive shrub or small tree (noxious);

English Ivy, a smothering climber;

Gorse, a highly invasive shrub (two plants, noxious);

Japanese Honeysuckle, a vigorous climber;

Juncus microcephalus, a perennial herb found in damp situations;

Montbretia, a herb that colonises stream banks and damp areas;

Privet (both small and large leaved varieties, noxious); and

Pussy Willow (noxious).

Smaller quantities of Cootamundra Wattle, Creeping Buttercup, a spreading herb, Himalayan Honeysuckle, Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), and Turkey Rhubarb are present and under varying degrees of control.

Weedy grasses are also present and undesirable and are treated when encountered.

See http://weedsbluemountains.org.au  for detailed photographs of weeds and how to treat them.

————————————————————