Flora and Fauna

Since European settlement, the majority of bushland in Hunters Hill has been cleared for urban development. As a direct result an unknown number of flora and fauna species have become extinct and the remaining species have been reduced in number. The surviving species are only assured protection by on-going bush regeneration programs by Council staff, private bush regeneration contractors and volunteer bushcare groups.

Plant communities

  • Open forest, woodland, heath and shrubland communities on Hawkesbury sandstone ridgetops, slopes, and gullies including Kunzea ambigua shrubland, and open forests dominated by Eucalyptus species. A vegetation community known as Rocky Foreshore Vegetation dominated by Ficus rubiginosa and Banksia integrifolia is considered locally significant.
  • Forest communities both on lower nutrient sandstone and higher nutrient shale soils, including a small remnant of Sydney Turpentine Iron-bark Forest (STIF) at Boronia Park and St Johns Park. STIF is listed as Critically Endangered Ecological Community (CEEC) under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
  • Estuarine communities consist of coastal salt marsh, mangroves, swamp oak floodplain forest and Sydney Freshwater wetlands. In the Sydney region, saltmarsh, swamp oak forest and freshwater wetlands communities are also listed as an Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC) under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

In 2016 the former NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) mapped vegetation across the Sydney Metropolitan Area using the NSW Plant Community Type classification. OEH mapped 12 distinct vegetation communities in the Hunter’s Hill Local Government Area including: wet sclerophyll forests i.e. Coastal Enriched Sandstone Moist Forest, Sydney Foreshores Shale Forest, Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest (EEC); dry sclerophyll forests i.e. Coastal Enriched Sandstone Dry Forest, Coastal Sandstone Foreshores Forest, Coastal Sandstone Gully Forest, Hornsby Enriched Sandstone Exposed Woodland; heathland i.e. Coastal Headland Banksia Heath; forested wetlands i.e. Estuarine Swamp Oak Forest (EEC), Coastal Freshwater Swamp Forest (EEC); and saline wetlands i.e. Estuarine Saltmarsh (EEC) and Estuarine Mangrove.

Threatened or Locally Significant Species


  • Epacris purpurascens var. purpurascens
  • Eucalyptus tereticornis (Forest Red Gum) – Remnants found around Sydney Harbour represent a distinct eco-type. These trees are scattered through Hunters Hill, with stands at Ferdinand Street Reserve and Clarke’s Point Reserve.
  • Eucalyptus capitellata (Brown Stringy Bark) – Only very few of this tree species remain in Hunters Hill at Gladesville Reserve and Kelly’s Bush.
  • Angophora floribunda (Rough-barked Apple) – Only a few known trees of this species surviving in the Municipality, these are at Boronia Park, St. Johns Park and Tarban Creek Reserve.


  • Tachyglossus aculeatus (Short-beaked Echidna)
  • Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis (Eastern Bentwing-bat)
  • Pteropus poliocephalus (Grey-headed Flying-fox)
  • Chelodina longicollis (Eastern Long-necked Turtle).
  • Pseudophryne australis (Red-crowned Toadlet)
  • Ninox strenua (Powerful Owl)
  • Ninox connivens (Barking Owl)
  • Biziura lobata (Musk Duck)
  • Butorides striatus (Striated Heron)
  • Gallinago hardwickii   (Latham’s Snipe)
  • Zanda funerea (Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo)
  • Variety of small birds e.g. Superb Fairy-wren, Red-browed Finch

Statement of Significance for the Vegetation of Hunters Hill

Doug Benson, Senior Plant Ecologist Royal Botanic Gardens – 2003:

“Today the natural vegetation has been significantly reduced and fragmented by urban development. Remnants of Sydney Turpentine lronbark Forest, an endangered ecological community listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act, represent some of the vegetation found on the higher nutrient shale soils. This vegetation is important at the state scale because of the extent of past land clearing. Remnants of other communities are significant at the regional scale because of the current extent and increasing intensity of suburban development. The bushland forms important wildlife habitat links through the suburbs, from the peninsula along the rivers and on to the Lane Cove National Park”.