Murrumbidgee to Googong (M2G) water transfer project offset habitat: Protecting and improving our ecological conditions

December 17, 2019

The M2G offset is surrounded by an additional 328 hectares which is also managed to protect and improve ecological conditions for consistency across the entire Williamsdale property.

The landscape is managed by maintaining vegetation cover, enhancing habitat connectivity, erosion stabilisation, managing pest animals and weeds and maintaining populations of threatened and significant plants and animals based on monitoring and adaptive management.  

The majority of the property is dominated by a diverse range of native understorey species with an overstorey mixture of old growth and rejuvenating Eucalyptus species. Rocky outcrops are widespread across the property. Surveys conducted in 2012 found that the Box-Gum Woodland on the Williamsdale property is in moderate to good condition. The higher quality Box-Gum Woodland patches had a low abundance of weeds, had a regenerating overstorey and contained mature overstorey trees with hollows present.

EPBC Listed Box-Gum Woodland on Williamsdale Property

Three significant plants and animals present on the property are the Small Purple Pea, Pink-tailed Legless Lizard and Rosenberg’s Goanna.

Small Purple Pea (Swainsona recta)

A small perennial plant, the Small Purple Pea (Swainsona recta) has been reduced to less than 4,000 plants across only seven populations Australia-wide. Occurring in open woodland forests, the conservation and protection of this habitat and the plant locations on the property is vital for its survival.

Small purple pea (Swainsona recta)  Swainsona recta plot on the Williamsdale Property

There are three plots of Small Purple Pea planted on the property in collaboration with the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Pink-tailed Legless Lizard (Aprasia parapulchella)

The Williamsdale Property also provides vital habitat for the Pink-tailed Legless Lizard, also known as the Pink-tailed Worm Lizard.

Pink-tailed legless lizard (Aprasia parapulchella)

Listed as vulnerable and located in Central and Southern Tablelands and the South Western Slopes of NSW/ACT, the widespread rocky outcrops across the property provide ideal habitat for the species. Threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, rock removal, weeds and predation by feral animals including cats and foxes. The presence of suitable rock habitat is spread across 26.5 ha of the property, particularly on hilltops, ridges and upper slopes.

Rosenberg's Goanna (Varanus rosenbergi)

The property's ecological values also support the NSW vulnerable listed Rosenberg's Goanna.

Rosenberg's Goanna (Varanus rosenbergi)

Found only within the South Eastern area of NSW, the Rosenberg’s Goanna requires areas of heath, open woodland and forest. Critical habitat includes termite mounds which are used for laying eggs. They shelter in log hollows, rock crevices and burrows. Species survival strategies include retaining intact forest woodlands, retaining termite mounds, ensuring habitat remains connected and re-establishing fragmented habitat.