National recovery plan for Twenty-five threatened orchid taxa of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales 2003 - 2007
Coates, F., Jeanes, J. and Pritchard, A.
Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne, 2002
Arachnorchis cruciformis (D.L. Jones) D.L. Jones & M.A. Clem. (Red Cross Spider-orchid)
- Conservation status:
- EPBC Act 1999: Not listed
- IUCN (2000): E (preliminary assessment)
- NRE (2000) Not listed
- Endemic to Victoria - Victorian Goldfields Bioregion (Stuart Mill area). Specific details of population localities (including GPS data) are held on DSE internal files.
- <150 plants in the wild, in 3 populations.
- Occurs in Eucalyptus leucoxylon - E. microcarpa - E. goniocalyx or E. macrorhyncha and occasionally E. tricarpa low open forest or woodland with a heathy understorey typically dominated by Calytrix tetragona, Brachyloma ciliata, Astroloma conostephioides, A. humifusum, Hibbertia sp. and Leucopogon virgatus on well drained grey-brown sandy loam. Critical habitat has not been determined, but currently occupies undisturbed, long unburnt forest at present, where litter has accumulated.
- Reservation status:
- Reserved at Dalyenong Flora and Fauna Reserve and Stuart Mill Flora and Fauna Reserve.
- Parks Victoria (Central Region, Inglewood); Private Property.
|Current threats||Perceived risk|
|Weed invasion||Low at all sites.|
|Grazing/pest animals||Moderate to high -macropods and rabbits.|
|Inappropriate fire regimes||Low - sites are long unburnt, but response to fire is not known.|
|Site disturbance||Moderate - one site on private property may be vulnerable to damage by farm machinery.|
|Reservation status||Poor - inadequate legal protection in Flora and Fauna Reserves; one site is on private property.|
|Potential threats||Perceived risk|
|Illegal collection||Moderate - no evidence of collection in the past, but may be sought by collectors.|
|Other disturbance||High - increased grazing pressure from over abundant macropods may occur in the future; trampling by visitors to the sites will damage plants.|
- Recovery objectives:
- Maintain and/or increase existing population sizes; protect and manage habitat.
Recovery actions undertaken:
- Searches in immediate vicinity since 1999.
- Monitoring of 2 populations in 2001.
- Hand pollination at 1 site.
- Trial caging at 1 site.
- Sites were visited during preparation of the recovery plan.
Issues specific to recovery:
- A. cruciformis populations are vulnerable to damage from trampling, and site confidentiality is vital. Involvement from non government organisations and individuals will be limited to a small number of individuals with a proven track record in conservation (ANOS conservation group).
- Putative hybrids with C. sp. aff. venusta have been recorded and need determination.
- The response of A. cruciformis to fire is not known, fire should be excluded indefinitely.
- Current levels of grazing pressure need to be assessed and fencing extended to protect habitat where required.
Overall recovery strategy:
Known populations will be surveyed to determine population sizes and habitat requirements and to provide ecological knowledge necessary for management. Broadscale risk management will include fire planning, protection of populations from grazing and prevention of accidental damage, negotiating with landowner to conserve one population on private property, and maintenance of site confidentiality. The population will be managed to promote seedling recruitment, using fine-scale habitat management techniques. Populations will be re-stocked using seed from cultivated plants. Recovery will be jointly managed by DSE and PV. Involvement from ANOS conservation group will continue.
Parks Victoria (Central Victoria Region, Inglewood and Wodonga); DSE NE (BNR Bendigo); ANOS Conservation Group; landowner Stuart Mill.
|Action||Stuart Mill FFR (H)||Dalyenong FFR (H)||Stuart Mill PP (H)|
|1. Determine current conservation status|
|1.1 Clarify taxonomy||Completed||Completed||Completed|
|1.2 Acquire baseline population data||M||M||M|
|Responsibility||CPBR, DSE-BNR||CPBR, DSE-BNR||CPBR, DSE-BNR|
|2. Investigate population biology|
|2.1 Describe life history||M||M||M|
|2.2 Evaluate natural pollination levels and/or causes of pollinator limitation||M||M||M|
|2.3 Determine the effects of artificial pollination on growth survival and reproduction||M||M||M|
|2.4 Determine spatial distribution of mycorrhizal fungi||M||M||M|
|2.5 Determine optimal conditions for growth of mycorrhizal fungi in-situ||M||M||M|
|3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations|
|3.1 Identify key populations||NA||NA||NA|
|3.2 Conduct surveys||H||H||H|
|3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations||H||H||H|
|3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions||M||M||M|
|4. Manage risks to populations|
|4.1 Identify and implement strategies to control threats||H||H||H|
|4.2 Identify disturbance regimes to promote regeneration and recruitment||H||H|
|4.3 Protect key public land populations and habitat||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|4.4 Protect key private land populations and habitat||N/A||N/A||H|
|Responsibility||PV (Inglewood), DSE-BNR||PV (Inglewood), DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR NW|
|5. Promote in-situ recruitment|
|5.1 Prepare habitat for seedling recruitment||M||M||M|
|5.2 Re-stock populations with seed||M||M||M|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS|
|6. Measure population trends and responses against recovery actions|
|6.1 Conduct annual censusing of populations||M||M||M|
|6.2 Collate, analyse and report on census data||M||M||M|
|6.3 Re-prioritise and adjust recovery actions and/or threat management||H||H||H|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS, PV (Inglewood)||DSE-BNR, ANOS, PV (Inglewood)||DSE-BNR, ANOS, PV (Inglewood)|
|7. Increase populations ex-situ|
|7.1 Hand pollinate plants||M||M||M|
|7.2 Establish a threatened orchid seed bank and determine seed viability||M||M||M|
|7.3 Establish a mycorrhizal fungi bank||M||M||M|
|7.4 Establish and maintain cultivated populations||M||M||M|
|7.5 Maintain a database of threatened orchid taxa in cultivation||L||L||L|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RBG, NOGN||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RBG, NOGN||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RBG, NOGN|
|8. Translocate cultivated plants|
|8.1 Determine criteria for re-stocking/re-introduction||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.2 Evaluate site suitability||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.3 Determine long term cost-benefits and feasibility of translocating plants||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.4 Prepare and implement translocation plans||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.5 Maintain translocated populations||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|9. Implement an education and communication strategy|
|9.1 Prepare technical educational material on in-situ recovery techniques||L||L||L|
|9.2 Undertake community extension||L||L||L|
|9.3 Conduct workshops and symposia on in-situ recovery techniques||L||L||L|
|9.4 Encourage and support research by Higher Education Institutions and existing research partners||M||M||M|
|Responsibility||PV, DSE-BNR, TSN, RP||PV, DSE-BNR, TSN, RP||PV, DSE-BNR, TSN, RP|
|10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks|
|10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team||L||L||N/A|
|10.2 Establish and facilitate regional Recovery Teams||L||L||L|
|10.3 Co-ordinate recovery and exchange knowledge with interstate agencies||N/A||N/A||N/A|