Vision for Black Mountain
Our vision is that Black Mountain be recognised as an icon of
biodiversity in Canberra, the ‘Bush Capital’ of Australia.
Vision for Friends of Black Mountain
Friends of Black Mountain aims to be the primary community
voice for conserving and promoting the biodiversity of Black Mountain.
The Friends of Black Mountain is a non-profit
voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving and promoting the biodiversity of
Black Mountain. Its aims are to:
- Encourage interest in and develop knowledge and
understanding of the natural, cultural, recreational, scientific,
educational and aesthetic values of Black Mountain.
- Build a record of the reserve’s biodiversity and values.
- Promote its uniqueness within and beyond the ACT region.
Membership is open all people interested in the
conservation and promotion of the biodiversity of Black Mountain
Friends of Black Mountain Coordination Group organises a range of formal and
informal activities for:
- Protecting the integrity of Black Mountain and its
connectivity to adjoining nature reserves.
- Preserving the Belconnen Way, Caswell Drive and Frith
Street approaches to Black Mountain as the main access for recreational,
educational, research and conservation activities on the Mountain and as a
- Preserving the aesthetic values of Black Mountain.
- Protecting the nature reserve for future generations of
Canberrans and the nation.
- Preserving the significance and unique features of the
diverse range of soil biota, geology, native flora and fauna so close to the
centre of the National Capital.
- Preserving the ecotourism value of Black Mountain for
- Preserving the living heritage value of Black Mountain.
- Providing interpretation and education about Black
- Preserving the recreational and community values of Black
Black Mountain is a gem of natural, cultural, recreational,
scientific, educational and aesthetic value.
The Friends of Black Mountain may be contacted at PO Box 1777,
Canberra City ACT 2601 or
Black Mountain is an icon, also described as the
‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the Canberra urban reserve system, Canberra Nature Park.
It is the largest and most prominent, and reserve in Canberra Nature Park and
has unique biodiversity. The mountain is a gem of natural, cultural,
recreational, scientific, educational and aesthetic value.
- Black Mountain is an outstanding dry sclerophyll forest
on the Southern Tablelands. Low altitude temperate open forest and temperate
grassland are well recognised as under threat across southeast Australia
broadly, and Canberra’s Black Mountain is a very significant reserve of
these types of vegetation;
- The reserve is very rich floristically, with over 500
species of plants recorded – in one place – in the heart of the Bush
- Trees include scribbly gums, brittle gums and
stringybarks, as well as yellow box, red gum, apple box, Blakeley’s gum,
cherry ballarts and a small populations of black cypress pines. Then there
is a diverse array of wattles, heaths, daisies and everlastings, native
peas, grasses, sedges, and bluebells – plus a myriad of other plant
diversity such as fringed lilies, sundews, geebungs, guinea flowers, indigo,
sarsparilla, and lilies.
- Two significant endangered ecological communities are
also represented in the Reserve: natural temperate grassland and yellow
box/red gum grassy woodland;
- The Reserve is renowned for its orchids; so far, more
than 60 species of orchids have been recorded as being on Black Mountain in
the Field Guide to the Orchids of the Australian Capital Territory The
management plan for Canberra Nature Park also notes the importance of the
orchids recorded on Black Mountain at the time it was published as
'representing two thirds of the total orchid diversity recorded for the
- More than 90 species of birds have been recorded on Black
Mountain over the years. Many of these species depend on the relatively
undisturbed breeding habitats in the northern and western parts of the
- The Caswell Drive area is also a wildlife corridor that
is important for the Black Mountain kangaroo population.
- Ecologically, the mountain’s key feature is the survival
of the native plant understorey and groundcover and the animal communities
that depend on them;
- Records of mammals on the mountain include kangaroos and
swamp wallabies, the wallaroo, brush-tailed and ring-tailed possums,
echidnas, dunnarts, Stuart’s marsupial mouse and the yellow-footed marsupial
mouse, sugar gliders, and nine species of bat;
- Reptiles include three snake species, nine species of
skink, and seven lizard species, including dragons. There are also nine frog
species, two rare cricket species, and two scorpion species;
- Black Mountain has unique geology and soil biota in the
- The reserve is an immensely valuable scientific and
educational resource botanically, and the conservation of this remnant area
is dependent on minimal fragmentation and absence of ecological barriers to
other elements of Canberra Nature Park.
This nature reserve holds a special place in
Australian biology, because of its place in scientific nomenclature. Due to its
location next to CSIRO Herbarium and Entomology, many of Australia's plant and
insect species have been described on Black Mountain.
Black Mountain is used for a variety of educational
purposes, including spring and summer wildflower walks conducted by local
Recreational and Community Values
Black Mountain is used by people from all over
Canberra as a place to relax, look at wildflower displays, watch birds, or
simply recharge by recreation that has minimal damage on the natural
environment, consistent with appreciation, conservation and preservation of the
natural environment on Black Mountain.