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
Prasophyllum fosteri D.L. Jones Fosters Leek-orchid
- Conservation status:
- EPBC Act 1999: Not listed
- IUCN (2000): CR
- NRE (2000): Not listed
- Endemic to Victoria - Victorian Volcanic Plain Bioregion (Shelford-Mt Mercer area), where known only from the type locality (Jones 2000).
- Likely to have been formerly more widespread on the western Basalt Plains in Victoria, prior to agricultural clearing.
- Specific details of population locality (including GPS data) are held on DSE internal files.
- <20 plants known in the wild, in 1 population. Former abundance or number of populations not known, but likely to have been more abundant across its former range.
- Occurs in open species rich native grassland dominated by Themeda triandra with perennial herbs and lilies on poorly drained red-brown soil derived from basalt. Critical habitat has not been determined, but fire or other disturbance such as slashing is highly likely to promote flowering.
- Reservation status:
- Not reserved.
- Golden Plains Shire.
|Current threats||Perceived risk|
|Weed invasion||High - in particular Phalaris aquatica, Romulea rosea; and Cuscuta dubia invasion will occur without regular burning and/or spraying; exacerbated by soil disturbance.|
|Grazing/pest animals||Low - sites are not grazed at present and rabbits are scarce.|
|Inappropriate fire regimes||Low at present - sites require fire and are burnt annually.|
|Site disturbance||Extremely high - all sites are on roadsides or rail reserves adjacent to paddocks on private property and are subject to accidental damage from heavy machinery.|
|Reservation status||Not reserved.|
|Potential threats||Perceived risk|
|Illegal collection||Low - no evidence of collection in the past.|
|Ecology/biology||Moderate - conditions for maintenance of pollinator and fungal activity unknown; High - particularly vulnerable to extinction owing to extremely small population size.|
- Recovery objectives:
- Maintain and/or increase existing population sizes; protect sites and manage habitat.
Recovery actions undertaken:
- Fire ecology of Western Basalt Plains Grassland has been researched and is well understood in Western Basalt Plains Grassland (School of Botany, La Trobe University).
- A Public Authority Management Agreement (PAMA) is currently being prepared with the Golden Plains Shire, which will include the site (DSE).
- Recent (2000) ecological burn to recover P. fosteri.
- Population has been monitored since 2000.
- The known population was visited during recovery plan preparation.
Issues specific to recovery:
- The P. fosteri population is vulnerable to damage from heavy machinery. A Public Authority Management Agreement under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG) is urgently required.
- Fire ecology has been researched and is well understood for Western Basalt Plains Grassland (School of Botany, La Trobe University).
- Habitat where P. suaveolens occurs is highly significant and listed as threatened under the Victorian FFG Act 1988. It is vital to continue the current fire regime of annual burning in order to preserve species diversity in vegetation where P. fosteri occurs, to maintain openness and suppress invasive exotic species such as Phalaris aquatica, Romulea rosea and Cuscuta dubia.
- Although the population is very small, recovery actions will focus on in-situ management rather than re-introduction. The site was not burnt for approximately 5 years prior to 2000 and population size is still to be accurately assessed.
Overall recovery strategy:
Broadscale risk management will include a negotiated PAMA with Local Government managers to undertake annual burning, weed management and protection of sites from damage caused by heavy machinery. Searches will be conducted at similar sites in the region in the spring following annual fuel reduction burning. Populations will be mapped and annual censusing carried out to determine their response to current management. Recovery will be jointly managed by DSE and Golden Plains Shire.
DSE SW (Ballarat); Golden Plains Shire; Dr J. Morgan (La Trobe University); John Arnott (Geelong Botanic Gardens).
|Action||Mt Mercer-Shelford Rd (H)|
|1. Determine current conservation status|
|1.1 Clarify taxonomy||N/A|
|1.2 Acquire baseline population data||M|
|2. Investigate population biology|
|2.1 Describe life history||M|
|2.2 Evaluate natural pollination levels and/or causes of pollinator limitation||M|
|2.3 Determine the effects of artificial pollination on growth survival and reproduction||N/A|
|2.4 Determine spatial distribution of mycorrhizal fungi||N/A|
|2.5 Determine optimal conditions for growth of mycorrhizal fungi in-situ||N/A|
|3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations|
|3.1 Identify key populations||N/A|
|3.2 Conduct surveys||H|
|3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations||M|
|3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions||L|
|4. Manage risks to populations|
|4.1 Identify and implement strategies to control threats||H|
|4.2 Identify disturbance regimes to promote regeneration and recruitment||N/A|
|4.3 Protect key public land populations and habitat||H|
|4.4 Protect key private land populations and habitat||N/A|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, Golden Plains Shire|
|5. Promote in-situ recruitment|
|5.1 Prepare habitat for seedling recruitment||N/A|
|5.2 Re-stock populations with seed||N/A|
|6. Measure population trends and responses against recovery actions|
|6.1 Conduct annual censusing of populations||M|
|6.2 Collate, analyse and report on census data||M|
|6.3 Re-prioritise and adjust recovery actions and/or threat management||H|
|7. Increase populations ex-situ|
|7.1 Hand pollinate plants||M|
|7.2 Establish a threatened orchid seed bank and determine seed viability||M|
|7.3 Establish a mycorrhizal fungi bank||M|
|7.4 Establish and maintain cultivated populations||M|
|7.5 Maintain a database of threatened orchid taxa in cultivation||L|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, GBG, NOGN|
|8. Translocate cultivated plants|
|8.1 Determine criteria for re-stocking/re-introduction||N/A|
|8.2 Evaluate site suitability||N/A|
|8.3 Determine long term cost-benefits and feasibility of translocating plants||N/A|
|8.4 Prepare and implement translocation plans||N/A|
|8.5 Maintain translocated populations||N/A|
|9. Implement an education and communication strategy|
|9.1 Prepare technical educational material on in-situ recovery techniques||L|
|9.2 Undertake community extension||L|
|9.3 Conduct workshops and symposia on in-situ recovery techniques||L|
|9.4 Encourage and support research by Higher Education Institutions and existing research partners||N/A|
|10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks|
|10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team||L|
|10.2 Establish and facilitate regional Recovery Teams||L|
|10.3 Co-ordinate recovery and exchange knowledge with interstate agencies||N/A|