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
Pterostylis despectans (Nicholls) M.A. Clem. & D.L. Jones Lowly Greenhood
- Conservation status:
- EPBC Act 1999: E
- IUCN (2000): E (preliminary assessment)
- NRE (2000): E
- Disjunct between Victoria and South Australia.
- In Victoria - Victorian Goldfields Bioregion (Maryborough-Talbot area). Not recorded from anywhere else in Victoria.
- In South Australia - Northern Lofty Flora Region (Mt Bryan-Hallett-Yacka area).
- Specific details of population localities (including GPS data) are held on DSE and EH internal files.
- In Victoria - <1,500 plants known in the wild, in 5 or 6 populations. Former abundance not known, but assumed to be many thousands across its natural range.
- In South Australia - approximately 600 plants known in the wild, from 3 populations. Former abundance not known, but assumed to be many thousands across its natural range.
- In Victoria - grows primarily in open forest and woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus leucoxylon sens. lat. and E. microcarpa. Critical habitat has not been determined, but often favours open sites or slightly raised mossy areas.
- In South Australia - E. odorata grassy woodland, occasionally with E. leucoxylon; on clay loam soil (Bickerton and Robertson 2000). May require open bare ground for seedling establishment.
- Reservation status:
- Reserved at Paddys Ranges State Park.
- In Victoria - Parks Victoria (West Victoria Region, Maryborough); DSE Forests (Maryborough); Maryborough Rifle Club. In South Australia - Private property.
|Current threats||Perceived risk|
|Weed invasion||Low in Vic. and SA.|
|Grazing/pest animals||High in Vic - sites are grazed by macropods and rabbits; plants are excavated by White-winged choughs. Low in SA.|
|Inappropriate fire regimes||Low at present - all sites have low fuel loads and fire risk is low; there is no evidence to suggest that regeneration is fire dependent, however plants at Maryborough Rifle Range failed to reappear after burning.In SA - low risk although the reduction in bare ground from lack of disturbance at one site may be precluding recruitment.|
|Site disturbance||Extremely high in Vic - all sites are vulnerable to damage from gold prospecting and recreational vehicles.|
|Timber harvesting||High - 4 sites are in State Forest.|
|Potential threats||Perceived risk|
|Reservation status||Inadequately reserved in Vic - occurs in one multipurpose park.Not reserved in SA.|
|Illegal collection||High - evidence of collection in the past.|
|Ecology/biology||Moderate - plants appear to be dependent on moss beds for recruitment in Vic; seed set is erratic and pollination poorly understood at all sites.|
- Recovery objectives:
- In Victoria - Maintain and/or increase existing population sizes; protect populations and sites; manage habitat.
- In SA - Increase the abundance of P. despectans; maintain or increase its area of occupancy; minimise the loss of genetic variability.
Recovery actions undertaken:
- Extensive monitoring has been carried out by ANOS members at all known Victorian sites.
- The impact of pest animals has been determined by ANOS members.
- Searches have been conducted in the region by ANOS and Maryborough Field Naturalists Club (MFN).
- All known populations were visited during recovery plan preparation.
- Establishment of regional recovery team (EH).
- Preparation of Recovery Plan for P. despectans in South Australia (EH).
- Owner of 1 site in SA has agreed to fencing and will exclude stock for 5 years.
- 1 site on private property has been under a Heritage Agreement for > 40 years.
- Calytrix tetragona has been observed as potentially invasive at 1 site and hand thinning will begin in 2002.
- Track closure implemented at Paddys Ranges State Park.
Issues specific to recovery in Victoria:
- P. despectans populations are extremely vulnerable to damage from gold prospecting, vehicles and pest animals (White-winged choughs, kangaroos, rabbits).
- Most populations occur in State Forest, and Special Protection Zones are urgently required that address use of sites by gold prospectors.
- No plants were seen at Maryborough Rifle Range in 2001 (G. Cheers, pers. comm.).
- There appears to be extremely low rates of pollination in the Victorian population, including large populations.
Issues specific to recovery in South Australia:
- There appears to be extremely low rates of pollination in the population in SA.
- For recovery of South Australian populations refer to Bickerton and Robertson (2000).
- There is some disagreement between botanists as to whether Victorian and South Australian populations are the same taxon.
Overall recovery strategy:
In Victoria - Broadscale risk management will include negotiated management strategies, chiefly in relation to mitigation of threats to P. despectans habitat. Populations will be mapped and annual counts conducted; plants will be caged to prevent damage by White-winged choughs. One additional population will be established at a secure site. Recovery will be jointly managed by DSE-BNR, EH, DSE Forests and PV with involvement from ANOS.
In South Australia - Fence populations and conduct management trials in collaboration with landowners to examine the effect of grazing, soil crust and litter levels, weed invasion and hand pollination on population dynamics.
Vic - DSE Forests (Maryborough); Parks Victoria (Victoria West Region, Maryborough); ANOS Conservation Group (A. and M. Morton); Maryborough Field Naturalists Club (G. Cheers); SA - Department of Environment and Heritage (South Australian Parks and Wildlife).
|Action||Paddys Ranges SP (Adelaide Lead) (H)||Daisy Hill SF (Bonney Jean Tk and Daisy Hill) (M)||Caralalup Tk (H)||Peacock/Scott Tk (M)||SA (L sites) (H)|
|1. Determine current conservation status|
|1.1 Clarify taxonomy||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1.2 Acquire baseline population data||M||M||M||M||Completed|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS||EH|
|2. Investigate population biology|
|2.1 Describe life history||M||M||M||M||M|
|2.2 Evaluate natural pollination levels and/or causes of pollinator limitation||M||M||M||M||N/A|
|2.3 Determine the effects of artificial pollination on growth survival and reproduction||M||M||M||M||N/A|
|2.4 Determine spatial distribution of mycorrhizal fungi||M||M||M||M||N/A|
|2.5 Determine optimal conditions for growth of mycorrhizal fungi in-situ||M||M||M||M||N/A|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RP||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RP||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RP||DSE-BNR, ANOS, RP||EH|
|3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations|
|3.1 Identify key populations||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3.2 Conduct surveys||M||M||M||M||M|
|3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations||M||M||M||M||N/A|
|3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions||L||L||L||L||N/A|
|4. Manage risks to populations|
|4.1 Identify and implement strategies to control threats||H||H||H||H||H|
|4.2 Identify disturbance regimes to promote regeneration and recruitment||M||M||M||M||N/A|
|4.3 Protect key public land populations and habitat||H||H||H||H||N/A|
|4.4 Protect key private land populations and habitat||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||H|
|Responsibility||PV (Maryborough), DSE-BNR||DSE-Forests (Maryborough), DSE-BNR||DSE-Forests (Maryborough), DSE-BNR||DSE-Forests (Maryborough), DSE-BNR||EH|
|5. Promote in-situ recruitment|
|5.1 Prepare habitat for seedling recruitment||H||H||N/A||H||M|
|5.2 Re-stock populations with seed||H||H||N/A||H||M|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR, ANOS||EH|
|6. Measure population trends and responses against recovery actions|
|6.1 Conduct annual censusing of populations||M||M||M||M||M|
|6.2 Collate, analyse and report on census data||M||M||M||M||M|
|6.3 Re-prioritise and adjust recovery actions and/or threat management||H||H||H||H||H|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS, PV (Maryborough)||DSE-BNR, ANOS, DSE-Forests (Maryborough),||DSE-BNR, ANOS, DSE-Forests (Maryborough),||DSE-BNR, ANOS, DSE-Forests (Maryborough),||EH|
|7. Increase populations ex-situ|
|7.1 Hand pollinate plants||M||M||N/A||M||M|
|7.2 Establish a threatened orchid seed bank and determine seed viability||N/A||N/A||M||N/A||M|
|7.3 Establish a mycorrhizal fungi bank||N/A||N/A||M||N/A||M|
|7.4 Establish and maintain cultivated populations||N/A||N/A||M||N/A||M|
|7.5 Maintain a database of threatened orchid taxa in cultivation||N/A||N/A||L||N/A||N/A|
|8. Translocate cultivated plants|
|8.1 Determine criteria for re-stocking/re-introduction||M||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.2 Evaluate site suitability||H||N/A||N/A||N/A||L|
|8.3 Determine long term cost-benefits and feasibility of translocating plants||M||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.4 Prepare and implement translocation plans||H||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.5 Maintain translocated populations||H||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, ANOS, PV (Maryborough)||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||EH|
|9. Implement an education and communication strategy|
|9.1 Prepare technical educational material on in-situ recovery techniques||L||L||L||L||N/A|
|9.2 Undertake community extension||L||L||L||L||N/A|
|9.3 Conduct workshops and symposia on in-situ recovery techniques||L||L||L||L||N/A|
|9.4 Encourage and support research by Higher Education Institutions and existing research partners||L||L||L||L||N/A|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, RP, TSN||DSE-BNR, RP, TSN||DSE-BNR, RP, TSN||DSE-BNR, RP, TSN||EH|
|10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks|
|10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team||L||L||L||L||N/A|