By Jacqueline Britton
Cattai Aware Project Officer (Rural)
Australia has over 700 species of eucalypts but did you know we have our very own species of eucalypt found only in the Cattai catchment, called Eucalyptus species Cattai. The species is very rare and has been listed under New South Wales and Commonwealth environmental legislation as Critically Endangered as it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction.
It has been recorded in Glenorie, Annangrove, Kenthurst, Glenhaven and Kellyville.
It is a small, mallee-form tree that can grow up to 4.5 m with thick, furrowed and fibrous bark. Adult leaves are dark green and glossy, and paler on the underside. It can grow individually or in small clustered groups usually around sandstone ridgetops in scrub, heath or low woodland.
Some of its threats are clearing, urban development and altered fire-regimes. Fire is essential for seed germination.
I recently visited for the first time, the Eucalyptus species Cattai population in Heath Road, North Kellyville. At this location there are a number of trees growing along the ridgetop in a pocket of bushland close to urban development.
One of CHEN’s goals is to increase awareness in the local community of this rare and unique species and to aid its protection.
NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) (2019). Eucalyptus sp. Cattai – profile. Available at: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=10317
Teresa James (2018) Rare and threatened flora of the Hills Shire Council