Biodiversity or biological diversity is defined as the variety of all living things, including plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part. It is not static but is constantly changing.  It is increased by genetic change and evolutionary processes and reduced by processes such as habitat degradation, population decline, and extinction - National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity (DEST 1996). 

Find out more below on the Biodiversity of the Camden LGA and how Council protects and enhances biodiversity.

Biodiversity Education


Connect with Nature

The ‘Connect with Nature’ video series was developed in partnership with Penrith Council and Hooked on Nature and explores the unique plants and animals of Western Sydney that are found in the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland and the Nepean River corridor.

To find out more, head here.

Threatened Species Art and Writing Competition

The Threatened Species Art and Writing Competition (TSAC) is a regional environmental education program, hosted by Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Councils. The competition is open to young people aged five to 12 years and encourages students to learn about the threatened species of the Macarthur region.

To find out more, head here. 

Macarthur Nature Photography Competition

The Macarthur Nature Photography Competition (MNPC), hosted by Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Councils, aims to inspire residents to appreciate and understand the natural world that surrounds them and capture this in a photograph. The competition is open to people of all ages.

To find out more, click here.

Plants and Animals

Camden Local Government Area (LGA) occurs on the Cumberland Plain. The main vegetation community is Cumberland Plain Woodland which is made of the two prominent Eucalypts, Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana) and Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) which typify the remaining treed landscape of Camden.

The ground layer in Cumberland Plain Woodland is typically made up of grasses such as Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) and Weeping Meadow Grass (Microlaeana stipoides).

There are other native plants that occur in other vegetation communities such as the forest that occurs along the Nepean River.

The plants and the vegetation communities provide a variety of habitats to a range of animals, including birds, mammals and insects. Because some of this vegetation has been extensively removed in the past and is still subject to various impacts, a number of plants and animals have been listed as threatened at a state and / or national level.

Native vegetation is important for the health of our environment, as it provides habitat for our native plants and animals, including threatened species. You can create a native garden in your own backyard which is easier than you think. You can create vibrant, colourful gardens with amazing colours, shapes and scents. Your native garden can act as a biodiversity corridor or ‘stepping stone’ to allow wildlife to move between patches of existing bushland.

The Camden Native Garden Guide has been developed to help residents improve the existing biodiversity in their garden, or to design a native garden from scratch.

Natural Resource Management

Camden Local Government Area (LGA) is located partly within the South West Growth Centre and experiencing rapid urban expansion. Population growth and development place enormous pressure on natural areas and biodiversity due to habitat clearing, degradation of waterways and spread of pest animals and weeds. However, biodiversity needs to be protected so that essential life support systems and quality of life for residents are maintained.

The following are programs and initiatives facilitated by Council to help protect Camden's local biodiversity.

Review of Environmental Factors

Council undertakes a wide variety of projects and has processes in place to assess potential environmental impacts before starting construction. In some situations this assessment is required to be documented in a Review of Environmental Factors (REF). In accordance with legislative requirements, REF documents for projects that are considered to be in the public interest, cost more than $5 million or require specified environmental or heritage permits are available for download below.


Review of Environmental Factors - Nepean River Bank Stabilisation Project - Rotary Cowpasture Reserve

Review of Environmental Factors - Nepean River Bass Habitat at Spring Farm

Review of Environmental Factors - Sydney Water WRP Rehabilitation Works - Elizabeth Macarthur Riparian Restoration

Review of Environmental Factors - Addendum - Sydney Water WRP Rehabilitation Works - Elizabeth Macarthur Riparian Restoration

For more information about these projects contact Council's Sustainability Team on 4654 7777 or email

Biodiversity Certification

Biodiversity certification is a strategic biodiversity assessment process used for areas of land that are proposed for development. It is most often used to assess large areas of land.

Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 a proponent is required to consider the impact of the development on threatened species on the site. Biodiversity certification addresses biodiversity issues upfront when land use changes are being considered.

The process identifies areas of land that can be developed after they are certified, as well as any measures that are needed to offset the impacts of development. The process also identifies land with biodiversity values that are not certified and that will be retained.

Where land has been certified, development can proceed without the usual requirement for assessment of the impact of the development on threatened species on the site.  

The South West Growth Centre underwent Biodiversity Certification during the preparation of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 and Biodiversity Certification has also been conferred over the Emerald Hills Estate, El Caballo Blanco,
Gledswood Hills and Camden Lakeside.

More information on these biodiversity certification orders, including links to the orders is available here.  

For more information about Biodiversity Certification please contact Council’s Sustainability Team on 4645 7777 or visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.