Newington Nature Reserve

Toolijooa manages conservation works at the 13 hectare woodland (Wanngal Woodland) and 34.7 hectare wetland (Wanngal Wetland) that comprise Newington Nature Reserve at Sydney Olympic Park. These remnant forest and estuarine communities are of high ecological value, with the majority of their area comprised of:

  • Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest, a listed endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and critically endangered ecological community under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,
  • Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, an estuarine community listed as an EEC under the NSW TSCA 1995,
  • The largest remaining stand of Coastal Saltmarsh on the Parramatta River, a listed  EEC that contains large stands of Wilsonia backhousei Narrow-leaved Wilsonia, a listed vulnerable species under the NSW TSCA 1995,

The largest stand of Mangrove Forest on Parramatta River, protected estuarine vegetation under the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994, also occurs within the site.

A wide diversity of fauna is supported by the reserve, including over one-hundred and eighty species of birds, seven species of frog and ten species of bat. Of particular note are the presence of:

  • one of the largest remaining New South Wales populations of Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea, a listed endangered and vulnerable species under the NSW TSCA 1995 and EPBCA 1999 respectively,
  • migratory shorebirds, protected under international treaties, Commonwealth and State legislation,
  • Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii - a bird that migrates to Australia from Japan each year and is protected under international treaties,
  • a population of White-fronted Chat Epthianura albifrons - one of two populations remaining in Sydney,
  • bush birds - a group of small, mostly passerine birds such as Superb Fairy Wren Malurus cyaneus but also including Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus, a locally rare hollow-nesting bird. Bush birds are disappearing from surrounding urban habitats,
  • Microchiropteran bats, including the only maternity roost of the White-striped Free-tailed Bat Tadarida australis recorded in Sydney, which is also the only maternity roost of this species recorded within a building.

These species and ecological communities have been identified as priorities for conservation within Sydney Olympic Park and form the focus of management programs carried out by Toolijooa. Particularly with regard to threatened and significant fauna, this frequently requires the application of stringent works protocols and controls to ensure the conservation of these species. For example, works and programs in frog habitats are scheduled around seasonal cycles - habitat disturbance is avoided in winter when frogs are inactive and slow to move. Habitat works are generally conducted in the warmer months when frogs are inactive. Use of herbicides is not permitted within areas of frog habitat and any habitat disturbance, such as brush-cutting, must be structured in order to allow frogs in the disturbance zone to safely relocate.

Numerous protocols such as this are adhered to ensure the integrity of fauna populations.
A pair of regionally important White-breasted Sea-eagles Haliaeetus leucogaster have an active nest within the Newington Forest Reserve and works within a buffer zone area surrounding the nest are restricted during their breeding season. Mangrove individuals are being retained within saltmarsh conservation zones as habitat enhancement / roosts for the declining White-fronted Chat Epthianura albifrons where they would otherwise be removed to protect saltmarsh habitat. The nature of the Park's habitats - their relatively small size, constructed and altered nature, and many competing management objectives, means that ongoing active and adaptive management is needed to retain their ecological values.