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
Thelymitra gregaria D.L. Jones & M.A. Clem.
- Conservation status:
- EPBC Act 1999: Not listed
- IUCN (2000): CR
- NRE (2000): E
- Endemic to Victoria -Victorian Volcanic Plain Bioregion (Derrinallum, Streatham, Woorndoo, Yalla Y Poora areas).
- Formerly recorded, but now extinct at Darlington, and south-west of Melbourne at Werribee.
- Specific details of population localities (including GPS data) are held on DSE internal files.
- <1500 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, Shire of Corangamite, Rural City of Ararat, Australian Rail Track Corporation.
|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/pest animals||Low - sites are not grazed at present and rabbits are scarce at most sites.|
|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.|
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)
- A Public Authority Management Agreement (PAMA) is currently being prepared with the Shire of Moyne, which will include the site near Woorndoo (DSE).
- Ecological burns planned for Yalla Y Poora and volunteers will carry out weed control.
- 2 sites are burnt annually (Derrinallum, Woorndoo).
- All known populations were visited during recovery plan preparation.
Issues specific to recovery:
- T. gregaria 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 T. gregaria 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 T. gregaria occurs, 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 involvement should continue to be encouraged. Local Field Naturalists should also be encouraged to contribute to site management at Yalla Y Poora.
- Yalla Y Poora land tenure is in need of resolution.
- Weed control for Phalaris aquatica at Woorndoo.
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, Australian Rail Track Corporation; A. and M. Morton (Field Naturalists, Clunes), Parks Victoria (Victoria West Region, Beaufort); Dr J. Morgan (La Trobe University); John Arnott (Geelong Botanic Gardens).
|Action||Woorndoo (H)||Derrinallum (H)||Vite Vite (H)||Yalla Y Poora (H)|
|1. Determine current conservation status|
|1.1 Clarify taxonomy||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1.2 Acquire baseline population data||M||M||M||M|
|2. Investigate population biology|
|2.1 Describe life history||M||M||M||M|
|2.2 Evaluate natural pollination levels and/or causes of pollinator limitation||M||M||M||M|
|2.3 Determine the effects of artificial pollination on growth survival and reproduction||N/A||M||N/A||N/A|
|2.4 Determine spatial distribution of mycorrhizal fungi||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|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR||DSE-BNR, Field Naturalists|
|3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations|
|3.1 Identify key populations||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3.2 Conduct surveys||H||H||H||H|
|3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations||H||H||H||H|
|3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions||M||M||M||M|
|4. Manage risks to populations|
|4.1 Identify and implement strategies to control threats||H||H||H||H|
|4.2 Identify disturbance regimes to promote regeneration and recruitment||H||H||H||H|
|4.3 Protect key public land populations and habitat||H||H||H||H|
|4.4 Protect key private land populations and habitat||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Responsibility||DSE-BNR SW, Shire of Moyne||DSE-BNR SW, Shire of Corangamite||DSE-BNR SW, Australian Rail Track Corporation||DSE-BNR SW, PV|
|5. Promote in-situ recruitment|
|5.1 Prepare habitat for seedling recruitment||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|5.2 Re-stock populations with seed||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|
|6.2 Collate, analyse and report on census data||M||M||M||M|
|6.3 Re-prioritise and adjust recovery actions and/or threat management||H||H||H||H|
|7. Increase populations ex-situ|
|7.1 Hand pollinate plants||L||L||L||L|
|7.2 Establish a threatened orchid seed bank and determine seed viability||N/A||M||N/A||N/A|
|7.3 Establish a mycorrhizal fungi bank||N/A||M||N/A||N/A|
|7.4 Establish and maintain cultivated populations||N/A||M||N/A||N/A|
|7.5 Maintain a database of threatened orchid taxa in cultivation||N/A||L||N/A||N/A|
|8. Translocate cultivated plants|
|8.1 Determine criteria for re-stocking/re-introduction||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.2 Evaluate site suitability||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|
|8.4 Prepare and implement translocation plans||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|8.5 Maintain translocated populations||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|
|9.2 Undertake community extension||L||L||L||L|
|9.3 Conduct workshops and symposia on in-situ recovery techniques||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|
|10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks|
|10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team||L||L||L||L|
|10.2 Establish and facilitate regional Recovery Teams||L||L||L||L|
|10.3 Co-ordinate recovery and exchange knowledge with interstate agencies||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|