Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Recovery Plan for Threatened Flora of Rocky Outcrops in South Eastern New South Wales (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2003) [State Recovery Plan].
NSW:Narrabarba Wattle - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005b) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013)
Scientific name Acacia constablei [10798]
Family Fabaceae:Fabales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Tind.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Telopea 1 (Mar. 1980) 429, t. XVIII.
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Other illustrations Google Images

The Narrabarba Wattle is an erect or spreading shub or small tree with pale yellow to white/cream flower heads. Individuals are mostly from 1-3 m high but can grow to 7 m in sheltered situations (Orchard & Wilson 2001).

The species has a geographic range of about 3 km (Briggs & Leigh 1990) and is restricted to the Narrabarba area, c. 20 km south of Eden, on the far south coast of NSW (Tindale 1980; Briggs & Leigh 1990; Harden 1991; Tame 1992; Orchard & Wilson 2001; NSW NPWS 2003b).

Most known populations of this species are in Nadgee SF and within the boundaries of the proposed Narrabarba Hill Flora Reserve (NSW NPWS 2003b) but there is also one in Ben Boyd NP (P. Kodela, pers.comm. 2003).

At the type locality, Narrabarba Hill, the population is by far the largest and occupies several hectares. Four much smaller sub-populations occupy small areas on nearby rocky ridge-tops. There is a sixth population on another rocky ridge-top 1.4 km further north. Most of the populations are predominantly even-aged and appear to have regenerated after the last major fire event in Nov. 1980 (Briggs & Leigh 1990). Recent surveys failed to locate any plants of A. constablei on the ridge beside Swamp Road where several hundred plants were present in 1986 (Briggs & Leigh 1990).

Summary of population details as listed in the Draft Recovery Plan (NSW NPWS 2003b):
Site 1: Narrabarba Hill, 3 ha, type locality. The population is estimated at 5000 plants
Site 2: Near Narrabarba Hill: 0.1 ha, one seedling
Site 3: Near Narrabarba Hill: 0.1 ha, an estimate of 400 plants
Site 4: Near Narrabarba Hill: 0.1 ha, an estimate of 300 plants
Site 5: Near Narrabarba Hill: 0.1 ha, 20 mature plants and 3 seedlings
Site 6: North of the Womboyn River: 0.21ha, 40 plants

Acacia constablei is most closely related to the widespread Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) with which it occurs at its type locality, and to A. nanodealbata, a Victorian endemic (Tindale 1980).

This species is confined to outcrops of rhyolite on rocky ridges (NSW NPWS 2003b) and grows mostly in poor, skeletal soils but sometimes in rich, brown to black loams (Briggs & Leigh 1990; Orchard & Wilson 2001). It is associated with a large expanse of bare rock (NSW NPWS 2003b) and grows on all aspects but predominantly on westerly-facing slopes (Briggs & Leigh 1990). The largest population occurs on a long, narrow razorback ridge running north-west to south-east, with very steep exposed rocky slopes (Briggs & Leigh 1990). Other sites contain large expanses of fairly flat rock (NSW NPWS 2003b).

The species forms almost impenetrable whipstick-like scrub (Tindale 1980; Orchard & Wilson 2001) and is the dominant or co-dominant species in the shrub community on these rock outcrops (Briggs & Leigh 1990; Harden 1991; NSW NPWS 2003b). Occupying the ecotone between the outcrops and forests dominated by Eucalyptus sieberi, these shrublands can be up to 8 m wide. Allocasuarina littoralis is also abundant here and appears to compete strongly with Acacia constablei . Other common woody species occurring in the shrub community are Melaleuca armillaris subsp. armillaris, Kunzea ambigua, Zieria littoralis, and Platysace lanceolata (NSW NPWS 2003b).

Flower heads are borne June-Aug (Tindale 1980; Briggs & Leigh 1990; Harden 1991; Tame 1992; Orchard & Wilson 2001) but some indivuals also flower in Feb.-Mar. (NSW NPWS 2003b). Pods are fully formed in Nov. (Tindale 1980; Orchard & Wilson 2001). Pollination is assumed to be by insects but birds may also be involved. Seeds may be dispersed by birds and ants which are attracted to the lipid-rich aril (NSW NPWS 2003b).

It is likely that the species is short-lived and fire-sensitive but it regenerates well from seed after fire (Briggs & Leigh 1990: NSW NPWS 2003b).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Acacia constablei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006d) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:plant Acacia constablei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006d) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Acacia constablei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006d) [Internet].

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1990). Delineation of Important Habitats of Threatened Plant Species in South-Eastern New South Wales. Canberra: Australian Heritage Commission.

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Elith, J. (2002). Predicting the distribution of plants. Ph.D. Thesis. School of Botany, University of Melbourne.

Harden, G.J. (ed.) (1991). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Two. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Kodela, P. (2002). Personal communication.

Meredith, L.D. & M.M. Richardson (1990). Rare or Threatened Australian Plant Species in Cultivation in Australia. Report Series No. 15. Page(s) 1-114. Canberra: Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (2003b). Recovery Plan for Threatened Flora of Rocky Outcrops in South Eastern New South Wales. [Online]. NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. Hurstville, NSW January 2003. Available from:

Orchard, A.E. & A.J.G. Wilson (eds) (2001). Flora of Australia, Volume 11A, Mimosaceae, Acacia Part 1.

Tame, T. (1992). Acacias of Southeast Australia. Kenthurst, Kangaroo Press.

Tindale, M.D. (1980). Notes on Australian taxa of Acacia No. 6. Telopea. 1(6):429-449.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Acacia constablei in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:43:06 +1000.