Threatened Species Unit, North East Branch
New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation, 2004
ISBN: 174122 135 8
8. Previous Actions Undertaken
As a result of the implementation of appropriate actions within the Grevillea beadleana Recovery Plan during 199497, new information has been acquired about the distribution, habitat requirements and ecology of the species. Particular effort has been made to reduce or eliminate existing threats to G. beadleana, and to monitor population size and health.
Research at UNE, which has provided valuable information about the ecology of the species, including population structure, seed ecology and pollination ecology, is still continuing.
As a result of targeted surveys new populations have been discovered at Chambigne Nature Reserve, in recent additions to Guy Fawkes River National Park, and additional locations were found in the Binghi area. Surveys were, however, unsuccessful in locating Grevillea beadleana at the original collection place in the Moona Plains area near Walcha. Predictive modelling of potential habitat indicates where to concentrate further distribution surveys.
At Guy Fawkes River National Park, a fence has been erected to exclude straying cattle damaging the Grevillea beadleana stand. Plants were propagated at UNE from material obtained from the Guy Fawkes River National Park population. These plants will be replanted in the woodland adjacent to the gorge rim in an effort to increase the population size. An interpretive display on G. beadleana has been placed at the nearby Misty Creek camping ground.
Cuttings have been the most cost-effective method of producing large numbers of plants of Grevillea beadleana. Short-tip cuttings treated with a 5 ppm NAA/IBA hormone dip, placed in sharp sand in a hot bed with automatic misting, results in a propagation strike-rate of 6580% (Gross et al. 1995).
In 2001 a targeted survey was undertaken in northern NSW, with an emphasis on potential Grevillea beadleana habitat and areas where no previous surveys had been undertaken. No new G. beadleana populations were located during the surveys, however extensive data about locations where G. beadleana is known not to occur was obtained. This data will be used to revise the predicted distribution of G. beadleana.
In view of the population size at Binghi, there is no doubt that the species is capable of expansion, provided optimum conditions are available for the successful germination of seeds and maturation of plants. A high fire frequency ie. more than one in fifteen years, appears to be the critical factor limiting the natural recovery of the species. Successful recovery of the species relies on appropriate management of existing and potential threats with particular regard to the fire regime at Grevillea beadleana sites.
If no active management strategies are implemented for Grevillea beadleana there is a significant likelihood that the species may become extinct at Guy Fawkes River National Park and Chambigne Nature Reserve. Further surveys should be undertaken to locate any new populations of G. beadleana that may otherwise be inadvertently destroyed or degraded. Failure to conduct these surveys and locate new populations may also preclude the collection of important ecological information and diverse genetic material that is not available from known sites.
Until more information is known about the reproductive ecology and genetics of the species, it is difficult to implement specific management strategies (eg. translocations) aimed at recovering the species. Any consideration of reintroduction and/or translocation programs must take into account relevant guidelines such as those prepared by DEC (in prep) or the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (Australian Network for Plant Conservation 1997).