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Mount Taylor, Oakey Hill, Wanniassa Hills and Isaacs Ridge, Tuggeranong Pky, Farrer, ACT, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Natural
Legal Status Indicative Place
Place ID 101681
Place File No 8/01/000/0524
Nominator's Statement of Significance
Mount Taylor is the most prominent landmark in southern Canberra, and together with the other ridges and hills of the reserve, is valued as a key part of the landscape of Canberra.
The reserve contains populations of the nationally endangered Pink-tailed Legless Lizard Aprasia parapulchella (one of the most significant populations known) and a nationally endangered plant, the Small Purple-pea Swainsona recta.
It also provides examples of two nationally endangered communities - Eucalyptus melliodora -E blakelyi woodland commmunity, and the lowland temperate grassland community - plus a regionally significant vegetational transitional stage, between dry sclerophyll forest and woodland.
Official Values Not Available
This large cluster of units, based around Mount Taylor, contains the most prominent landmarks of southern Canberra. Oakey Hill is a low hill, rising to the south to Mount Taylor, which at 855m asl is the second highest hill in Canberra (with Mount Tuggeranong), and the highest south of Mount Majura on the northern edge of the city. Farrer Ridge continues to the east as a lower ridge, but the system rises again steeply to Wanniassa Hill (809m asl). The steep rugged ridge continues north as Isaacs Ridge.
It is comprised of either Ordovician or late Silurian volcanics of the Laidlaw Volcanic Suite.
Much of the vegetation has been extensively modified by grazing and clearing, but extensive and significant remnants of the original vegetation contribute to the values of the reserve. Dry sclerophyll forest remnants occur as Eucalyptus polyanthemos, E nortonii, E bridgesiana, E rossii and E dives (Wanniassa Hills, Farrer Ridge, Isaacs Ridge and southern Mount Taylor). Mount Taylor also has stands of Allocasuarina verticillata, uncommon in the ACT. At lower levels, remnants of the nationally endangered woodland community dominated by E melliodora and E blakelyi are found on Farrer Ridge and Isaacs Ridge. E bridgesiana - E blakelyi woodland remnants are found on the lower slopes of Wanniassa Hills. An unusual woodland on the crest of Wanniassa Hill is dominated by E polyanthemos and E dives, with some E bridgesiana and E rossii. This is regarded as representing the warmer low-altitude component of the E macrorhynca - E rossii alliance - a transitional stage from it to the surrounding woodlands, and as the best example of it in urban Canberra.
Perhaps the most important vegetation community in the system is the floristically rich Themeda triandra grasslands on Mount Taylor. The Mount Taylor grasslands contain two species of national significance. The pea Swainsona recta is known only from a population near Wellington NSW, a railway reserve near the Monaro Highway, and a population of 70 plants on Mount Taylor, plus a single plant on the Long Gully roadside in the reserve. It is regarded as nationally endangered.
The grassland Pink-tailed Legless Lizard Aprasia parapulchella is a nationally endangered species found only in the ACT and immediate surrounds, with one small colony near Tarcutta. The species is listed as Endangered under Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. The Mount Taylor population, based on a 1991 survey, is one of only four in the ACT described as 'abundant', and the only one in Canberra Nature Park. Smaller populations are also known from other sites in the reserve - Oakey Hill and Farrer Ridge.
Mount Taylor has a very active Park Care Group, who have essentially finished woody weed removal and been involved in extensive replantings. They have also collected seed and propagated approximately 50 plants of Swainsona recta for planting out in winter 1997.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
Much of the reserve has been degraded by past land management practices, but as described above, significant remnants survive, and important regeneration, both active and passive, is taking place. Under the management of the ACT Parks and Conservation Service as part of Canberra Nature Park, it is anticipated that the integrity of the reserve will be maintained and that rehabilitation will continue.
This group of reserves forms a very elongate 'reverse J' shape around the western, southern and south-eastern edges of the suburbs of Woden township, separating Woden from the north-eastern edge of Tuggeranong township.
In the north-west of the system is Oakey Hill Reserve, south of Heysen Street, east of Tuggeranong Parkway, west of the suburb of Farrer, south to Hindmarsh Drive. South of Hindmarsh Drive is Mount Taylor Reserve. Its western boundary is also Hindmarsh Drive, and its eastern is the suburb of Pearce and Torrens; south of Torrens it runs east to Athllon Drive. To the south it is bounded by Sulwood Drive and Colquhoun Street.
East of Athllon Drive it continues as Farrer Ridge, with the suburb of Farrer as its northern boundary, east to Erindale Drive and south to Sulwood Drive. It surrounds the Canberra Nature Park Athllon Depot which is in its south-west corner.
East again across Erindale Drive is Wanniassa Hills, with the suburb of Fadden to the south and Long Gully Road to the north. The eastern boundary is defined by rural leasehold land.
North across Long Gully Road it ends with Isaacs Ridge, east of the Long Gully Pine plantation, and almost across to Mugga Lane.
ACT Parks and Conservation Service, undated. Farrer Ridge, Sites of Significance, site 7.
Briggs JD and Leigh JH, 1985. Delineation of Important Habitats of Rare and Threatened Plant Species in the Australian Capital Territory. CSIRO Division of Plant Industry.
Department of Urban Services, 1996. Canberra Nature Park; draft management plan. ACT Government.
Fraser I and McJannett, 1996. Neighbours in Trouble!; endangered plants and animals in the ACT. Conservation Council of the SE Region and Canberra.
Frawley K, 1991. The Conservation of Remnant Woodland and Native Grassland in the ACT. National Parks Association of the ACT.
Hogg D, 1990. The Ecological Resources of the ACT; a review of recent information. National Capital Planning Authority.
Lindsay JF, undated. Cooleman Ridge, local geology. Leaflet.
National Capital Development Commission, 1988. Sites of Significance in the ACT; 4 Woden, Tuggeranong and Associated Areas. National Capital Development Commission Technical Paper 56.
Osborne WS, Lintermans M and Williams KD, 1991. Distribution and Conservation Status of the Endangered Pink-tailed Legless Lizard Aprasia parapulchella.(Kluge). ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
Osborne WS and McKergow FVC, 1993. Distribution, Population Density and Habitat of the Pink-Tailed Legless Lizard Aprasia parapulchella in Canberra Nature Park, ACT. Technical Report 3, ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
Owen M, 1987. Geological Monuments in the Australian Capital Territory. Report prepared for the Monuments Subcommittee of the Territories Division of the Geological Society of Australia for the Australian Heritage Commission.
Woodruff B and Florence R, 1992. City Parks; management guidelines for specific sites. Technical Services Unit, ACT Parks and Conservation Service.

Report Produced  Mon Jul 28 23:55:50 2014