National Recovery Plan for the Sunshine Diuris
Prepared by Anna H. Murphy, Alan Webster, Karen Lester (Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria) and Colin Knight (Melbourne Zoo)
ISBN 1 74152 482 2
About this document
The Sunshine Diuris Diuris fragrantissima D.L. Jones & M.A. Clem. is one of Australia's most threatened orchids. Endemic to Victoria, the species was once abundant on the grassy plains to the west of Melbourne. It has suffered a catastrophic decline in range and abundance since European settlement, and is now confined to a single location at Sunshine in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where about 30 plants remain, and a second site at Altona, where reintroductions are occurring. Approximately 200 mature plants survive in cultivation. Major threats include weed invasion, predation, illegal collection, altered fire regimes and changes to land use in rail reserves. The Sunshine Diurisis listed as Endangered under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and Threatened under the Victorian Government Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Fewer than 30 plants survive in the wild, at a single site that is suffering severe threats, and the species is very close to extinction in the wild. An intensive recovery program is required to prevent the extinction of the Sunshine Diuris. The first Recovery Plan for the species (Backhouse et al. 2000) was adopted in 2000. This Recovery Plan is a revision and update of the earlier plan, and details the species’ distribution and biology, conservation status, threats, and recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure its long-term survival.