Native Plants and Animals

Native Plants and Animals

Macquarie University stands out amongst all universities in Sydney because of its abundant areas of natural space. The University has acknowledged the importance of these areas. Maintenance and restoration of natural areas is a key priority.

Changes in land use in the surrounding suburbs has increased the importance of native vegetation on campus. The main area of native vegetation is on the north-west side of the lake, but other smaller pockets can be found near the entrance to the railway station, near the southwest corner of the campus and scattered across campus.

The arboretum provides habitat connection for the animals living in the natural vegetation of Christie Park and Lane Cove National Park, and further encourages biological diversity on campus.

Endangered ecological communities

A large percentage of the native vegetation in this area of Sydney has been cleared for development. As a result some vegetation communities have almost totally disappeared. Two of these communities, Shale Sandstone Transition Forest and Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest can be found at Macquarie University.

Shale Sandstone Transition Forest (SSTF) occurs on the edge of the Cumberland Plain of Sydney, where clay soils from the shale rock intergrade with soils from sandstone, or where shale caps overlay sandstone. The boundaries are indistinct, and the species composition varies depending on the soil influences. The main tree species include Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Grey Gum (E. punctata), stringybarks (E. globoidea, E. eugenioides) and ironbarks (E. fibrosa and E. crebra). Areas of low sandstone influence have an understorey that is closer to Cumberland Plain Woodland. (NSW Government website, 2005)

For more information about Shale Sandstone Transition Forest see the NSW government website

Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest (STIF) occurs close to the shale/sandstone boundary on the more fertile shale influenced soils, in higher rainfall areas on the higher altitude margins of the Cumberland Plain, and on the shale ridge caps of sandstone plateaus. It is a transitional community, between Cumberland Plain Woodland in drier areas and Blue Gum High Forest on adjacent higher rainfall ridges. Dominant canopy trees include Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), Grey Gum (Eucalyptus punctata), Grey Ironbark (E. paniculata) and Thin-leaved Stringybark (E. eugenoides). (NSW Government website, 2005)

For more information about Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest see the NSW government website

Animals on Campus

Staff and students have recorded the different animals found on campus, either for their own interest, as part of their research, or as part of their undergraduate studies.

The list of species found on campus was compiled by university staff.

Fauna List

In 2015, a Fauna Monitoring Project commenced as a joint initiative of Sustainability, Biological Sciences and Property. The project involves staff and students collating data from previous recordings of undergraduate students, and the addition of new information about animals currently found on campus. This data will provide information on changes to animal distribution over time.

Have you seen any native wildlife on campus that is not recorded on this website?  Are you interested in documenting and recording wildlife on campus? Please contact Samantha Newton.

Bushcare sites and wetlands

Macquarie started its own Bushcare group in 2008. The group’s activities are focused on restoring the riparian zones with native vegetation, improving the natural flow and water quality or Mars and College Creeks, and increasing the connectivity between areas of native vegetation.

Bushcare group

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