Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006p) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008zr) [Conservation Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (43) (14/08/2006) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2006g) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Acacia praetermissa (Cowie, I. & R. Kerrigan, 2012) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Vulnerable (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012 list)
Scientific name Acacia praetermissa [14840]
Family Fabaceae:Fabales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Tind.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Telopea 2 (24 Dec. 1980) 113, fig. 1.
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The current conservation status of Acacia praetermissa, under Australian and Territory Government legislation, is as follows:

National: Listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Northern Territory: Listed as Vulnerable under the Territory Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act 2000.

Scientific name: Acacia praetermissa

Acacia praetermissa is a shrub, often multi-stemmed, with stems approximately 50 cm to 2 m high arising from a rootstock. The leaves are narrow and are a bluish colour. The flowers of this species are in rod-like spikes on simple stalks arising from the angle between leaf and stem (axillary), mostly in pairs. The flower spikes are bright yellow (Kerrigan et al. 2004).

Acacia praetermissa is endemic to the Northern Territory. The species has been collected from two general locations on the Stuart Highway south of Darwin, near Emerald Springs and Hayes Creek (Kerrigan et al. 2004).

The extent of occurrence of A. praetermissa is approximately 52 km². The known populations are distributed linearly along the Stuart Highway in an area approximately 52 km by less then 1 km (Holtze 2005; Kerrigan et al. 2004).

A. praetermissa is known from 17 collections and these are considered to come from two localities. The first locality is represented by 14 collections clustered within an area of approximately 4 km². This dispersal is likely to be a result of inaccuracies in recording coordinates rather than the area of occupancy of the species. The actual area of occupancy has been estimated to be 1 ha. The second locality is approximately 16 km northwest of these collections and is represented by two collections within an area of 1.5 ha . A possible third locality is approximately 6 km northwest from this population but it is considered dubious as it has not been relocated since the original collection in 1967, despite some resurvey in the area. It is considered likely that the 1967 collection was, in fact, collected from the second population (DIPE 2006).

There are no quantitative data from which to infer past area of occupancy. However, collection notes from a 1964 herbarium specimen of this species note it as growing in 'skeletal soil, roadworks', presumably in reference to the building of the Stuart Highway, along which the collections of this species have been made (DIPE 2006).

A. praetermissa populations are not considered severely fragmented. However, the factors dictating this species' distribution have not yet been adequately determined (R Kerrigan 2005, pers. comm.). No genetic analyses have been conducted to determine the level of genetic isolation between the two known localities of this species and very little information is available on the breeding strategies, pollinators or dispersal mechanisms. From the point of view of threats such as road development or fire both localities could be considered a single population (DIPE 2006).

While no extensive targeted searches have been conducted for A. praetermissa, considerable general collection has been conducted in the area, suggesting that existing records reflect this species' restricted distribution and abundance. The species occurs in an easily accessible area, relatively close to major population centres, which has been subject to considerable collecting effort from botanists since the 1950s.

Despite populations of A. praetermissa falling within two relatively well collected quarter-degree grid cells, only 17 collections of the species have been made. For comparison, 795 plant records have been documented in the same two quarter-degree grid squares, and 3895 plant records have been recorded from the mapped vegetation community (2166 km²) where A. prasetermissa is found (Kerrigan et al. 2004). It is thought unlikely that A. praetermissa would have been overlooked in survey areas as it is a woody perennial shrub and should be readily detectable compared to much of the Northern Territory flora (DIPE 2006).

The 17 records of this species represent 0.009% of Northern Territory specimens in the Northern Territory Herbarium, and the known extent of occurrence is at the extreme low end of the range for Northern Territory plants. While it is possible that further intensive survey work in the Emerald Springs area may reveal additional local populations, it is believed that current data accurately reflect the very restricted extent of occurrence (DIPE 2006).

Further survey is required to record the size of Acacia praetermissa populations. Collections indicate that this species is restricted in abundance. Evidence from collectors' notes indicate there are approximately 30 individuals in a 1 ha area 2 km north of Emerald Springs, while between 100 and 250 individuals were estimated in the second, larger population 1 km south of Hayes Creek. An apparent absence of seedling recruitment was noted by one collector (Kerrigan et al. 2004). Based on current anecdotal evidence population size is estimated at approximately 300 plants (DIPE 2006).

The first herbarium collection of A. praetermissa was in 1946, from a location where it is still known to occur, and a collector in 1989 refers to it being 'occasional' at a nearby location. This suggests that the species does not undergo extreme fluctuations in population numbers (Holtze 2005).

None of the known populations of Acacia praetermissa are within conservation reserves (DIPE 2006).

A. praetermissa usually grows on hillsides in rocky, skeletal, lateritic soil in eucalypt woodland (Holtze 2005).

Herbarium records for A. praetermissa suggest that flowering and fruiting may occur at almost any time of the year, with fertile specimens collected from most months between July and March (Kerrigan et al. 2004).

Acacia praetermissa is perennial and is visible at all times of the year, although it may be more difficult to detect small individuals amongst annual grasses during the wet season and early dry season. Surveys for possible seedling recruitment should possibly take place during the early dry season (around April/May) before any burning off (I Cowie 2005, pers. comm.).

The narrow glaucous (bluish) foliage, re-sprouting habit, generally whitish bark and two flower spikes per leaf axil help to distinguish this otherwise fairly inconspicuous species. A. praetermissa can be confused with A. oligoneura and care needs to be taken with identification. A. praetermissa can be distinguished from the latter by the presence of hairs on the calyx (sepals), narrower leaves (strictly, phyllodes, or modified leaf stalks), slender pointed leaf tips and absence of the resinous and red-brown hairs seen in A. oligoneura. However, distributional data show the two species are allopatric (have distinct, exclusive geographical distributions) and thus are not likely to be encountered in the same area (Dunlop et al. 1995).

Areas adjacent to the Stuart Highway are frequently burnt. Collections indicate that A. praetermissa can re-sprout from a perennial root-base, but the longer-term impact of frequent fire on the longevity of adults and on their ability to re-sprout is unknown (Kerrigan et al. 2004).

No seedling recruitment has been observed in the field during recent collections despite the presence of seed pods. It is possible that seeds may have successfully germinated, but have been eliminated by fire or other agents. Further study is needed to ascertain this. If seedling recruitment is limited, the population is likely to decline over time. While the populations of existing adults appear stable, the long-term viability of these populations is unknown. Their location, restricted distribution and low numbers make them susceptible to stochastic events such as road widening (Kerrigan et al. 2004).

Kerrigan and colleagues (2004) suggested that reservation may be required, but that further research is required to establish the extent of the populations and the effectiveness of seedling recruitment, the impact of fire, and the likelihood of threats such as clearing for road works.

Orchid and Wilson (2001) Flora of Australia Volume 11A, Mimosaceae, Acacia part 1, Melbourne ABRS/CSIRO Publishing.

Orchid and Wilson (2001) Flora of Australia Volume 11B, Mimosaceae. Acacia part 2, Melbourne, ABRS/CSIRO Publishing

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006p) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006p) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006p) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Poor recruitment (regeneration) and declining population numbers Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008zr) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia praetermissa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008zr) [Conservation Advice].

Cowie, I. (2005). Personal Communication. NT Herbarium, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, Darwin.

Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (DIPE) (2006). Biodiversity Conservation Section, Northern Territory Government.

Dunlop, C.R., G.J. Leach & I.D. Cowie (1995). Flora of the Darwin Region Volume 2. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

Holtze (2005). Darwin Herbarium specimen database. Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment, Darwin.

Kerrigan, R. (2005). Personal Communication. NT Herbarium, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, Darwin.

Kerrigan, R., I. Cowie & R. Baker (2004). Threatened species information sheet, Acacia praetermissa. Darwin Herbarium, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, Northern Territory Government.

Orchard, A and Wilson, A, eds. (2001). Flora of Australia Volume 11B, Mimosaceae part 2. Melbourne, ABRS and CSIRO Publishing.

Orchard, A. and Wilson, A, eds. (2001). Flora of Australia Volume 11A Mimosaceae part 1. Melbourne, ABRS and CSIRO Publishing.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Acacia praetermissa in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 23 Aug 2014 05:51:55 +1000.