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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.

Endangered Ecological Communities
Reptiles and Frogs


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 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)

For more information about Shale Sandstone Transition Forest see the DECCW 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 DECCW website



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
*Chestnut Teal
*Northern Mallard (introduced ducks)
*Pacific Black Duck
*Australasian Grebe
*Rock Dove (introduced)
*Spotted Dove (introduced)
*Crested Pigeon
*White-throated Needletail
*Little Pied Cormorant
*Great Cormorant
*Little Black Cormorant
*White-faced Heron
*Australian White Ibis
*Pacific Baza
*Brown Goshawk
*Peregrine Falcon
*Purple Swamphen
*Dusky Moorhen
*Eurasian Coot
*Masked Lapwing
*Long-billed Corella (locally introduced)
*Little Corella (locally introduced)
*Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
*Rainbow Lorikeet
*Musk Lorikeet
*Australian King-Parrot
*Crimson Rosella
*Eastern Rosella
*Eastern Koel
*Channel-billed Cuckoo
*Laughing Kookaburra
*Superb Fairy-wren
*White-browed Scrubwren
$*Brown Thornbill
*Spotted Pardalote
$*Eastern Spinebill
*Yellow-faced Honeyeater
*Noisy Miner
*Red Wattlebird
*Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
*Grey Butcherbird
*Australian Magpie
*Pied Currawong
$*Grey Fantail
*Willie Wagtail
*Australian Raven
$*Eastern Yellow Robin
*Welcome Swallow
*Tree Martin
$*Red-whiskered Bulbul
*Common Starling
*Common Myna
$*Red-browed Finch

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)
Fork-tailed Swift
Australasian Darter
Australian Pelican (overhead, March 2012)
Australian Little Bittern (old record)
White-necked Heron (old record)
Eastern Great Egret
Intermediate Egret (27 July 2012)
Cattle Egret
Striated heron
Royal Spoonbill (13 December 2011)
Black-shouldered Kite (old records)
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Whistling Kite
Grey Goshawk
Swamp Harrier
Nankeen Kestrel (old records)
Buff-banded Rail (previously resident - now rarely seen locally)
Black-fronted Dotterel
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Little Lorikeet
Swift Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot
Powerful Owl
Southern Boobook
Masked Owl (old record)
Eastern Barn Owl
Azure Kingfisher (old record)
Sacred Kingfisher
$White-throated Treecreeper
$Brown Gerygone
$White-throated Gerygone (old records)
Yellow Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (old records)
White-plumed Honeyeater (old records)
$Little Wattlebird
$New Holland Honeyeater
$White-cheeked Honeyeater
$Eastern Whipbird
White-winged Triller (old records)
Olive-backed Oriole
Rose Robin
Golden-headed Cisticola (previously common, now locally extinct)
Australian Reed Warbler (previously common - now locally extinct)
Rufous Songlark (old records)
Brown Songlark (old records)
Fairy Martin
Double-barred Finch (previously common now locally extinct)

Introduced species
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)


Other animals

The Arboretum is home to many other native animals. 
The following list of reptiles and frogs was provided by Daniel Noble, Centre for the Integrative Study of Animal Behaviour.

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


Bushcare sites and wetlands

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.

Bushcare group