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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

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National recovery plan for Arachnorchis macroclavia (syn. Caladenia macroclavia) (Large - club Spider - orchid)

Doug Bickerton
National Parks and Wildlife SA
In partnership with Threatened Plant Action Group, February 2003

Note: This publication has been superseded by the Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia 2010

Recovery Plan for Arachnorchis macroclavia cover page

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Part B: Planning Components (continued)

Table 6 – The relationship between the specific objectives, performance criteria and actions recommended for the recovery of A. macroclavia
1. Minimize the loss of genetic variability across the species range within five years. 1.Seed from all known sub-populations greater than one plant is stored by December 2007. 1. Collect and cryogenically store seed from all sub-populations.
2. Resolve taxonomic issues with outlying herbarium collections within two years. 2. The taxonomic status of outlying herbarium collections is clarified by December 2004. 2. Clarify the taxonomic status of outlying herbarium collections.
3. Maintain or increase the abundance of all sub-populations over the next five years. 3.1. All sub-populations are protected from herbivores by October 2003 and have more mature individuals by September 2006. 3.1.1. Protect all mature plants with cages.
3.1.2. Implement and continue rabbit control at Agery, Mona, Muloowurtie and Pt Vincent sites.
3.1.3. Encourage the Agery, Pt Julia and Pt Vincent landowners and managers to place fences around A. macroclavia habitat.
3.2. Weed cover has decreased by 30% at three sites by December 2007. 3.2. Weed control at Agery, Mona and Muloowurtie.
3.3. All sub-populations contain more mature individuals by September 2007, and at least one sub-population has more than 50 mature individuals within ten years. 3.3. Hand-pollinate flowering plants at the Agery, Muloowurtie and Pt Vincent sites.
4.Halt or reverse the decline in number of locations within five years. 4.1. Conduct an annual search for additional sub-populations in areas of critical habitat. 4.1. All areas of critical habitat are searched by September 2007.
4.2. All five sub-populations remain extant by December 2007 and at least six sub-populations exist within 20 years. 4.2.1. Investigate the potential for translocation if necessary.
4.2.2. Encourage the Pt Julia and Pt Vincent landowners to place A. macroclavia habitat under conservation agreement.
1. – 4. 1. – 4.2. 5. Manage the project through the Recovery Team

Monitoring, Reporting and Reviewing

Data on the following information will be collected: population size and fluctuations, herbivory rate, natural pollination rate, herbivore control rate, success of hand pollination, weed invasion and volunteer participation. The Recovery Team will evaluate the information biennially, and progress will be reported to Environment Australia, Biodiversity Conservation Programs (NPWSA), TPAG, Threatened Species Network, District Council of Yorke Peninsula and NOSSA. The Recovery Team meetings will also provide the forum for on-going review of the Recovery Plan.

Management Prescriptions for the EPBC Act (1999)

Spider-orchids such as A. macroclavia are considered to be indicator species, because of their sensitivity to disturbance and need for intact habitat. Consequently, all known sub-populations and areas of critical habitat should be left undisturbed or at best subjected to minimal disturbance in accordance with the following guidelines.

Tools to assist implementation

Landholder Incentives

The owners of the Pt Julia and Pt Vincent properties will be shown the financial benefits of placing remnant vegetation under Heritage Agreement. They will also be encouraged to gain access to funding from local landcare groups for fencing and rabbit control.

Community Participation

At present, three community groups (Friends of Agery Reserve, APS and TPAG) are involved in bushcare at three of the sites where A. macroclavia are found. None of these groups is directly involved in the recovery of A. macroclavia at present, apart from one member of the Friends of Agery Reserve, who assisted with monitoring in 2001. These groups will continue with weed and rabbit control, and will be encouraged to assist with monitoring and the placement of cages for herbivore control. Members of NOSSA will conduct searches for new populations and will assist with hand pollination. Private landholders will also be encouraged to contribute to monitoring, weed control and herbivore protection.


The Recovery Team will continue to serve as a means for communication between Team members. Additionally the Project Officer will deliver presentations to such groups as NOSSA and relevant Friends groups as the need arises. Articles will be compiled for local newspapers, the Parks and Wildlife journal, the NOSSA journal, the Threatened Species Network newsletter and Friends group newsletters. These presentations and articles will cover such topics as the issues and problems related to recovery of A. macroclavia, the results of monitoring and the progress of recovery. Fact sheets outlining a description of the orchid and its critical habitat will be disseminated to interested parties, to assist with field identification. Information about the project and the species will be placed on the NPWSA website, and will be updated regularly.

The Aboriginal Partnerships Section of DEH will undertake consultation with relevant indigenous communities. Following consultation with indigenous communities, their role and interests will be addressed in recovery plan implementation.