The Gloucester subregion lies within the Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) region, which evolved from the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) on 1 January 2014. At the time of writing, LLS region boundaries were not available so the CMA boundary and following description was used. The CMA covers an area of approximately 3.7 million hectares on the east coast of NSW, and extends from Newcastle in the east to the Merriwa Plateau and Great Dividing Range in the west, and from Taree in the north to Gosford in the south. The climate is subtropical with the greatest rainfall in coastal areas and the Barrington Tops. Rainfall decreases further inland (see section 220.127.116.11 for more detail). Major waterways are Port Stephens, the Manning, Karuah and Hunter rivers, and the coastal lakes of Wallis Lake, Lake Macquarie, Tuggerah Lake and Brisbane Water. The major ‘natural bioregions’ of the CMA – as classified by the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia (IBRA), – are NSW North Coast (47.4%), Sydney Basin (39.8%) and Brigalow Belt South (9.4%). Smaller areas of the CMA lie within the New England Tableland, NSW South Western Slopes and Nandewar IBRA bioregions (Somerville, 2009, p. 3). The Hunter Valley is of great ecological significance because (i) it represents the only major break in the Great Dividing Range and therefore provides a link between coastal and inland NSW and (ii) it contains an area of overlap between tropical and temperate zones known as the MacPherson-Macleay Overlap in which the limits of many taxa are found. Intact native vegetation covers over 50% of the CMA and 658 species of terrestrial vertebrate have been recorded in the region. There are one critically endangered, one vulnerable and 24 endangered ecological communities, and 276 threatened species in the CMA.
The CMA contains two World Heritage-listed areas – the Greater Blue Mountains and the Barrington Tops – as well as internationally significant wetlands listed by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands including Myall Lakes and Hunter Estuary . It contains approximately 116 National Parks and Nature Reserves. The 2010 New South Wales State of the Catchments reported 126 species of flora and 152 species of fauna (including two fish species) within the Hunter-Central Rivers CMA that are listed under either NSW’s Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (the TSC Act) or Fisheries Management Act 1994. However, a search with the Threatened and Protected Species Record Viewer revealed no threatened or protected aquatic species within the Hunter-Central Rivers CMA. It is possible that 56 threatened fauna species and twelve threatened flora species listed under the TSC Act occur in the Gloucester subregion (Table 8). Table 8 also includes 18 threatened fauna species and eight threatened flora species listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Table 8 Potentially threatened species within the Gloucester subregion
Number of species listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that have been recorded or have the potential to occur in the Gloucester subregion in New South Wales
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- 1.1.1 Bioregion
- 1.1.2 Geography
- 1.1.3 Geology
- 1.1.4 Hydrogeology and groundwater quality
- 1.1.5 Surface water hydrology and water quality
- 1.1.6 Surface water – groundwater interactions
- 1.1.7 Ecology
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