Sign the Petition for World Heritage Listing

Why Is Wildlife Still Disappearing?

Thoughtful Australians are asking: Why are we still losing wildlife despite having more national parks and other reserves [“parks”] than ever before?

Research at the National University suggests that a major reason is that the parks are in the wrong places. Wrong? How?

Parks in Residual Areas

Too many parks are in residual areas – that is, in areas deemed unlikely to be profitable for human business of farming, logging, mining.

So wildlife is driven to forage on land that is relatively poor in nutrients and in nesting places. Similarly, marine parks are being opened to fishing, with consequent loss of fish-diversity.

Cities rapidly expand

Cities and large towns are expanding in every country, putting pressure on nearby countryside and its dependent wildlife. By 2030, two-thirds of Earth’s people will live in cities – with Australia one of the most urbanised of all.

In just three and a half decades the world’s cities will swell by 2.5 billion people!

As alarm at this prospect spreads, some people are calling for “re-wilding” measures to preserve and enhance natural habitat; others for “bewildering”, a broader concept, which means making provision for combined people’s and wildlife’s well-being.

“Re-wild” or “Bewilder”

As Bob Crombie explains, bewildering is “planting appropriate vegetation, removing rubbish, obstacles and weeds, and creating and enhancing habitat wherever we can, thus facilitating the process of allowing other species to live with us in our backyards, suburbs, cities, industrial areas and rural areas, and creating healthy surrounds for people.

We need to preserve old trees, for they have natural hollows that provide homes for many birds and animals. (It can take a tree 120-200 years to create hollows suitable for wildlife.) About 350 species use hollows for roosting or nesting.

A kind of religious faith

Bob Crombie has been a park ranger for many years; later, a TAFE lecturer in environmental management. He is a leader of the successful campaign for World Heritage Listing by UNESCO of Royal National Park. He recently observed:

“Royal National Park was a big part of my childhood and its wildness is a voice that never stops whispering. Wildness enters your pores by osmosis, and once it’s under your skin, good luck forgetting. The wild haunts the imagination, calling you back to places of vast sky and ever changing light, where solitude hunts for you and the edges of the world get ragged. These empty spaces are mirrors; they reflect back everything of yourself. They are teachers too, of a thousand lessons beyond anything our hands have made. Out there, time stops walking and takes on different hues, a bewildering experience.

“Royal National Park is recognised by the IUCN as a great treasure, one of the world’s great urban national parks entirely within and part of the great cities of Sydney and Wollongong. How fortunate we are.

“Nasho filled my being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave me reverence for all life and helped me to create a kinship with it where there is a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all. It was a great place to touch the Earth and feel the Sun and Moon. Nasho was a great library and its books were the flowers, the trees, the rocks and streams that spoke in quiet voices whenever I had the presence to listen. I truly learned to do what only the student of Nature learns and that is to wonder. No need to rail at the storms, wind, rain, cold, ticks and leeches. It was all one.”

What sort of a National Park do we want?

Nature's revenge

by Gary Schoer, Secretary, Southern Sydney Branch of National Parks Association of NSW

My wife, Bronlyn, suggested to me the other day that we, perhaps still hanker after a Royal National Park we might have enjoyed 40 years ago, and with increasing demands on it from a growing city we might have to adjust our vision somewhat.

We now live in an era when forces with different values have enunciated that more of our tracks should be dedicated to more active pursuits such as mountain  bike riding; that the great Cliffline of the Coastal track should be protected from inappropriate risk-taking activity by erecting more fences; and where some of our precious bushland might be sacrificed for yet more parking  as cars crowd the National Park’s main roads to counter full carparks adjoining natural magnets  like Wattamolla. We are a tourist icon despite not having the recognition factor of the Three Sisters. Social media, changes to the National Parks Act to include tourism as a core function of the National Parks Estate and demands for increased tourism to be a government-endorsed contributor to the economy have helped to erode those intuitive values that our members were fighting for 40 or 50 years ago. Royal National Park is seen through different lenses. What is the counter to these more conservative forces within both our government and its on-ground managers? Education directed at our decision makers is one  such approach.

Take the current debates about mountain bikes in Royal National Park. National Parks association members over ten years ago participated in a sort of democratic working party that came up with the idea of trialling a few single-track routes behind Loftus. A full, public evaluation of these tracks never took place. Instead the biking fraternity was basically asked what it wanted and where prior to the issue going before the general publis as an “Issues paper” leading up to a revised plan of management. This generous nod to a single interest group followed years of a growing use of  tracks not on the current plan of management and forging of routes where no bike should ever go, including one track where a metal sign advising that biking was not allowed due to endangered plants by the trackside…long since vandalised and replaced with a Mountain biking sticker where only the pole remains. Tracks have been claimed with signs screwed into trees and emblazoned on rocks …christened by the new caring user-group with names such as “Nature’s Revenge”.

We sent the evidence to management personnel, and now after  a lot of education about what is really happening on these public lands, there are signs, at least, of some de-branding of illegal track claims. Will we see closure? Call it lobbying, public embarrassing or whatever suits, but I like to think that, once educated about the scale of what we see as abuse of conciliatory “trials”, decision makers have no choice but to act. NGOs have been forced in the past to legally challenge unjustifiable “adaptive management practices” that are an excuse for pressures often seen as insurmountable. We don’t see it that way. Sticking to the core values of our National Parks estate is something that can’t be compromised, as we are forced to educate others about what is really happening on our abused natural lands.

Gary at Eagle Rock

At the next meeting of NPA and Sutherland Shire Environment Centre representatives  with Royal National management, we will be enunciating how education of all walkers near the spectacular clifflines of Royal National park does not have to extend to putting barriers at scenic magnets along the way. The so-called “Wedding Cake Rock” near Marley has attracted one person so close to the edge that he risked far too much and ended up falling to his death. Could he have been saved by a barrier? Might he have considered repeated signs on the track as to the dangers of cliff edges, any less than an atual “barrier”. The ultimate extension of engineered solutions to such tragedies might be near 20 km of fencelines along arguably one of the most spactacular coastal walks in the world. We will be ununciating the collective wisdom of NPA executive gleaned from over 100 collective years of walking this route to advocate an alternative to a heavy handed approach. Regrettably, management is sometimes bound by recommendations of coroners, but is a heavy-ended approach going to be any better than alternatives sometimes not fully explored. We wish to be an alternative, educated voice in decision-making about how to manage our public lands.

I can’t remember how many years NPA has been advocating a shuttle bus service to places like Wattamolla. I DID manage to get a car park at Wattamolla one sunny day a few weeks back to accompany some overseas visitors to eagle Rock, 3 km away. I was shocked to see the number of cars parked on the main route through Royal National Park when visitors found the car park full…a three km walk was required to reach Wattamolla. The unofficial car park on Bertram Stevens Drive was both an eye sore and potential traffic hazard. And NPWS was not able to collect car parking fee. So, will the discussion paper on Wattamolla suggest that more bushland will be cleared to accommodate more paying customers. Or will genuine, less energy-intensive alternatives be suggested alongside other solutions to elicit a genuine public conversation? Royal National park Management will be in no doubt about our expectations after an educative and respectful conversation with them.

It is all to easy to roll with the punches when we see compromises being made in how our public lands are managed. But groups like National Parks Association and the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre will continue to suggest that the Emperor has no clothes when we see compliant behaviours favouring a new natural order of things. All of us who wonder about what we are seeing happening in our National Parks could do a lot worse than challenge the status quo in informed, educative ways that reflect values much deeper than those which have slowly but surely allowed more soil to be lost, more cars to dominate, and engineered blots on the landscapes erected to “look after” our well-being.

I shall be informing Bronlyn that MY values have not changed compared to 50 years ago. The natural world needs champions more than ever.

Tribute from America for our NATIONAL PARK – the first ‘NATIONAL’ ever!

It’s from Lance Richardson, a New York-based writer who’s currently working on a book about Wolves and Wilderness. He’s Australian-born and knows our Royal National Park. In a long article (SMH, 25.4.15) he says, “I try to imagine Australia without the national parks. This takes quite an effort, because there are more than 500 of them.” [More likely, over 700 parks and wilderness areas. BW]

Richardson relevantly quotes the father of the American environmental movement, John Muir (1830-1914), who said that as the American frontier began to vanish, “Thousands of tired nerve-shaken, over-civilised people began to realise that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

Here are a few of Richardson’s tributes:

  • “Anybody who has ever walked the 26-kilometre coast track from Bundeena to Otford knows this is one of Sydney’s best treasures, a sublime stretch of sandstone crags and lonely surf-caressed beaches.”
  • Without the Parks, “we would lose: places to walk, to picnic, to fish, to ride bicycles, and horses; places to spend time with family and practise camping skills; places to be alone; places for native flora and fauna to flourish in peace.
  • “Wilderness is part of [Australians] national identity, the ‘bush’ and the ‘outback’ landscapes so typified by wilderness, continue to hold a central place in Australians’ culture” – they love national parks and wilderness areas because they need them, as a photo album reminds us of how we have evolved.

An Australian Perspective

The Australian ecologist Bob Crombie suggests we write to Lance Richardson, appreciating his article while at the same time differing at a couple of points.

“Lance, our National Park was established completely independently. We didn’t ‘pilfer’ the idea form the establishment of America’s Yellowstone Public Park, May 1872, an action intended only to bring that park under federal jurisdiction. Australians are proud of the fact that our National Park was named as such in 1879. (‘Royal’ was added in 1955, following Queen Elizabeth’s visit.)

“And our 1879 ‘National Park’ was the first protected area in the world to be set aside ‘for the purpose of a national park’, a point agreed to by Yellowstone Library and Museum when Yellowstone celebrated its centenary in 1972. Thus we are entitled to say, our National Park was A GREAT WORLD FIRST! We like to summarise this story as:

Five distinctions of the first National Park:

  1. Earliest. Established 1879, less than 100 years after foundation of Sydney. (“Royal” added in 1955 after visit in 1954 of young Queen Elizabeth.)
  2. First. This was the first park in the world to be designated “for the purpose of a national park”. (American parks of the 1870s, Yellowstone and Yosemite, were state parks, “national” coming later.)
  3. Urban. Royal is the only substantial National Park in the world that is wholly contained within a city (Sydney).
  4. Diverse. Royal offers an incredible variety of abundant flora, fauna, landforms.
  5. Attractive. Royal attracts more visitors each year – 4 million and rising – than any other site, including Uluru, Kakadu, and the Great Barrier Reef.

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

The holding of the Sixth World Parks Congress in Sydney from 12-19 November presented First National Park with a once in a life time opportunity to put the case for World Heritage listing of the Royal Reserves to a huge international conservation audience. Of the total 5,600 delegates 3,400 were from overseas and from 168 countries in the World.

The particular significance of the World Heritage quest of the Royal reserves to the Congress was that Royal National Park (formerly ‘National Park’) was the very first place in the world to be reserved for the new land protection purpose of ‘national park’. It establishment in 1879 was in no way connected with or inspired by the reservation of Yellowstone Public Park in 1872 where the name of ‘National Park’ was given to it to make it clear to all that it was under federal jurisdiction.

Our aim at the Congress was to interest the delegates, including those from Australia, in learning more about the history of the area and its natural attributes and, of course about its significance to what is arguably the most important conservation innovation in human history –  the world-wide national parks movement.  We used three main ways of attracting the interest of the delegates and providing them with information. First, our stall at Audley was visited by many of the 90 delegates who took part in a Royal National Park excursion on Sunday 16 November.

On that same day we also had a stall at Olympic Park at an event called Planetfest.

The third method was the presentation at the Congress the following day of an E-Poster entitled ‘Filling two big gaps in the World Heritage List: Australia’s role’. In addition to putting the case for listing of the Royal Reserves this paperless presentation also makes the case for the filling of an equally important World Heritage gap – Antarctica. You can access this poster here. (Click “Search for a poster”, then use the presenter name “Mosley”.)

Tools for the spreading of our information including several pamphlets, our book The First National Park A Natural for World Heritage, and specially prepared T.shirts emblazoned with ‘Naturals for World Heritage Royal National Park Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Conservation Area’.

If you have read this post and you or a friend would like more information please contact us on 9528 0444 or by email.

Some Supporting Organisations and Eminent Individuals

NSW State Government and Opposition parties
Sutherland Shire Council – unanimous support
Wollongong Council – unanimous support

Australian Conservation Foundation
Bob Brown Foundation
Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd
Conservation Council of South Australia
Conservation Council of Western Australia
Foundation for National Parks and WIldlife
Geological Society of Australia
Linnean Society of NSW
National Trust
Nature Conservation Council
National Parks Association of New South Wales (+ Sydney and Southern branches)
Royal Botanic Gardens and National Herbarium
Royal Zoological Society
Tourism and Transport Forum
Total Environment Centre
Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia Ltd
World Wildlife Fund Australia Ltd

The Right Hon. Bob Carr – former Premier of NSW
The Right Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC – former Prime Minister of Australia
The Hon Mike Baird, MP – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations and Premier of NSW
Jack Mundey

World Significant Event comes to Sydney – and to the Royal! And to Sutherland 12 October!

Truly, a stroke of good fortune!

IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, will hold its next, once-in-a-decade Congress in Australia in November. In fact in Sydney.

That’s exciting! And now there’s news that the NSW Government, joined by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, has booked the Pensioners Centre in Sutherland to present “The World Heritage Values of Royal National Park”. On 12 October between 2.30pm-4.00pm.

Not to be missed! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Shire residents.

Our Local Efforts Are Now Augmented

For nearly five years, Shire people have campaigned for World Heritage Listing of the Royal. Our First National Park movement has researched the Park’s values and sought publicity and friends. We have especially promoted “Five Distinctions of Australia’s First National Park”:

  1. Earliest Park. Established 1879, less than 100 years after foundation of Sydney. (“Royal” added in 1955 after visit in 1954 of young Queen Elizabeth.)
  2. First Park. This was the first park in the world to be designated “for the purpose of a national park”. (American parks of the 1870s, Yellowstone and Yosemite, were state parks, with “national” coming later.*)
  3. Urban Park. Royal is the only substantial National Park in the world that is wholly contained within a city (Sydney).
  4. Diverse Park. Royal offers an incredible variety of abundant flora, fauna, and landforms. So much to experience!
  5. Magnetic Park. Royal attracts more visitors each year – 4 million and rising – than any other significant Australian site, including Uluru, Kakadu, and the Great Barrier Reef. Its value to tourism is huge.

We are proud to have helped Sutherland Shire Environment Centre to publish the magnificent 240-page book by Dr Geoff Mosley, The first National Park, A Natural for World Heritage.  It will be on display on 12 October, along with the Linnean Society’s Field Guide to Royal National Park.

* ‘Correction: Please note with regard to the item of 12th October on the website concerning Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks this should  have read “Yosemite became a public park under the control of the State of California in 1864 and a national park under federal control later.  Yellowstone became a public park under federal control and with the name ‘Yellowstone National Park’ in 1872.

Which was the world’s First National Park?

When people try to find the answer to the question of ‘which was the world’s first national park?’ the obvious approach is to compare the dates of their establishment. Hence we have Yellowstone National Park established in 1872 and Royal (as ‘National Park’) in 1879.

The fact is though that in these two instances ‘national park’ was used to mean two different things as follows:

1) In the case of Yellowstone the term was used to mean that unlike the earlier park at Yosemite, which was granted by the US Congress to the State of California in 1864 it was to be a park under federal jurisdiction (there were no States at Yellowstone to grant the land to and two of the territories in which the land was located were vying for its control). Similarly there was no general legislation under which it could have been established, hence the special Act of Congress under which it was set aside;

2) In the case of what is now Royal National Park the term ‘national park’ was used to indicate a new type of land use. It was set aside under general New South Wales legislation (The Crown Lands Alienation Act, 1861) providing for the establishment of reserves on public land;

3) So, whereas the land in Yellowstone National Park had been set aside in 1872 as “a public park or pleasuring ground”, the land at National Park/Royal National Park was set aside in 1879 “for the purpose of a national park”. Both parks were given a name that included the words ‘National Park’.

So, the more accurate answer to the question we have posed is that both Yellowstone and Royal were first in different ways. At Yellowstone ‘National Park’ was used to indicate federal control and at Royal ‘national park’ was used to indicate a new form of land use on public lands. It is interesting to note that this difference was understood by Yellowstone in 1972 when it celebrated its centenary. In the centenary publication Yellowstone a Century of the Wilderness Idea the book makes the point that the first time the words national park were used in the land use sense described above was at Royal National Park. As the national park systems spread out across the US, Australia and the world both Yellowstone and Royal played an inspirational role and it is regrettable, that, applying the US concept of a national park as one requiring federal control (or control by the highest authority in the nation), the importance of the Australian innovation and subsequent record of achievement has sometimes been not properly understood.

We hope that has answered your curiosity about this matter but if you would like to delve further into the history of the establishment of these two important parks you can find more in The First National Park A Natural for World Heritage published by the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre in 2012

Excited to be Invited!

From Drummoyne, a lover of Royal National Park writes: “I spent childhood years in the Shire and frequently rambled in the Park. And though marriage took me away, I regularly brought my four children back for ‘explorations’ of the Park. So I’m excited to be invited to the Launch of Dr Mosley’s book… Yes, I’ll certainly come!” (Elizabeth Hirschl)

A Very Special Book Launch

We printed a thousand copies of this 240-page book.

Already a copy has been sent to all members of the NSW Parliament.

A team is ready to post a copy to all members of the Federal Parliament and to other VIPs.

*You can attend this historic event: Tuesday 16 April at 6.30pm in the Multi-Purpose Centre, Flora Street, Sutherland. (A supper will follow.) Close 8.30 to 9.00pm.

Campaign Against Shooting Intensifies!

Question: Has there ever been a campaign against a NSW Premier to equal the current community condemnation of shooting in national parks?

The O’Farrell Shooting Policy has united Labor, Liberal, Green and Independent citizens in a shout of protest. Here are just a dozen of the most recent protests. Note: The shooting in 79 national parks begins from April 30th.

  1. In a long denunciation of the O’Farrell Policy, the Herald political editor Sean Nicholls accuses the Premier of a “gamble” by risking death or injury to a park visitor in order to gain the votes of a couple of Shooters Party MPs (SMH, 23-24.2.13)
  2. A Sawtell resident’s letter says, “[Premier] we remember the promises you made before the election about no hunting at all in national parks. How much, exactly, is your word worth?” (SMH, 27.2.13)
  3. Former Premier Nathan Rees told Parliament, “The Shooters and Fishers Party is leading the Government around by the nose.” (Sun-Herald, 24.2.13)
  4. Influential Herald cartoonist Moir depicts a rough gun-toting shooter behind a gagged Premier. (SMH, 27.2.13)
  5. The Public Service Association is considering directing its members (including Parks officers) not to enter any national park.
  6. The Premier has bowed to public pressure by forbidding hunters to use silencers on their guns. [Well, loud reports will warn visitors to clear out of the Park!]
  7. Fairfax media warns of a “major risk” that someone will be killed or seriously injured when the shooting goes ahead. (Sun-Herald, 24.2.13)
  8. Many bushwalking clubs say they will have to keep away from national parks when hunting begins.
  9. Though Royal is not itself one of the 79 Parks designated for shooting, fears are being expressed that a yahoo element will surely interpret the Premier’s sanction of hunting as “It’s OK to shoot anywhere”.
  10. A Rose Bay resident’s letter declares, “There have been four deaths in New Zealand” from shooting in national parks – so “it’s not a matter of if but when there will be human fatalities in NSW.” For feral pest control, “let professional, supervised shooters carry it out.” (Sun-Herald, 24.2.13)
  11. Another correspondent has said, “Last year in New Zealand a hunter Alexander McDonald was fatally shot through the head when his orange beanie was mistaken for the red skin of a deer.” (SMH, 2-3.3.13)
  12. “The Government knows it has a dud policy on its hands,” Opposition spokesman Luke Foley told Parliament, and he scorned attempts to involve police in “aggressive confrontations” between hunters and the public. (Sun-Herald, 24.2.13)

Promotional pamphlet for World Heritage Listing of the Royal Reserves

The White Pointer, Wattamolla

World Heritage Listing for

Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and

Garawarra State Conservation Area.

A campaign by First National Park supported by the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre.

First National Park supported by the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre is campaigning for the world heritage listing of Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Conservation Area.

These three magnificent reserves, the Royal Reserves, are contained with the Cataract subregion of the Sydney Basin Bioregion (SBBR), which is itself of world heritage significance on a par with the South West of Western Australia and the Cape Floral Region and Namakwaland of South Africa. The most compelling attraction of the three reserves Royal, Heathcote and Garawarra is their outstanding biogeodiversity developed within the landscapes created by the geology of the Hawkesbury Sandstones, Narrabeen and Wianamatta rocks and Quaternary Alluviums, a true hotspot in the SBBR and arguably its most outstanding exemplar.

Our view is that the SBBR should also be nominated for world heritage listing allowing for many reserved areas such as Dharawal, the Greater Blue Mountains, Yengo, Marra Marra, Maroota, and Ku-ring-gai Chase to be listed as well, as outstanding reserved samples of the SBBR. The Greater Blue Mountains (GBMWHA) already has listings for world heritage, however, these need expanding to incorporate the outstanding features of the ecology of the SBBR. Once this is achieved, then the other reserves in the Sydney Basin can put forward their case for listing as additional reserved samples. The Royal Reserves would certainly apply for world heritage listing on this basis. However, this will take some time and is dependant upon the additional listings for the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

We believe that the Royal Reserves have a stand alone case to be considered for world heritage listing which we will make in our report to the NSW government. The best prospects for the Royal Reserves as a stand alone WH nomination appear to be with regard to selection criterion (vi) contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance; and as an associative cultural landscape.

Please support our nomination for world heritage listing by loving and caring for these reserves and actively protecting them against all destructive influences.

Unique and significant features of Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Recreation Area

The following is the basis of our report to the NSW Government recommending the Royal reserves for WHL.

  • Royal is one of the first national parks in the world either first, second, third or fourth with Yellowstone, Yosemite and Mackinac depending up the criteria chosen. Royal was the first reserve dedicated as a national park.
  • Beginnings of the conservation movement in Australia and highly significant in the development of the conservation and national park movements in the world.
  • Conserves excellent samples of our early heritage values, e.g. Audley boatshed, Audley gardens and picnic grounds, Audley shelter sheds and other buildings, the bus-stop tree, shacks and YHA hostel, Scientist’s Cabin precinct including the cleared area, the saw pits and the boiler, parts of Forest Island walk; Lady Carrington Drive, Jersey Springs
  • Royal and Heathcote were very important in the development of the wilderness concept in Australia and the world.
  • Part of Sydney and has the capacity to lead the world movement to integrate wildlife with urban, industrial and rural areas.
  • Outstanding opportunities for healthy re-creation in natural surrounds
  • Outstanding opportunities to provide resources for environmental education
  • Rich Aboriginal heritage of the Dharawal People.

The following information will support our claim:

  • Location for many scientific types/reference species.
  • Outstanding examples and great diversity of scleromorphy.
  • Ecodiversity – great and varied assemblage of ecosystems across the landscape, including a number of rare communities, on Hawkesbury Sandstones, Narrabeen Series, and Wianamatta Series rocks and Quaternary alluviums. This stems from its geographic location and very diverse range of physiographic, geologic, edaphic, climatic, fire, ecotonal and boundary transitions, and human influences coupled with the unique evolutionary and biogeographic history of Australia. This has resulted in a diversity of flora and fauna, which is amongst the worlds richest (notably plants, frogs, reptiles birds, and butterflies and molluscs). It ranks on a par with the South Western Australian region, and the Cape Floral Region, and Namakwaland of South Africa especially when considering it as a representative sample of the Sydney Basin Bioregion. Wonderful rare and significant upland swamps.
  • The relict clifftop dunes between Jibbon and Burning Palms. These are amongst the most extensive and best preserved examples in the state of aeolian coastal dunes formed during the Holocene sea level changes (Pye and Benson, 1984). These may have additional complexity due to the modern aeolian deposition (Howard, 1981).They occur at Bundeena and Jibbon and on to Marley, Wattamolla south headland, Curracurang, Garie Headland, Garie, Little Garie, North and South Era and Burning Palms.
  • Many unique examples of co-evolutionary processes, e.g. various interesting and unique pollination processes such as Chiloglottis orchids and their pollinating wasps, various other orchids and their pollinators, flowers and honeyeaters, banksias and their pollinators such as bush rats, pygmy possums, and birds, and jewel beetles as pollinators; concerted flowering and availability for pollinators; bird, wasp, beetle, fly, moth, butterfly, bat, possums and bush rats pollinated flowers; mycorrhyzal associations; trigger plants; plant defense mechanisms, e.g. glands on wattles and their ant defenders; seed dispersal mechanisms using special animal vectors, e.g. ants and elaiosomes, sticky fruits of Pisonia; wattles, etc.
  • Many unique, unusual, outstanding examples of adaptations of organisms to their environment
  • Great and significant geodiversity especially the coastal weathering of the Hawkesbury Sandstones and the geologic features of the Woronora Plateau. The sea caves between Curracurang and Curracurong are excellent and well-preserved samples of marine weathering along joints and dykes.
  • Over 1300 plant species including a number of rare species, a very large number for a temperate area and one of the highest temperate area diversities in the world
  • Gigantic lignotubers of bloodwood Eucalyptus gummifera and yellow-topped mallee ash Eucalyptus leuhmanniana with a single plant often covering quite large areas
  • One of the most diverse places in Australia for bird diversity more so when coupled with Sutherland Shire, which has a greater diversity than the world renowned Kakadu National Park, notably perching birds (Passiformes) especially honeyeaters (Meliphagidae).
  • The Jibbon lagoons are an important place for paleaobotanic pollen studies
  • Additional to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
  • A representative sample of the Sydney Basin, which we believe is worthy of World Heritage Listing as well – coastal aspect. (Subdivide the Cataract subregion into Royal subregion containing all the land north of Stanwell Tops and Cataract subregion to contain the reminder.)
  • Outstanding and highly diverse scenery

Eagle Rock; Garie Headland; Wattamolla Lagoon; Curracurrang inlet and pool; coastal cliffs beaches and lagoons; estuaries of Port Hacking, Cabbage Tree Basin, and South West Arm; heathlands, woodlands, forests and rainforests; outstandingly beautiful rock outcrops especially along the coast, Flat Rock and the Moss Gardens; The Palm Jungle; Werrong; Tounoom Brook, falls and valley; Bola Creek; Uloola and National Falls; Uloola Creek cascades; Crystal Pools; Figure Eight Pool, Walker’s Garden; Robertson’s Roundabout tracks; Kangaroo Creek.