Threatened Species of the Central Coast
With over 100 threatened animals, over 20 threatened plants and 11 endangered ecological communities, Gosford City has a relatively high number of threatened species compared to other local government areas.
This reflects not only the great diversity of natural environments in our area, but also the fact that many species have reached a critical point for their long-term survival.
Two iconic threatened species within the Gosford Local Government Area (LGA) are the Bushstone Curlew and the Green and Golden Bell Frog. Council is encouraging residents to report any sightings of these species via the Species Sighting page.
The Bush Stone-Curlew
The Bushstone Curlew is found around Brisbane Water in the Saratoga, Davistown, South Kincumber, Bensville, Empire Bay, St Hubert's Island and Woy Woy areas. There are less than 20 birds left in this area, which is a key population of the species in NSW. The species is listed as endangered under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, meaning that the numbers of these animals have been reduced to such a critical level, or the habitat for these animals has been so drastically reduced, that it is in immediate danger of extinction in NSW.
Despite there being a number of breeding pairs the birds have a number of problems in finding suitable nesting sites and raising chicks in urban areas.
The Species is well camouflaged in woodland vegetation especially amongst fallen timber and leaf litter, and uses its ability to hold a statue-like pose to avoid detection. The birds have a distinctive eerie wailing "weer-lo" call that may be heard around the Brisbane Water area at night. Click to hear the sound of the curlew.
Council is requesting interested locals to keep an eye out for the birds during the daytime and to let us know of areas where they have not been previously recorded.
The Green and Golden Bell Frog
Despite being once widespread in the Central Coast and elsewhere, Green and Golden Bell Frogs have disappeared from almost all areas where they previously existed. The species is listed as endangered under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The two key populations found in the Gosford area are at Bareanan Wetland, North Avoca and Davistown Wetlands. The species distribution may be wider however further studies would be required to determine habitat areas.
The Green and Golden Bell frog is a large frog of up to 10cm, with distinctive green and gold markings. The markings can range from being almost entirely green with a few small metallic gold patches to being almost entirely golden. During cold weather the colouration can darken to being nearly black. A distinctive feature of this species is the vibrant purple-blue marking on the inside thigh and groin area.
The call is a long sound followed by a medium sound then two short sounds - brrrrrrk brrrrk brrk-brrk.
Please report any sightings of this Species, however residents are urged not to handle or disturb the frogs as a disease known as Chytrid fungus has been blamed for frog deaths in some areas.
Other Threatened Fauna Species
Five threatened fauna species that are particularly relevant to the Central Coast are:
- Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis)
- Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensis)
- Large Forest Owls - Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), Barking Owl (Ninox connivens), Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) and Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa)
- Microbats (Microchiropteran Bats)
- Migratory Birds - Regent Honeyeater (Xanthomynza phrygia) and Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor).
Threatened Flora SpeciesFour threatened plant species that occur on the Central Coast are:
- Black-eyed Susan (Tetratheca junea)
- Biconvex Paperbark (Melaleuca biconvexa)
- Somerbsy Mintbush (Prostanthera junonis)
- Cut-leaf Mintbush (Prostanthera askania)
Endangered Ecological Communities
On the coastal floodplain of NSW, all the remaining native vegetation has been identified to be threatened and each distinct ecological community has been listed as endangered under the under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 including:
- Coastal Saltmarsh
- Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest
- Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains
- Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains
- River-flat Eucalypt Forest
Other Significant Species
There are a number of Species that are not listed as endangered or vulnerable under the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 that are considered significant for the biodiversity of the Central Coast. One of these Species is the:
Key Threatening Processes
Key threatening processes are the things that threaten - or could threaten - the survival or evolutionary development of species, populations or ecological communities. There are 31 key threatening processes listed in the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995. Four of these particularly relevant to the Central Coast are:
- Clearing of Native Vegetation
- Mosquito Fish or Plague Minnow (Gambusia holbrooki)
- European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
If you would like to find out more about Threatened Species please visit the NSW Threatened Species Website or call Council on 4325 8222.
How can You Help Protect Threatened Species
There are a number of things that you can do to help ensure the biodiversity of our natural environment is maintained:
- What can you do to help native animals in our area.
- Wildlife and habitats in your backyard and school yard.
- Protecting tree hollows and using nest boxes.
The development of Threatened Species of the Central Coast was funded by the Department of Environment and Climate Change through the Environmental Trust. This information was developed by Conacher Travers.