Native Flora and Fauna
Macquarie University stands out amongst all universities in Sydney because of its abundant areas of natural space and leafy environment. Macquarie is recognized for its enjoyable learning and teaching environment. The University has acknowledged the importance of these areas and has maintenance and restoration of natural areas as a key priority.
The University was built in the 1960’s. Prior to that, the predominant use of the area was market gardens. Even during that phase of land use, there remained pockets of native vegetation. These pockets continue to exist and have increased in size over the last 4 decades. Changes in land use in the surrounding suburbs have increased the importance of the 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.
Macquarie University is located close to the native vegetation in Christie Park and Lane Cove National Park. The arboretum will act to integrate the campus with its natural surround areas. Development of the arboretum will extend the range of birds living in the natural vegetation of Christie Park and Lane Cove National Park and further encourage biological diversity on campus.
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 within the vegetation remnants on campus at Macquarie University.
Characteristics of vegetation communities:
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)
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)
This list of bird species that have been seen on campus was prepared by Ian McAllan, Macquarie University Library.
Do you know of others, or of recent sitings of infrequent visitors? Help us keep an accurate list by reporting sightings of birds not on the list to Samantha Newton .
$ Recorded in the Ecology Reserve (north of the M2)
*Recorded several times a year
Birds regularly seen on campus
Tawny Frogmouth (spotted on campus February 2014)
*Australian Bush Turkey
*Australian Wood Duck
*Northern Mallard (introduced ducks)
*Pacific Black Duck
*Rock Dove (introduced)
*Spotted Dove (introduced)
*Little Pied Cormorant
*Little Black Cormorant
*Australian White Ibis
*Long-billed Corella (locally introduced)
*Little Corella (locally introduced)
$*Eastern Yellow Robin
Infrequent or historic bird sightings
Satin Bowerbird (30 October 2011)
King Quail (v. old record - ex Margaret Cameron about 1975)
Topknot Pigeon (flying over)
$White-throated Nightjar (old record - actually David Haig told me he had seen this)
Australian Pelican (overhead, March 2012)
Australian Little Bittern (old record)
White-necked Heron (old record)
Eastern Great Egret
Intermediate Egret (27 July 2012)
Royal Spoonbill (13 December 2011)
Black-shouldered Kite (old records)
Nankeen Kestrel (old records)
Buff-banded Rail (previously resident - now rarely seen locally)
Masked Owl (old record)
Eastern Barn Owl
Azure Kingfisher (old record)
$White-throated Gerygone (old records)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (old records)
White-plumed Honeyeater (old records)
$New Holland Honeyeater
White-winged Triller (old records)
Golden-headed Cisticola (previously common, now locally extinct)
Australian Reed Warbler (previously common - now locally extinct)
Rufous Songlark (old records)
Brown Songlark (old records)
Double-barred Finch (previously common now locally extinct)
Nutmeg Mannikin (introduced - previously common now locally extinct)
House Sparrow (introduced - previously common now apparently extinct on campus)
Australasian Pipit (previously common now locally extinct - as per Cisticola)
European Goldfinch (introduced - previously common now locally extinct)
The Arboretum is home to many other native animals.
The following list of reptiles and frogs was provided by Daniel Noble,
Eastern Water Skinks (Eulamprus quoyii)
Garden Skink (Lampropholis delicata)
Grass Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti)
Fence Skink (Cryptoblepharis virigatus)
Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii)
Common Blue-tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides)
Black bellied Swamp Snake (Hemiaspis signata)
Snake necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis)
Peron's Tree-frog (Litoria peroni)
Eastern Dwarf Tree-frog (Litoria fallax)
Eastern Common Froglet (Crinia signifera)
Striped Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes peroni)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff and students at Macquarie have become increasingly aware of the importance of the natural environment, particularly the native vegetation and the watercourses. In addition to being a great source of pleasure and relaxation for students and staff, they provide habitat to native animals and they extend beyond the campus boundaries. Macquarie has recently started its own Bushcare group. The group’s activities will be 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.