Native plants and animals

Lake Macquarie City is home to an amazing and diverse range of unique plants and animals. These native plants and animals play an important role in contributing to our local ecosystems.

Migratory, Cetacean and Marine Species of Lake Macquarie

A number of migratory species, cetaceans and marine species, listed under the National Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, occur in Lake Macquarie City and can be observed from within the City (i.e. open ocean species).

Threatened Species of Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie City is home to a number of species which are listed as threatened under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. This list includes some migratory and marine species, as well as endangered ecological communities and plant species.

Discover some of the significant and other orchids in the area with our Guide to native orchids in Lake Macquarie City.

There are also some fish species known or likely to occur in Lake Macquarie which are listed as threatened under the  Fisheries Management Act 1994

Flagship species of Lake Macquarie


The Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) is the flagship species for rainforest in. Its distribution appears to be limited by the availability of subtropical and temperate rainforest.


To represent the beauty and fragility of our waterway ecosystems, the Australian Emerald Dragonfly (Hermicordulia australiae) has been selected as this ecosystem's flagship species.


The number of aquatic marine animals supported by the lake is many and varied and vegetation types associated with the lake ecosystem include mangroves, saltmarsh and seagrass, which are particularly important for providing habitat. Seagrasses grow on the bottom of the lake if the water is clear enough, providing habitat for the young of many recreational fish caught in the lake and ocean. Seagrass (including Zostera capricorni, Halophila ovalis, Posidonia australis and Ruppia megacarpa) is indicative of good water quality and has been selected as the City's flagship species for the lake. Monitoring over the past 10 years has shown that light penetration has improved by over a metre, allowing a measurable expansion of seagrass re-colonising deeper areas.


Our rocky shores and platforms are home to gastropods, sea stars, urchins, octopus, predatory snails, and sessile species such as barnacles, oysters, and the City's flagship species selected to represent the coast, Cunjevoi (or sea squirts) (Pyura stolonifera).


Forest ecosystems are being progressively cleared for new urban development. This reduces habitat for species threatened with extinction in New South Wales, such as the Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), the City's flagship species for forest ecosystems.


Clearing for new urban development is affecting our woodlands more commonly than any other ecosystem. This habitat is relied on by the City's woodland ecosystem flagship species, the Grey Kangaroo (Marcropus giganteus) and more than 20 other species already listed as threatened with extinction in New South Wales.

Heath Complex

The Northern Brown Bandicoot (Isodon macrourus) is the flagship species for heath ecosystems in Lake Macquarie City.


Of some 216 Australian frog species, about 20 occur locally, many of them in our wetlands. However, common frog species live in all types of habitat where there are ponds with trees around, even in our suburbs. The Peron's Tree Frog (Litoria Peroni) live in these areas for part of their life and has been selected as the flagship species for wetlands in Lake Macquarie City.


The flagship species selected to represent the ocean ecosystem is the Eastern Blue Groper (Achoerodus viridis).

Wildlife management

Managing protected native animals

Morbakka fenneri in Lake Macquarie

Learn about the Morbakka fenneri jellyfish, and how to treat stings.



Page last updated: 09 September 2019