Swathes of wood and grasslands across the ACT have been officially designated as "critically endangered".
On the advice of a panel of scientists, the ACT government said it was particularly worried about two types of area: "Natural Temperate Grassland" and "Yellow Box - Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland".
The ACT government is trying to balance increasingly powerful forces: the fierce desire for land for housing versus the desire by many to keep at least remnants of nature within a fast-growing city.
The ACT's Environment Minister Mick Gentleman said of the newly designated areas: "their transfer to Critically Endangered will help preserve some of Australia's largest woodlands and grasslands."
Grasslands ecologist Sarah Sharp welcomed the recognition of the dire plight of these two particular types of land and the animals and plants which depend on them.
"It's really good that they are listing them," she said. It showed that the situation was being taken as serious.
The endangered woodland is not that dense in trees. Eucalypts are more spaced out than clustered in dense copses. They have a variety of magnificent names - Yellow Box, Blakely's Red Gum, Apple Box and Candlebark being the most common.
Beneath the canopy of the trees are native tussocky grasses and other herbs and shrubs, sometimes with invasive weeds.
The threatened grasslands and woodlands are often near each other.
If the grasslands survive, the plants and flowers which should benefit are also magnificently named: the Button Wrinklewort, Baeuerlen's Gentian and the Ginninderra Peppercress.
The animals which might breathe a little more easily are the Golden Sun Moth, the Grassland Earless Dragon, the Perunga Grasshopper and the Striped Legless Lizard.
Both types of land have retreated in the face of human beings, firstly farmers but more recently from developers as Canberra expands. Global warming has also taken its toll.
The newly designated "critically endangered" grasslands are on about a dozen sites in the east of the ACT, near the border towards Queanbeyan and up in the north near Gunghalin. Sections of the Namadgi National Park are also threatened.
And the threatened areas of Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland are spread across the ACT.
The ACT government has also added the Franklin Grasslands to its list of nature reserves, making 38 in all across the territory.