Client: Sydney Water, Sydney Trains and VIVA Energy

Location: Cooks River, Sydney Trains Railway corridors, Clyde Hub.

Acacia pubescens or Downy Wattle is one of Australia’s most striking wattles. Under theBiodiversity Conservation Act 2016 the NSW it is listed as vulnerable.

Dragonfly Environmental is managing sites across Sydney to encourage regeneration of this vulnerable species to encourage expansion, recruitment and increase of its habitat. Our main sites are on the Cook’s Riverand, Freshwater Wetlands for Sydney Water, along railway corridors in numerous sites around Sydney for Sydney Trains, and around Green and Golden Bell frog Ponds at Clyde for Viva Energy.

Dragonfly techniques for restoration of this species are mainly to increase the core habitat where it is found. This includes increasing habitat and minimising any potential threats to habitat loss e.g. illegal 4wd tracks. Removing rubbish dumped and blocking off illegal tracks and access ways. Dragonfly removes invasive grasses including African Lovegrass, Paspalum diliatatum, Whisky Grass and Briza species as they prevent the Downy Wattle from selfseeding and recruiting to the area. Canopy weed species we remove to aid in regeneration and expansion of  Acacia pubescens include African Olive, Large Lead Privet and Small Leaf Privet which may impact on this species.

Habitat and Ecology

Occurs on alluviums, shales and at the intergrade between shales and sandstones. The soils are characteristically gravely soils, often with ironstone. Occurs in open woodland and forest, in a variety of plant communities, including Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest, Shale/Gravel. Transition Forest and Cumberland Plain Woodland. Longevity is unknown, but clonal species have been known to survive for many decades. Flowers from August to October. Pollination of Acacia flowers is usually by insects and birds. The pods mature in October to December.

Recruitment is more commonly from vegetative reproductionthan from seedlings. The percentage of pod production and seed fall for this species appears to be low. Acacia species generally have high seed dormancy andlong-lived persistent soil seedbanks. It is thought that the species needs aminimum fire free period of 5 – 7 years to allow an adequate seedbank to develop.

Source NSW OEH: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10023

Distribution

Concentrated around the Bankstown-Fairfield-Rookwood areaand the Pitt Town area, with outliers occurring at Barden Ridge, Oakdale andMountain Lagoon.

Habitat and Ecology

Occurs on alluviums, shales and at the intergrade between shales and sandstones. The soils are characteristically gravely soils, often with ironstone. Occurs in open woodland and forest, in a variety of plant communities, including Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest, Shale/Gravel. Transition Forest and Cumberland Plain Woodland. Longevity is unknown, but clonal species have been known to survive for many decades. Flowers from August to October. Pollination of Acacia flowers is usually by insects and birds. The pods mature in October to December.

Recruitment is more commonly from vegetative reproduction than from seedlings. The percentage of pod production and seed fall for this species appears to be low. Acacia species generally have high seed dormancy and long-lived persistent soil seedbanks. It is thought that the species needs a minimum fire free period of 5 – 7 years to allow an adequate seed bank to develop.

Source NSW OEH: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10023

Distribution

Concentrated around the Bankstown-Fairfield-Rookwood areaand the Pitt Town area, with outliers occurring at Barden Ridge, Oakdale andMountain Lagoon.