EXPLORE Australia’s Greater Blue Mountains Area with this slideshow, check the location map and get all the facts and information below.

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Map showing the location of Greater Blue Mountains Area world heritage site in AustraliaFactfile

Website Category: Mountains; Temperate & Boreal Forests

Area:  10,326 km2

Inscribed:  2000

Criteria:

  • Ecological processes (ix);
  • Natural habitat for biodiversity (x);

Location and Values: The Greater Blue Mountains Area is located on the Australian Great Divide in New South Wales, inland from Sydney.  The world heritage site covers eight contiguous protected areas dominated by temperate Eucalypt forest on a dissected sandstone tableland.  It includes a wide variety of Eucalypt-dominated vegetation types typical of those that has evolved across most of the Australian continent, and ensures the protection of a significant representative area.  Many of Australia’s iconic mammals – including koala, echidna and platypus, as well as grey kangaroo, red-necked wallaby, wallaro and wombat – are found in the area.  From a biodiversity perspective the site covers a wide variety of habitats – wet and dry sclerophyll forests, mallee heathlands, localized swamps and wetlands as well as grasslands –  and its flora includes some unusual ‘relict’ species of Gondwanan origin including the highly restricted endemic Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) and Blue Mountains Pine (Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii).  Although it is included in the mountains category of this website, most of the table-land and its modest peaks lie below an elevation of 2,000m.

Conservation Status and Prospects.  According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Greater Blue Mountains Area is ‘good with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that ‘The site has a high value for the protection of natural biological processes and its values remain relatively intact, but improved management of vertebrate pests, fire and the impacts of coal mining and urban development in adjacent areas is required. Most of the current threats are from activities outside the WHA boundary including coal mining. Although these threats are high they are capable of being resolved by better planning and management. However, the large size and extensive perimeter of the site and the existence of major enclaves (inholdings) is creating management difficulties. Achieving a high level of conservation will require even greater levels of cooperation particularly with regard to protection of the GBMWHA on adjacent lands. ’

Links:
Google Earth
Official UNESCO Site Details
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description
Birdlife IBA

Slideshow description

Images of Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site in Australia

The slideshow ‘tells the story’ of Australia’s Greater Blue Mountains Area with a portfolio of photos by Peter Howard from a visit to the Blue Mountains National Park in January 2018.  Most of the photos are from the Kedumba sector of the park around Katoomba, taking in the views, flora and fauna seen at Sublime Point, Echo Point, the Valley of the Waters and Wentworth Falls.  Further north, the slideshow features the National Parks and Wildlife Service Visitor Centre at Govetts Leap, views of the spectacular Pulpit Rock lookout, and two of the area’s unique endemic plants (Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) and Blue Mountains Pine (Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii))   that can be seen at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden if not in their wild natural locations.

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