Renée Hartley, Sandra Gilfillan and Sarah Barrett
Government of Western Australia, Department of Environment and Conservation 2008
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2008
About the plan
Common Name: Wittwer's Mountain Bell
Flowering Period: August to November
DEC Region: South Coast
DEC District: Albany Work Centre
Shires: Gnowangerup, Plantagenet
Recovery Team: Albany District Threatened Flora Recovery Team
Illustrations and/or further information:
Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds). (1998) Western Australia's Threatened Flora, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; Western Australian Herbarium (1998) FloraBase - Information on the Western Australian Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. http://www.calm.wa.gov.au/science/.
Darwinia wittwerorum was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 in 1982 and is currently ranked Endangered (EN) under World Conservation Union (IUCN 1994) Red List criterion B1+2de, due to fragmentation and limited geographic range. The species is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Darwinia wittwerorum is an erect spindly shrub to one metre high. The fine, linear leaves are triangular in cross-section and 5 to 10mm long. The bell comprises a cluster of five to nine flowers that hang down and are enclosed by colourful petal-like leaf bracts. The narrow outer bracts are cream and elliptic and the floral bracts are 18 to 21mm long, rose pink and obovate.
Darwinia wittwerorum is restricted to eight populations in low elevations in the central Stirling Range National Park. The habitat consists of open mallee over scrub in sandy clays over schist. It occurs in drainage lines from approximately 320 to 480 metres altitude.
Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations:
Habitat critical to the survival of Darwinia wittwerorum comprises the area of occupancy of the known populations; areas of similar habitat surrounding the known populations (these areas provide potential habitat for natural range extension and/or for allowing pollinators or biota essential to the continued existence of the species to move between populations) and additional occurrences of similar habitat that may contain important populations of the species or be suitable for future translocations or other recovery actions intended to create important populations. All population are considered important for the long-term recovery and survival of the species.
Benefits to other species/ecological communities:
Darwinia wittwerorum occurs partly within the Montane Mallee Thicket Threatened Ecological Community (Mallee-heath and mallee-thicket community on mid to upper slopes of Stirling Range mountains and hills). The Montane Mallee Thicket TEC contains an assemblage of plants that are susceptible to Phytophthora cinnamomi and many of which are threatened species. Stirling Range National Park is also habitat for seven threatened fauna species. Recovery actions put in place for D. wittwerorum will benefit the Montane Mallee Thicket TEC and the adjacent threatened fauna species and reciprocally, actions put in place for the recovery of the Montane Mallee Thicket TEC and the adjacent threatened fauna species will benefit D. wittwerorum.
This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity and will assist in implementing Australia's responsibilities under that convention. The taxon is not listed under any specific international treaty however, and therefore this IRP does not affect Australia's obligations under any other international agreements.
Role and interests of Indigenous people:
Involvement of the Indigenous community is being sought through the advice of the Department of Indigenous Affairs to determine whether there are any issues or interests identified in the plan. A search of the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register has determined that there are no registered sites of Aboriginal significance at or near Darwinia wittwerorum populations. Where no role is identified for the Indigenous community in the development of the recovery plan, opportunities may exist through cultural interpretation and awareness of the species. Indigenous involvement in the implementation of recovery actions will be encouraged.
All known populations are on Crown land.
Social and economic impacts:
The implementation of this Interim Recovery Plan (IRP) has minimal social and economic impact as all populations are on DEC managed land.
Evaluation of the Plan's Performance:
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the Albany District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (ADTFRT), will evaluate the performance of this IRP.
Completed Recovery Actions:
The following recovery actions have been implemented:
- All land managers have been notified of the location and threatened status of the species.
- Seed collections have been made by staff from DEC''s Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC).
- Staff from the DEC Albany Work Centre have regularly monitored populations.
- Rare flora markers have been installed at Population 1.
- An information sheet on mountain bells has been provided to the land manager to promote awareness.
The objective of this Interim Recovery Plan is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the species in the wild.
Criteria for success:
The number of populations and individuals within populations remains stable or increases over the five years of the plan.
Criteria for failure:
The number of populations or the number of individuals within populations decreases over the five years of the plan.
- Coordinate recovery actions.
- Monitor populations.
- Collect Seed.
- Conduct further surveys.
- Obtain biological and ecological information.
- Assess susceptibility to Phytophthora cinnamomi.
- Management of Phytophthora cinnamomi.
- Develop and implement a fire management strategy.
- Promote awareness and encourage involvement.
- Map habitat critical to the survival of the species.
- Review the IRP and assess the need for further recovery actions.