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Blue Mountains Water Skink
Flora + Fauna
In November 2000, the Greater Blue Mountains was inscribed on the World Heritage list due to its bio-diversity. Its bio-diversity reads like a manifest from Noah's Ark.
Its native species, as described in the 1998 World Heritage Nomination, include -
- 1,500 flora species
- 52 mammals
- 63 reptiles
- over 30 frogs
- a third (265 species) of Australia's bird species
- 120 butterfly and 4,000 moth species.
The advent of Internet databases such as BioNet and PlantNET provide detailed information - such as
occurrences, description and conservation status.
Here's a breakdown of species in the GBMWHA as of May 2016 using BioNet and PlantNET.
This "head count" is detailed with lists of fauna and flora species found in the GBMWHA - including threatened and exotic species - in the following webpages:
Species of plants and animals which are threatened with becoming extinct are officially recognised by being listed under biodiversity legislation. In New South Wales two lists are relevant:
- The NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 provides for species native to NSW to be listed under four categories of increasing risk: Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered and Presumed Extinct. In 2016, nearly 1000 species are listed, based on a scientific assessment of their population, distribution and threats. Local populations, ecological communities and threatening processes can also be listed under the TSC Act.
- The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 provides for species which are threatened at national level to be listed under six categories of increasing risk: Conservation Dependent, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct in the Wild and Extinct.
Species may be listed under one or both of the NSW and Commonwealth lists. This provides some legal mechanisms to protect species from some further harms, but does not necessarily trigger active conservation work to save them. Attempts to water down the existing legal protections are ongoing at both state and Commonwealth level.