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Significant Flora and Fauna

Ipswich boasts one of the most diverse ranges of natural vegetation types in South East Queensland, including rainforest, dry-vine forest, open forests, woodlands, wetlands and grasslands. Approximately 62% of the city has vegetated cover, including 38 different regional ecosystems, many of which are contained within the 28% of the city dedicated as protected green space. The various communities in turn support an equally diverse range of wildlife. There are over 2,000 recorded species of native plants and animals in Ipswich, including numerous rare and threatened species.

Nationally Significant Species

The Australian Government’s main environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), lists 65 threatened species potentially present within the Ipswich local government area. The EPBC Act takes a highly precautionary approach to estimating the potential occurrence of federally listed species and many of the predicted species have no evidence of occurring in Ipswich - however, the following species are confirmed as occurring within the local area:

Species

Species type

Listing

Sophora fraseri (Bush Sophora)

Plant (herb)

Vulnerable

Notelaea ipsviciensis (Cooneana olive)

Plant (shrub)

Critically endangered

Planchonella eerwah (Flinders Plum)

Plant (tree)

Endangered

Plectranthus harbrophyllus

Plant (forb)

Endangered

Notelaea lloydii (Lloyds native olive)

Plant (shrub)

Vulnerable

Cupaniopsis tomentella (Boonah tuckeroo)

Plant (shrub)

Vulnerable

Gossia gonoclada (Angle stemmed myrtle)

Plant (tree)

Endangered

Turnix melanogaster (Black breasted button quail)

Animal (ground dwelling bird)

Vulnerable

Petrogale penicillata (Brush tailed rock wallaby)

Animal (macropod)

Vulnerable

Petauroides volans (Greater glider)

Animal (gliding possum)

Vulnerable

Phascolaractos cinereus (koala)

Animal (arboreal marsupial)

Vulnerable

Ninox strenua (Powerful owl)

Animal (predatory bird)

Vulnerable

Neoceratodus forsteri (Queensland lungfish)

Animal (fish)

Vulnerable

Dasyurus maculatus maculatus (spotted quoll/tiger quoll)

Animal (dasyurid)

Endangered

Pteropus poliocephalus (Grey headed flying-fox)

Animal (bat)

Vulnerable

Delma plebeian (Collared delma)

Animal (flap-footed lizard)

Vulnerable

Lathamus discolor (Swift parrot)Animal (parrot)Endangered
Anthochaera phrygia (Regent honeyeater)Animal (passerine bird)Critically endangered

State-Significant Species

The Queensland State Government recognises over 30 species that occur in Ipswich as significant or threatened. In addition to threatened species (endangered or vulnerable), there are also large amounts of species recognised as near threatened, special concern or least concern species. Both near threatened and special or least concern species are recognised as a precautionary approach for species that may become threatened in the future without adequate protection. The following species are recognised as significant by the state government:

Species

Species type

Listing

Sophora fraseri (Bush Sophora)

Plant (herb)

Vulnerable

Notelaea ipsviciensis (Cooneana olive)

Plant (shrub)

Endangered

Callitris baileyi (Bailey’s cypress)

Plant (tree)

Near threatened

Planchonella eerwah (Flinders Plum)

Plant (tree)

Endangered

Plectranthus harbrophyllus

Plant (forb)

Endangered

Notelaea lloydii (Lloyds native olive)

Plant (shrub)

Vulnerable

Cupaniopsis tomentella (Boonah tuckeroo)

Plant (shrub)

Vulnerable

Gossia gonoclada (Angle stemmed myrtle)

Plant (tree)

Endangered

Eucalyptus curtisii (Plunkett mallee)

Plant (tree)

Near threatened

Marsdenia coronata (Slender milkvine)

Plant (vine)

Vulnerable

Melaleuca irbyana (Swamp tea tree)

Plant (tree)

Endangered

Turnix melanogaster (Black breasted button quail)

Animal (ground dwelling bird)

Vulnerable

Petrogale penicillata (Brush tailed rock wallaby)

Animal (macropod)

Vulnerable

Phascolaractos cinereus (koala)

Animal (arboreal marsupial)

Vulnerable

Ninox strenua (Powerful owl)

Animal (predatory bird)

Vulnerable

Dasyurus maculatus maculatus (spotted quoll/tiger quoll)

Animal (dasyurid)

Endangered

Delma plebeian (Collared delma)

Animal (flap-footed lizard)

Vulnerable

Calyptorhynchus lathami (Glossy black cockatoo)

Animal (parrot)

Vulnerable

Lathamus discolor (Swift parrot)Animal (parrot)Endangered

Acanthophis antarcticus (common death adder)

Animal (snake)

Vulnerable

Adelotus brevis (tusked frog)

Animal (frog)

Vulnerable

Ornithorhynchus anatinus (platypus)

Animal (monotreme)

Special least concern

Tachyglossus aculeatus (short beaked echidna)

Animal (monotreme)

Special least concern

Bubulcus ibis (cattle egret)

Animal (waterbird)

Special least concern

Ardea alba (great egret)

Animal (waterbird)

Special least concern

Plegadis falcinellus (glossy ibis)

Animal (waterbird)

Special least concern

Haliaeetus leucogaster (white bellied sea eagle)

Animal (raptor)

Special least concern

Merops ornatus (rainbow bee eater)

Animal (near passerine bird)

Special least concern

Edolisoma teuirostris (cicadabird)

Animal (passerine bird)

Special least concern

Rhipidura rufifrons (rufous fantail)

Animal (passerine bird)

Special least concern

Myiagra cyanoleuca (satin flycatcher)

Animal (passerine bird)

Special least concern

Symposiarchus trivirgatus (spectacled monarch)

Animal (passerine bird)

Special least concern

Monarcha melanopsis (black faced monarch)

Animal (passerine bird)

Special least concern

Anthochaera phrygia (Regent honeyeater)Animal (passerine bird)Endangered

* Note: An extensive list of special concern and least concern plants is covered in the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006.


Nature Conservation Strategy 2015 - Priority Species

The Ipswich Nature Conservation Strategy 2015 identifies three local fauna and two local flora species as a priority for protection and conservation planning activities within Ipswich - these are:

Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby

The brush-tailed rock wallaby resides primarily on rocky escarpments, granite outcrops and cliffs. In Ipswich it is most commonly found in Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, the closest known population to an urban centre. The main threat to their survival is the loss of habitat due to clearing of native vegetation, fires and competing for food with introduced pest plants and animals and livestock. The brush-tailed rock wallaby is the faunal emblem of Ipswich.

Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby Recovery Plan (PDF, 5.2 mb).

Koala

The koala is found in a number of habitats, from coastal islands and tall eucalyptus trees to low woodlands inland. They have a very restrictive diet and don’t stray far from good eucalypt habitat. The koala’s existence is threatened due to a variety of issues, including habitat loss and fragmentation and unmitigated bush fires, dog attacks, vehicle strikes and disease.

Platypus

The platypus makes burrows in river banks near slow-moving water bodies and is currently under pressure from declining water quality, pollution and loss of aquatic habitat. Evidence shows that platypus numbers are steadily declining and there is recognition that a better understanding of the distribution and viability of the species is needed. Recent surveys show evidence of platypus living in Ipswich waterways. Continued implementation of catchment management actions will contribute towards improved waterways for platypus to live in.

Plunkett mallee

Plunkett mallee is a multi-stemmed eucalypt which occurs in only a few small scattered populations throughout South East Queensland. Within Ipswich, natural populations occur in Dinmore, Collingwood Park and the White Rock area. The species suffers increased pressure as a result of clearing, grazing and inappropriate fire regimes. Plunkett mallee is Ipswich’s floral emblem.

Cooneana olive

To date, the Cooneana olive has only been recorded as occurring in Ipswich, found within three closely clustered sub-populations (17 individual specimens in total). Protection of the species will require a coordinated effort, including mitigation of imminent threats and implementation of a recovery program.


Significant Local Species

In addition to threatened or near threatened species at federal or state level, there are a number of such species significant to the Ipswich region. Council has determined a list of criteria for species considered locally significant, including:

  • Local abundance: number of occurrence records in the Ipswich area
  • Local decline: at risk of extinction in the South East Queensland region
  • Non-local decline: decline in NSW
  • Distribution limits: limit of geographic or altitudinal range in the region
  • Restricted/low population: limited in geographic range or uncommon in the region
  • Disjunct population: widely separated populations across a geographic range
  • Cultural/iconic species: cultural values or iconic to local community
  • Ecologically important species: important ecological role in local ecosystems.

Using this criteria, 38 species have been selected as having local significance - these include:

Species

Species type

General habitat

Acacia obtusifolia (Blunt leaf wattle)

Plant (tree)

Grows in dry and wet sclerophyll forest, margins of rainforest, woodland and heath, in sandy and loam soils, mostly on sandstone but also basalt and other substrates.

Asplenium paleaceum (Scaly asplenium)

Plant (forb)

Commonly found amongst boulders and rocks in rainforest.

Atalaya hemiglauca (whitewood)

Plant (tree)

Common on dark deep cracking soils, often associated with brigalow scrubs and poplar box woodlands.

Citrus australasica (Australian finger lime)

Plant (tree)

Shrub in dry rainforest and sub tropical rainforest and common in regrowth.

Corymbia henryi ( Large leaved spotted gum)

Plant (tree)

Found in open forest on stony, shallow soil.

Elattostachys bidwillii (Northern white tamarind)

Plant (tree)

Small tree in dry rainforest and vine thickets.

Eleocharis dulcis (Chinese water chesnut)

Plant (aquatic)

Grows in permanent, more or less still fresh water.

Ficus rubiginosa forma rubiginosa (small leaved fig)

Plant (tree)

Commonly scattered in rocky sites on dry hills in open forest or in dry, littoral or rarely subtropical rainforest.

Grahamia Australiana (Grahamia)

Plant (forb)

Chiefly found in arid shrubland, usually in skeletal soils on rocky hillsides and plains. Often on exposed western rock outcrops.

Indigofera baileyi (Baileys indigo)

Plant (forb)

Grows in open woodlands on granite or basalt soils.

Melaleuca comboynensis (Cliff bottlebrush)

Plant (tree)

Grows mostly on rock outcrops and crevices above 550 m altitude; coastal ranges.

Melaleuca quinquenervia (Broad-leaved paperbark, swamp paperbark)

Plant (tree)

Widespread in coastal swamps and around lake margins.

Stephania renifolia (Kidney leaved snake vine)

Plant (vine)

Found growing in softwood scrub, dry rainforest and vine thickets.

Tephrosia juncea (rush leaved tephrosia)

Plant (forb)

Locally common in northern eucalypt woodlands.

Zornia floribunda (narrow leaved zornia)

Plant (forb)

Grows in grassland in dry sclerophyll forest.

Aepyprymnus rufescens (Rufous bettong)

Animal (macropod)

Coastal eucalypt forest, tall wet sclerophyll forest and dry open woodlands with sparse or grassy understorey.

Biziura lobata (musk duck)

Bird (waterbird)

Deep freshwater lakes, lagoons and swamp with dense reed beds and open waters, also estuaries.

Carcharhinus leucas (bull shark)

Animal (cartilaginous fish)

Inhabit a wide range of salinities and turbid water, and often swimming far upstream into freshwater for extended periods.

Chalinolobus picatus (little pied bat)

Animal (microbat)

Dry forest, woodland and mallee.

Cyclorana alboguttata (Green stripe frog, striped burrowing frog)

Animal (frog)

Temporarily inundated grasslands and open woodland.

Cyclorana brevipes (Superb collared frog, short-footed frog)

Animal (frog)

Open grassland and dry woodland /open forest on black soil plains and semi-desert areas.

Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus (Black-necked stork)

Animal (waterbird)

Highly mobile; inhabits wetlands, such as floodplains of rivers with large shallow swamps and pools, and also deeper permanent bodies of water and farm dams.

Eroticoscincus graciloides (elf skink)

Animal (skink)

Moist leaf litter in rainforests, vine thickets, wet sclerophyll forests and damp depressions in drier sclerophyll forests.

Hoplocephalus bitorquatus (pale headed snake)

Animal (snake)

Lives mainly in dry eucalypt forests and woodlands, also occasionally in rainforest and wet eucalypt forest.

Kuhlia rupestris (jungle perch)

Animal (fish)

Inhabit fast flowing freshwater streams and rivers usually in rainforest areas

Limnodynastes salmini (salmon striped frog)

Animal (frog)

Found in a variety of habitats including lowland flooded grassland and swamps.

Litoria brevipalmata (green thighed frog)

Animal (frog)

Most commonly found in ephemeral or semi-permanent water bodies within rainforest and wetter sclerophyll forests.

Litoria tyleri (Tyler's tree frog, southern laughing tree frog)

Animal (frog)

Wet and dry sclerophyll forests, especially near wetlands.

Melithreptus gularis (black chinned honeyeater)

Animal (passerine bird)

Highly mobile; open eucalypt forests and woodlands dominated by eucalypts and wattles, often  along waterways

Mugil cephalus (sea mullet)

Animal (fish)

Tolerates a wide salinity range and often moves into lagoons, lakes and the upper reaches of estuaries

Macropus dorsalis (black striped wallaby)

Animal (macropod)

Eucalypt and acacia forests with a dense understorey, often in areas infested with lantana.

Oxyura australis (Blue billed duck)

Animal (waterbird)

Large, deep open freshwater dams and lakes

Petaurus australis (yellow bellied glider)

Animal (gliding possum)

Tall open eucalypt forest (most generally wet forest).

Petaurus norfolcensis (squirrel glider)

Animal (gliding possum)

Dry eucalypt forests and woodlands, also parks and gardens.

Phascogale tapoatafa (brush tailed phascogale)

Animal (dasyurid)

Drier forest and woodlands with hollow-bearing trees and sparse ground cover. Also rainforest.

Pomatostomus temporalis (grey crowned babbler)

Animal (passerine bird)

Dry open forests and woodlands, favouring inland plains with open shrub layer, little ground cover and plenty of fallen timber and leaf litter.

Rhadinocentrus ornatus (ornate rainbow fish)

Animal (fish)

Creeks, backwaters of larger streams, ponds and dune lakes, usually in sandy coastal lowland "wallum" and rainforest.

Trachystoma petard (pinkeye mullet; freshwater mullet)

Animal (fish)

Inhabit deep, gently flowing sections of rivers, as well as estuaries and coastal seas during spawning events.

Other Local Species Assessed

The following species were also assessed, but do not qualify under the criteria above:

  • Boronia rosmarinifolia: forest boronia
  • Flemingia parviflora: flemingia
  • Nymphaea gigantean: giant water lily
  • Podolobium ilicifolium: holly leaf pea
  • Amniataba percoides: barred grunter
  • Aquila audax: wedge-tailed eagle
  • Bellatorias frerei: major skink
  • Cyclodomorphus gerrardii: pink-tongued lizard
  • Glossopsitta concinna: musk lorikeet
  • Litoria wilcoxii: stony creek frog
  • Macquaria novemaculeata: Australian bass
  • Pitta versicolour: noisy pitta
  • Pteropus alecto: black flying-fox
  • Ptilinopus regina: rose crown fruit dove.

Significant Vegetation Communities

Vegetation Management Act 1999

According to the Vegetation Management Act 1999, endangered regional ecosystems include:

  • 12.3.3: Eucalyptus tereticornis woodland on Quaternary alluvium
  • 12.3.7: Eucalyptus tereticornis, Casuarina cunninghamiana subsp. cunninghamiana +/- Melaleuca spp. fringing woodland
  • 12.3.10: Eucalyptus populnea woodland on alluvial plains
  • 12.3.16: Complex notophyll to microphyll vine forest on alluvial plains
  • 12.3.18: Melaleuca irbyana low open forest on alluvial plains
  • 12.3.19: Eucalyptus moluccana and/or Eucalyptus tereticornis and E.crebra open forest to woodland, with sparse to mid-dense understorey of Melaleuca irbyana on alluvial plains
  • 12.5.3: Eucalyptus racemosa subsp. racemosa woodland on remnant Tertiary surfaces
  • 12.8.21: Semi-evergreen vine thicket with Brachychiton rupestris on Cainozoic igneous rocks; usually southern half of bioregion
  • 12.8.23: Acacia harpophylla open forest on Cainozoic igneous rocks
  • 12.8.24: Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata open forest on Cainozoic igneous rocks especially trachyte
  • 12.9-10.6: Acacia harpophylla open forest on sedimentary rocks
  • 12.9-10.11: Melaleuca irbyana low open forest on sedimentary rocks
  • 12.9-10.12: Eucalyptus seeana, Corymbia intermedia, Angophora leiocarpa woodland on sedimentary rocks
  • 12.9-10.15: Semi-evergreen vine thicket with Brachychiton rupestris on sedimentary rocks
  • 12.9-10.27: Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata and/or E. moluccana, E. tereticornis, E. crebra open forest with Melaleuca irbyana understorey on sedimentary rocks.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

According to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, listed threatened vegetation communities include:

  • Swamp tea tree forest (Melaleuca irbyana): critically endangered
  • Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla): dominant and co-dominant
  • White box/yellow box/Blakely’s red gum: grassy woodland and derived native grassland.

Potentially Locally Extinct

The following species are of state and federal conservation significance but are likely to be extinct in the local government area.

  • Red goshawk
  • Australasian bittern.