Hunter Valley Remnant Woodlands and Open Forests, nominated for listing.
State listed threatened ecological communities
In addition to the World Heritage values and other MNES described above, additional values of State environmental significance include two TECs listed under the TSC Act which have been recorded within Yengo National Park:
Lower Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (VEC)
River-flat eucalypt forest on coastal floodplains of the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner bioregions (EEC)
Lowland Rainforest on Floodplains in the NSW North Coast Bioregion.
Other state listed TECs which occur within the Cessnock LGA include the following:
Central Hunter Ironbark Grey Box Spotted Gum Forest in the NSW North Coast and Sydney Basin Bioregions.
Central Hunter Grey Box Ironbark Woodland in NSW North Coast and Sydney Basin Bioregions.
Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains.
Hunter Lowland Redgum Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion.
Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion.
Lower Hunter Spotted Gum Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregions.
Quorrobolong Scribbly Gum Forest.
Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains.
Values in nearby areas
The Lower Hunter Region is part of a transition zone for many plant and animal species between the sub-tropical influences of the north and the cooler, less fertile conditions to the south. As a consequence, the vegetation is unique when compared to the neighbouring regions. The flora of the Hunter Valley floor is remarkably diverse, with approximately 2000 species of vascular plants (Department of Environment Climate Change and Water 2009).
The Lower Hunter contains significant areas of dry forest and woodland, comprised of a range of vegetation communities dominated by Blackbutt, Grey Gum, Forest Red Gum, Ironbark, Rough-barked Apple, Scribbly Gum, Smooth-barked Apple, Spotted Gum and Turpentine. The dry forest/woodland fauna have strong affinities with the fauna of the western slopes and the Lower Hunter is thought to act as a refuge during times of inland drought (Department of Environment Climate Change and Water 2009). Lowland dry forest and woodland are very poorly conserved in the Lower Hunter and anecdotally are under increasing threat.
The GBMWHA extends north and south of the Cessnock LGA into Singleton and Lake Macquarie LGAs respectively. To the north in the Singleton LGA the vegetation adjoining the GBMWHA is similar to that of the Cessnock LGA in that it contains similar escarpment and sandstone ridge vegetation as within Yengo and Wollemi National Parks. The footslopes and riparian areas contain similar vegetation and habitat to that which occurs within similar situations in Cessnock LGA. These include River Oak riparian forests, Red Gum riparian forests on the alluvial flats, with the footslopes containing central hunter grey box ironbark forests and central hunter spotted gum forests, similar to that which occur within the Cessnock LGA.
The adjoining areas with Lake Macquarie LGA to the south contain similar habitats to that which occurs within Yengo National Park in elevated areas within Olney State Forest. Similar riparian habitats include Riparian Red Gum forests, Riparian Blue Gum forests and on the footslopes spotted gum and ironbark open forest and woodlands.
Where these habitats adjoin private land similar land use activities occur and they have similar threats such as grazing of cattle, vineyards, rural and residential subdivision, roads, infrastructure, open cut mining (in Singleton LGA), weed incursions, soil erosion, vertebrate pests and salinity.
The presence of these similar habitats gives rise to similar flora and fauna species occurring within these ecosystems.