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 Endangered
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Eucalyptus copulans (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014cu) [Conservation Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (29/04/2014).
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:Eucalyptus copulans - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005dq) [Internet].
NSW:Environment Impact Assessment Guidelines: Eucalyptus copulans (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2000a) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
Scientific name Eucalyptus copulans [56225]
Family Myrtaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author L.A.S.Johnson & K.D.Hill
Infraspecies author  
Reference Telopea 4(2) (1991) 261.
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.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Eucalyptus copulans

Eucalyptus copulans is believed to be an established stabilised hybrid between two Eucalypt species, being intermediate in many characteristics between E. moorei and E. stellulata (Black Sally). However, Eucalyptus copulans is geographically distant from E. moorei and E. stellulata, and has distinct and uniform differences, indicating it is a separate taxon rather than a simple hybrid (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Eucalyptus copulans is capable of hybridising with other eucalypt species (NSW NPWS 1999a, 2000a).

Eucalyptus copulans forms a tree up to 20 m high, often with multiple trunks. The bark is smooth, leaden grey in colour, and sheds in ribbons. The lance-shaped leaves are narrow, 6–12 cm long, 1–1.8 cm wide, and dull grey/green. The umbellasters (flower clusters) bear 11 white flowers. The fruit is round and 4–5 mm long (NSW NPWS 1999a, 2000b).

Eucalyptus copulans was originally known from a single population near Wentworth Falls, NSW, west of the Wentworth Falls Railway Station. This population appears to have been completely destroyed in the years following 1957, and by 1991 the species was presumed to be extinct (Hill & Johnson 1991).

In 1993 one plant was discovered in a culvert near the railway line at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains. This tree was located on land managed by the Rail Services Authority. During a storm in September 1996, this plant was blown over. Of the four trunks, one was taken to Mt Annan Botanic Gardens and one to Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens for observation and assisted regeneration (Errington 1997; NSW NPWS 1999a).

A further plant was found in 1998, beside Jamison Creek, about 2 km from the other known tree. This tree is located on council land (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Some dead trees, found near the 1998 location, have a similar appearance to E. copulans. This indicates that the species may have had a wider distribution in the past (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Eucalyptus copulanswas originally known from about six trees. These trees were never relocated and the species was thought possibly to be extinct. The population may have been destroyed in the years following 1957, possibly due to the large fire that burnt through the area at that time. This area appears to have since been cleared for housing (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Eucalyptus copulanswas rediscovered in 1993, with one tree being found. This tree was blown over in a storm in September 1996, and began resprouting from the root ball shortly after (NSW NPWS 1999a). This plant died in 2000 (Blue Mountains City Council 2004).

In February 1998 another individual tree was found. Searches have failed to locate more trees (NSW NPWS 1999a).

The Mt Annan and Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens are propagating seedlings of Eucalyptus copulans, grown from seed collected from the specimens discovered in 1993 and 1998 (Blue Mountains City Council 2004, 2006). In 2006, three propogated tree were planted in Jamison Creek Reserve (Blue Mountains City Council 2006).

Eucalyptus copulans originally occurred in open woodland on swampy, sandy soil adjacent to Jamison Creek near Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains (Hill, cited in Harden 1991; NSW NPWS 1999a). However, the species may not be restricted to this type of habitat (NSW NPWS 2000b).

Eucalyptus copulans is found in shallow to moderately deep (less than 50 cm deep to less than 120 cm deep) well-drained sands and soils. The landscape is comprised of rounded, convex crests and moderate to steep inclined sideslopes on Narrabeen Group sandstone. This landscape is mostly found above 600 m above sea level (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Associated vegetation at the culvert site comprises predominantly Leptospermum sp. and a variety of exotic weeds. The less altered site of the second tree is associated with Blue Mountains Mallee (Eucalyptus stricta), Coral-fern (Gleichenia dicarpa), Spiny-leaved Grevillea (Grevillea acanthifolia), Finger Hakea (Hakea dactyloides), Prickly Tea-tree (Leptospermum juniperinum) and Conesticks (Petrophile pulchella).

Weeds at this site include cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.), Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata), rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.), Blackberry (Rubus sp.) and honeysuckle (NSW NPWS 1999a).

The climate of the area is cool temperate, experiencing frosts in winter. Annual rainfall is approximately 1490 mm (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Eucalyptus copulans flowers in summer and autumn, and mature fruit have been collected in May. The seed capsules appear to have very few seeds per capsule, and the seed does not appear to have a high viability (possibly attributable to self-pollination) (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Surveys for E. copulans can be conducted at any time of year, but identification is difficult and requires specialist confirmation. Searches should include swampy areas and creeklines (NSW NPWS 2000a).

It appears that E. copulans has never been abundant since European occupation, possibly only ever occurring in one small population within a geographically small area (NSW NPWS 1999a). Clearing for urban development appears to have reduced much of the suitable habitat for E. copulans. Redevelopment of the area behind Wentworth Falls shops and the clearing and filling of swampy areas for housing are significant factors in the decline of this species (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Eucalyptus copulans is thought to be vulnerable to fire. Until more knowledge is gained on this species' ability to cope with a fire event, fire should be excluded from known individuals (NSW NPWS 1999a).

The locations discovered in 1993 and 1998 have a high degree of weed invasion (primarily garden escapees and Monterey Pine) (NSW NPWS 1999a).

The low numbers of this species makes its existence very tenuous. Unless a few more individual trees are found, the viability of the population is at severe risk (NSW NPWS 1999a).

Eucalyptus copulans has a tendency to cross-hybridise with other species, and the resulting seedlings may not emerge true to type, endangering the continued integrity of the species (NSW NPWS 1999a).

One of the objectives of the Pitt Park Plan of Management is to investigate the possibility of re-establishing a population of Eucalyptus copulans in the Pitt Park Natural Area, using seedlings from the Mt Annan Botanical Gardens (Blue Mountains City Council 2004). In 2006, three seedlings of Eucalyptus copulans were planted in the Wentworth Falls area (Blue Mountains City Council 2006).

Weed removal at E. copulans locations is being undertaken by bush regeneration contractors to Blue Mountains City Council (NSW NPWS 1999a).

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
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Eucalyptus copulans in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ka) [Internet].

Blue Mountains City Council (2004). Pitt Park Plan of Management. Katoomba, Blue Mountains City Council.

Blue Mountains City Council (2006). Back from the Brink. Gecko. issue 29:p 4. [Online]. Available from:

Errington, G. (1997). Eucalyptus copulans: an Endangered Species or a Historic Relic?. Danthonia. 6(1):10-11.

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

Hill, K.D. & L.A.S. Johnson (1991). Systematic studies in the eucalypts - 3. New taxa in Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae). Telopea. 4(2):223-267.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (1999a). Threatened Eucalypt Draft Recovery Plan for Eucalyptus benthamii, Eucalyptus copulans, Eucalyptus sp. 55 (Howes Swamp). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000a). Environment Impact Assessment Guidelines: Eucalyptus copulans. [Online]. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from:

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000b). Threatened Species Information: Eucalyptus copulans. [Online]. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from:

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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). Eucalyptus copulans in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:24:58 +1000.