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Coastal Swamp Oak forest recognised as nationally significant

May 2018

The Coastal Swamp Oak forest of New South Wales is now recognised as a nationally significant ecological community under national environment law (the EPBC Act). In the South East these forested wetlands provide habitat for about 50 nationally listed species along our coastline north from around Bermagui.

This includes several birds such as the critically endangered eastern curlew, as well as mammals, turtles, tree-frogs and butterflies!

In Eurobodalla, South East Local Land Services staff are working towards protecting and enhancing this important vegetation community. Swamp Oak forests play an important role in holding together the shoreline of our estuaries. They also provide a food source and habitat for numerous species and filter pollutants from urban and off- farm runoff, improving water quality for oyster farmers and commercial and recreational fishers.

Land managers have proved keen to support the protection of these communities as carrying out the works also prevents land lost through erosion, reduces weeds spreading onto productive land and provides windbreaks and shade for stock, improving stock health and productivity.

This financial year through NSW Government funding in the Eurobodalla alone Local Land Services will have:

  • revegetated over 25ha  of Swamp Oak forest
  • 40 ha of Swamp Oak forest protected and enhanced through stock exclusion fencing
  • over 60 ha  Swamp Oak forest improved from weeding works

The ecological community occurs near beaches, estuaries, tidal flats and coastal lagoons.

Swamp Oak floodplain forest is associated with humic clay and sandy loam soils on waterlogged or periodically flooded areas. These soils are generally deposited during flood events and occur on the flats and drainage lines of the coastal floodplain.

Swamp Oak floodplain forest is a community of plants that is generally dominated by the tree/s Swamp Oak (Casuarina glauca) and/or swamp paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia). The community is found in close proximity to rivers and estuaries and is generally found on soils with a saline influence. The soils of the community may be quite wet and as such the composition of species present will vary markedly from site to site.

To find out more information about Swamp Oak forests or wetlands on the Far South Coast contact the Moruya Local Land Services office on 02 4424 7460.