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 fulva (G.W. Carr) D.L. Jones & M.A. Clem. (Tawny Spider-orchid)
- Conservation status:
- EPBC 1999: E
- IUCN (2000): CR (preliminary assessment)
- NRE (2000): E
- Endemic to Victoria - Goldfields Bioregion (Stawell area). No records exist to indicate a formerly more widespread range and likely to be naturally rare narrow endemic.
- Specific details of population localities (including GPS data) are held on DSE internal files.
- <300-500 plants known in the wild, in 4 populations. Likely to have been more abundant with numbers in the thousands in the Stawell area, prior to landscape scale disturbance from gold exploration and mining.
- Grows on generally flat or gently sloping terrain in woodlands and open forest dominated by Eucalyptus leucoxylon sens. lat. and occasionally E. tricarpa with a heathy understorey on well drained gravelly clay loams. Critical habitat has not been determined, but may require disturbance.
- Reservation status:
- Reserved at Three Jacks Flora Reserve, Germania Mine Bushland Reserve.
- Parks Victoria (West Victoria Region, Horsham).
|Current threats||Perceived risk|
|Weed invasion||Low - weeds are scarce at sites.|
|Grazing/pest animals||High - macropods and rabbits are common at all sites.|
|Inappropriate fire regimes||Unknown at present - sites are long unburnt and fire risk is low.|
|Site disturbance||High at Deep Lead - sites are subject to disturbance by illegal gold prospecting and rubbish dumping.Extremely high all sites-trampling by orchid enthusiasts.|
|Potential threats||Perceived risk|
|Reservation status||Inadequately reserved, but subject to ECC recommendations.|
|Illegal collection||High -likely to be sought by collectors.|
|Ecology/biology||High - conditions for seed recruitment and maintenance of pollinator and fungal activity unknown; attempts to germinate seed have been largely unsuccessful.|
- Recovery objectives:
- Maintain and/or increase existing population sizes; protect and manage habitat.
Recovery actions undertaken:
- Monitoring at 2 sites by Stawell Field Naturalists and RMIT University (Raleigh in prep.).
- Searches conducted annually by Stawell Field Naturalists.
- Research into polymorphism underway (Basist et al. 2001).
- Preliminary seed viability and germination trials undertaken (Basist et al. 2001; R. Raleigh in prep).
- Fungal isolation and cultivation trials undertaken (Raleigh et al. 2001; Raleigh in prep.).
- All sites were visited during recovery plan preparation.
Issues specific to recovery:
- The site at Deep Lead is well known to local and interstate orchid enthusiasts and is extremely vulnerable to damage from trampling during flowering. Visitor management, such as the installation of walking tracks to restrict walkers and signage, will be considered.
- Site confidentiality at other locations is vital. Involvement from non government organisations and individuals will be limited to a small number of individuals with a proven track record in its conservation (ANOS conservation group, Stawell Field Naturalists Club).
- One population at Deep Lead FR is close to tracks and vulnerable to damage from recreational vehicles.
- Effective management of illegal prospecting for gold at Deep Lead is urgently required.
- Kangaroo numbers at both reserves require assessment particularly in relation to loss of ground flora and soil disturbance. Alternatively, extensive fencing to protect populations will be required.
- Populations are polymorphic with flower characters that combine features of A. fulva and C. reticulata, both of which occur at Deep Lead (Backhouse and Jeanes 1995; Basist et al. 2001). However, early results from molecular analyses suggest that there are no differences between plants belonging to 5 groups based on petal and labellum coloration and all can be ascribed to A. fulva (Basist et al. 2001).
Overall recovery strategy:
Known populations will continue to be monitored. Risk management will include protection of populations from grazing and gold prospecting, and maintenance of site confidentiality. In particular, a strategy to manage high visitor numbers at Deep Lead will be negotiated with Parks Victoria. A wider range of seed will be collected and tested for viability and stored for use if required. Recovery will be jointly managed by DSE and PV. Involvement from ANOS conservation group and Stawell Field Naturalists will continue.
Parks Victoria (West Victoria Region, Horsham); DSE-BNR SW; ANOS Conservation Group; Stawell Field Naturalists Club.
|Action||Deep Lead (H)||Three Jacks (H)||Germania Mine (L)|
|1. Determine current conservation status|
|1.1 Clarify taxonomy||Completed||Completed||Completed|
|1.2 Acquire baseline population data||M||M||M|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR SW, SFN||DSE-BNR SW, SFN||DSE-BNR, ANOS|
|2. Investigate population biology|
|2.1 Describe life history||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|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|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, RP||DSE-BNR, RP||DSE-BNR, RP|
|3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations|
|3.1 Identify key populations||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3.2 Conduct surveys||M||M||M|
|3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations||M||M||M|
|3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions||L||L||L|
|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||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||N/A|
|Responsibility||PV (Horsham)||PV (Horsham)||PV (Horsham)|
|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|
|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, SFN||DSE-BNR, SFN||DSE-BNR, ANOS|
|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, RBG, NOGN||DSE-BNR, RBG, NOGN||DSE-BNR, 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 (Horsham), DSE-BNR, TSN, RP||PV (Horsham), DSE-BNR, TSN, RP||PV (Horsham), DSE-BNR, TSN, RP|
|10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks|
|10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team||L||L||L|
|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|