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 suaveolens D.L. Jones & R.J. Bates (Fragrant Leek-orchid)
Prasophyllum sp. aff. suaveolens (Western Basalt Plains)
- Conservation status:
- EPBC Act 1999: E
- IUCN (2000): CR
- NRE (2000): E
- Endemic to Victoria - Victorian Volcanic Plain Bioregion (Derrinallum, Wingeel, Ballarat, Streatham areas).
- Formerly recorded, but now extinct west and southwest of Melbourne at Werribee, St Albans, Albion, Laverton, Lara, Tottenham and Merri Creek, and from near Creswick.
- Specific details of population localities (including GPS data) are held on DSE internal files.
- <300 plants known in the wild, in 5 populations. Former abundance not known, but assumed to be many thousands across its natural 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.
- Shire of Moyne, Golden Plains Shire, Shire of Corangamite, Rural City of Ararat, Australian Rail Track Corporation, DSE-BNR SW.
|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; will be exacerbated by soil disturbance.|
|Grazing||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; small population sizes.|
Maintain and/or increase existing population sizes; protect sites and manage habitat.
Recovery actions undertaken:
- Grassland vegetation communities at Derrinallum and Vite Vite sites have been monitored since the late 1980s (School of Botany, La Trobe University).
- Fire ecology has been researched and is well understood for Western Basalt Plains Grassland (School of Botany, La Trobe University)
- Public Authority Management Agreements (PAMAs) are currently being negotiated with the Shire of Moyne and Golden Plains Shire which will include the sites near Woorndoo (DSE) and Wingeel.
- Ecological burns planned for Yalla Y Poora and volunteers will carry out weed control.
- Three sites are burnt annually (Derrinallum, Woorndoo, Wingeel).
- Ecological burning and weed control to recover P. suaveolens and P. sp. aff. suaveolens (see below) habitat have been carried out at Dowling Forest Cemetery.
- Plants have been monitored at Dowling Forest Cemetery and life histories determined.
- Management strategies have been negotiated at Dowling Forest Cemetery.
- All known populations were visited during recovery plan preparation.
Issues specific to recovery:
- Taxonomic clarification is urgently required for the P. suaveolens complex, which currently includes a number of populations in the Victorian Volcanic Plains Bioregion currently included under P. suaveolens, but likely to consist of two morphologically distinct entities which are broadly sympatric on the Western Basalt Plains. Both are included in the recovery plan. Other closely related taxa occur elsewhere in central and western Victoria (D. Rouse, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, pers. comm.).
- P. suaveolens and P. sp. aff. suaveolens populations are vulnerable to damage from heavy machinery. Public Authority Management Agreements under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG) are urgently required for all roadside and rail reserve sites.
- Habitat where P. sp. aff. suaveolens and P. suaveolens occurs is highly significant and listed as threatened under the Victorian FFG Act 1988 and some sites are National Estate listed. It is vital to continue the current fire regime of annual burning in order to preserve species diversity in vegetation where they occur, to maintain openness and suppress invasive exotic species such as Phalaris aquatica, Romulea rosea and Cuscuta dubia.
- La Trobe University have conducted applied research in site management since the 1980s at Derrinallum and Vite Vite and their continuing involvement should be encouraged. The contributions of local field naturalists should also be encouraged and supported in regard to site management at Yalla Y Poora.
- Yalla Y Poora land tenure is in need of resolution.
Overall recovery strategy:
Broadscale risk management will include negotiated PAMAs with Local Government and rail reserve 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 with involvement from La Trobe University School of Botany and local field naturalists.
DSE SW (Ballarat, Colac, Warrnambool); Shire of Moyne, Shire of Corangamite, Rural City of Ararat; A. and M. Morton (Field Naturalists and ANOS members, Clunes), Parks Victoria (Victoria West Region, Beaufort); Dr J. Morgan (La Trobe University); John Arnott (Geelong Botanic Gardens).
|Action||Woorndoo (H)||Wingeel (H)||Derrinallum (H)||Vite Vite (H)||Yalla Y Poora (H)||Dowling Forest Cemetery (H)|
|1. Determine current conservation status|
|1.1 Clarify taxonomy||L||L||L||L||L||L|
|1.2 Acquire baseline population data||M||M||M||M||M||M|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR, Centre for Plant Conservation Biology||DSE-BNR, Centre for Plant Conservation Biology||DSE-BNR, Centre for Plant Conservation Biology||DSE-BNR, Centre for Plant Conservation Biology||DSE-BNR, Centre for Plant Conservation Biology, ANOS||DSE-BNR, Centre for Plant Conservation Biology, ANOS|
|2. Investigate population biology|
|2.1 Describe life history||M||M||M||M||M||M|
|2.2 Evaluate natural pollination levels and/or causes of pollinator limitation||M||M||M||M||M||M|
|2.3 Determine the effects of artificial pollination on growth survival and reproduction||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2.4 Determine spatial distribution of mycorrhizal fungi||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2.5 Determine optimal conditions for growth of mycorrhizal fungi in-situ||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations|
|3.1 Identify key populations||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3.2 Conduct surveys||H||H||H||H||H||H|
|3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations||M||M||M||M||M||M|
|3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions||L||L||L||L||L||L|
|4. Manage risks to populations|
|4.1 Identify and implement strategies to control threats||H||H||H||H||H||H|
|4.2 Identify disturbance regimes to promote regeneration and recruitment||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|4.3 Protect key public land populations and habitat||H||H||H||H||H||H|
|4.4 Protect key private land populations and habitat||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR SW, Shire of Moyne||DSE-BNR, Golden Plains Shire||DSE-BNR, Shire of Corangamite||DSE-BNR, Australian Rail Track Corporation||DSE-BNR SW, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS, Dowling Forest Cemetery Trust|
|5. Promote in-situ recruitment|
|5.1 Prepare habitat for seedling recruitment||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|5.2 Re-stock populations with seed||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|6. Measure population trends and responses against recovery actions|
|6.1 Conduct annual censusing of populations||M||M||M||M||M||M|
|6.2 Collate, analyse and report on census data||M||M||M||M||M||M|
|6.3 Re-prioritise and adjust recovery actions and/or threat management||H||H||H||H||H||H|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR SW||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR, ANOS||DSE-BNR, ANOS|
|7. Increase populations ex-situ|
|7.1 Hand pollinate plants||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|7.2 Establish a threatened orchid seed bank and determine seed viability||N/A||N/A||N/A||M||N/A||M|
|7.3 Establish a mycorrhizal fungi bank||N/A||N/A||N/A||M||N/A||M|
|7.4 Establish and maintain cultivated populations||N/A||N/A||N/A||M||N/A||M|
|7.5 Maintain a database of threatened orchid taxa in cultivation||N/A||N/A||N/A||L||N/A||L|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR, GBG||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR, GBG|
|8. Translocate cultivated plants|
|8.1 Determine criteria for re-stocking/re-introduction||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.2 Evaluate site suitability||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.3 Determine long term cost-benefits and feasibility of translocating plants||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.4 Prepare and implement translocation plans||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.5 Maintain translocated populations||N/A||N/A||N/A||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||L||L||L|
|9.2 Undertake community extension||L||L||L||L||L||L|
|9.3 Conduct workshops and symposia on in-situ recovery techniques||L||L||L||L||L||L|
|9.4 Encourage and support research by Higher Education Institutions and existing research partners||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks|
|10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team||L||L||L||L||L||L|
|10.2 Establish and facilitate regional Recovery Teams||L||L||L||L||L||L|
|10.3 Co-ordinate recovery and exchange knowledge with interstate agencies||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|