Natural & Cultural Heritage Program

A dingo in the Blue Mountains. Credit: Daniel Hunter.

A dingo in the Blue Mountains. Credit: Daniel Hunter.

Our Natural and Cultural Heritage program addresses some of the key World Heritage values associated with the Greater Blue Mountains.

Current Projects

Archaeologists survey the remains of the shale mine at Ruined Castle.

Archaeologists survey the remains of the shale mine at Ruined Castle.

THE BLEICHERT ROPEWAY

Since 2015 we have been engaged in surveying the remains of the 19th century Bleichert Ropeway that once linked the present Scenic World site in Katoomba with the shale mile at Ruined Castle in the Jamison valley. This collapsed in 1890 was the first industrial use of steel cables and buckets in Australian mining.

Last year, in conjunction with archaeologists from Macquarie University, we undertook a survey of the old mining village located at the base of the Ruined Castle mine. It was abandoned when the mine closed in the early years of this century, however the remains of the settlement have proved to be far more extensive than previously thought. Like many old mining sites that are scattered across the World Heritage area, they provide an important window on the economic and social life that shaped Australia and the region throughout the 19th century. Many were located in remote and inaccessible bushlands, and not only housed the men who worked in these remote mines, but also women and children. How they lived and survived in these most remote and primitive conditions has now become the subject of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant application involving the Universities of NSW and Macquarie, and will attempt to piece together a picture of just what life was like in these remote Blue Mountains mining camps in the 1890s.

CoMPLETED Projects

2014-2018. Andrea Harvey. PhD project. Population regulation of horses in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area – ethics, ecology and welfare for evidence-based decision-making. University of Technology (UTS)

Bleichert Ropeway Excavation Project 2017

Bleichert Ropeway Survey Report 2015/16

2015 Participants’ Review of Yellomundee Firesticks. A report for the National Parks & Wildlife Service.

2013 - 2015 Daniel Hunter. PhD project. Ecology of dingoes in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. University of NSW Sydney, School of Biological Science

2008-2010. Jack Pascoe. PhD project. Apex predators in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. University of Western Sydney, School of Sciences

2007-2009. Managing ecosystem change in the GBMWHA. ARC Linkage grant LP0774833.

Research Papers & Reports

2019. The Nature of Natural World Heritage. EcoForum Global China.

2019. Harvey A. et al. Wild horse populations in south-east Australia have a high prevalence of Strongylus vulgaris and may act as a reservoir of infection for domestic horses. International Journal of Parasitology (IJP): Parasites and Wildlife. 8: 156–163

2018. Charles, C., Keenleyside, K., Chapple, R. et al. Home to Us All: How Connecting with Nature Helps Us Care for Ourselves and the Earth. Children & Nature Network and IUCN NatureForAll campaign. http://natureforall.global/why

2017. Yancheng Declaration on the Conservation and Management of the Intertidal Wetlands of the Yellow and Bohai Seas, Yancheng, China. Yancheng Symposium Outcomes and Recommendations report.

2015. Parkes., R. et al. Bleichert Ropeway Archaeological Assessment Report.

2015 Participants’ Review of Yellomundee Firesticks. Read the report summary here & the full report here. To listen to a reading of the report click here.

2010. Tacon, P., Chapple, R.S., Merson, J.A., Ramp, D., Brennan, W., King, G. and Tasire, A. Aboriginal rock art depictions of fauna: What can they tell us about the natural history of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area? The Natural History of Sydney, edited by Lunney, D., Hutchings, P. and Hochuli, D. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, Australia. pp.58-73. https://publications.rzsnsw.org.au/doi/abs/10.7882/FS.2010.008

2012. Pascoe, J.H., Mulley, R.C., Spencer, R. and Chapple, R.S. Diet analysis of mammals, raptors and reptiles in a complex predator assemblage in the Blue Mountains, eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 59(5): 295-301. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO11082

2012. Laffan S, Ramp D, Roger E. Using endemism to assess representation of protected areas – the family Myrtaceae in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Journal of Biogeography 40 (3): 570-578. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12001

2013. Bino G, Ramp D, Kingsford R. Niche evolution in Australian terrestrial mammals? Clarifying scale-dependencies in phylogenetic and functional drivers of co-occurrence. Evolutionary Ecology 27: 1159-1173. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10682-013-9631-5

2012. Bino G, Ramp D, Kingsford R. Improving bioregional frameworks for conservation by including mammal distributions. Austral Ecology 38 (4): 393-404. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.2012.02423.x

2012. Pascoe, J.H., Mulley, R.C., Spencer, R. and Chapple, R.S. Diet analysis of mammals, raptors and reptiles in a complex predator assemblage in the Blue Mountains, eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 59(5): 295-301. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO11082

2011. Chapple, R.S., Ramp, D.R., Kingsford, R.T., Merson, J.A., Bradstock, R.A., Mulley, R.C. and Auld, T. Integrating science into management of ecosystems in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Australia. Env. Mgmt. 48 (4): 659-674. (download pdf)

2010. Ramp D, Chapple R. Managing for ecosystem change in the GBMWHA. ARC Linkage grant LP0774833. Final report.2012.