Biodiversity

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 Critically Endangered as Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009o) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009p) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the conservation advice for the subspecies provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against threats at this time (22/05/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora.
 
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (78) (22/05/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009l) [Legislative Instrument] as Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora.
 
State Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Threatened* (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list) as Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Extinct (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora [21979]
Family Thymelaeaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author  
Infraspecies author Rye
Reference Flora of Australia 18 (8 Jun. 1990) 324, fig. 72C.
Other names Pimelea spinescens pubiflora [67323]
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

National: Listed as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Note: Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora was presumed extinct, however, following the discovery of a roadside population in Victoria in 2005, the species' conservation status was reviewed (TSSC 2009o).

Victoria: At the species level, Pimelea spinescens is listed as Threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

Scientific name: Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora

Common name: Wimmera Rice-flower

The Wimmera Rice-flower is a small shrub which grows from 5–50 cm high (DSE 2005d).

Stems: The stems are smooth and have a spiny tip which gave the species its name.

Leaves: The leaves of the Wimmera Rice-flower are arranged opposite each other along the stem, have short petioles (stalks), are elliptic in shape, smooth, uniform green in colour, and about 7 mm long and 2 mm wide. The leaf-stalks are densely hairy.

Flowers: During flowering, the Wimmera Rice-flower has a profusion of small creamy-yellow flowers (BIRD 2007). Each flower-head usually has 6–12 individual flowers. The flowers are hairy on the outside, with the hairs often more densely arranged on the sepals.

Fruits: The 3 mm long rice-shaped fruits are firm, dry and enclosed (DSE 2005d; Rye 1990).

The Wimmera Rice-flower is endemic to Victoria and was presumed to be an extinct subspecies. It occurred in Victoria from the Dimboola, Wimmera and Borung districts, approximately 300 km north-west of Melbourne. The type specimen was collected from Wimmera in 1890 (Rye 1990) and prior to 2005, the last specimen was recorded from the Dimboola and Borung districts in 1901 (BIRD 2007; Walsh & Entwisle 1996).

Two populations were subsequently discovered; one in the Natimuk area in 2005 (DSE 2005b) and one near Minyup in 2007 (Poole 2008; TSSC 2009p).

The Wimmera Rice-flower is severely fragmented into two geographically isolated populations (approximately 35 km apart). The Natimuk population occupies an area of roadside equalling 0.005 km². The Minyip population occupies an area of 0.1 km². The total area of occupancy for the subspecies is therefore 0.105 km² (TSSC 2009p).

The Natimuk population of Wimmera Rice-flowers number approximately 2600 plants, whereas the Minyip population number approximately 115 plants (TSSC 2009p).

Very little information exists on the habitat of the Wimmera Rice-flower although it was known to occur on basaltic plains (Rye 1990). The species is known to occur in grassland vegetation such as the Wimmera Plains Savannah, on reddish sandy loam soil with fairly abundant limestone nodules (DSE 2005d).

The two extant populations of Wimmera Rice-flowers occur on level ground with a loamy soil type. The Natimuk population occurs on a roadside reserve in a grassland dominated by Spear grasses (Austrostipa sp.) and Wallaby grasses (Austrodanthonia sp.), with scattered shrubs of Bursaria spinosa (Sweet Bursaria) and Senna artemisioides (Cassia), whereas the population at Minyip occurs on Crown Land within a Buloke grassland area (TSSC 2009o, 2009p).

The Wimmera Rice-flower flowers in mid winter (April–October), in contrast to most other grassland species (BIRD 2007; Rye 1990). Towards the end of spring, fruit begins to form in place of the flowers (DSE 2005d). The plant goes into a state of dormancy over summer (TSSC 2009o).

Pollination mechanisms are currently being investigated, however, it is plausible that this subspecies is pollinated by a number of insect species (TSSC 2009o).

The flowers are the critical features that separated this subspecies from Spiny Rice-flower, Pimelea spinescens subsp. spinescens. The Wimmera Rice-flower has flowers that are hairy on the outer surface, whereas those of the Spiny Rice-flower are quite hairless (BIRD 2007).

The main threats to the Wimmera Rice-flower are summarised as follows:

  • Works and road maintenance - the Natimuk population (the larger population) occurs on a roadside, and is particularly vulnerable to road maintenance works such as slashing, grading, clearing, widening and soil compaction by vehicle movement (Poole 2008; TSSC 2009o).
  • An inappropriate fire regime - while the effects of fire on the subspecies are unknown, prolonged lack of fire, or fire of too high a frequency or intensity, can degrade or eliminate suitable habitat. The Minyip population (the smaller population) occurs on Crown Land, and has been impacted by slashing for fire fuel reduction, to create a fire break (TSSC 2009o).
  • Spread of weeds - weeds take up space that might otherwise be colonised by Wimmera Rice-flower seedlings, and then they compete with other members of the natural community for nutrients. As the Wimmera Rice-flower occurs in largely agricultural areas, any disturbance of the soil creates bare patches that can quickly be colonised by weeds (TSSC 2009o).
  • Herbicide use - the Wimmera Rice-flower is sensitive to herbicides that may be applied to control neighbouring weed species (TSSC 2009o).
  • Land clearing - the Wimmera Rice-flower is significantly impacted by land clearing and degradation (BIRD 2007).

A Pimelea spinescens Recovery Team has been formed which co-ordinates the recovery of both the Spiny Rice-flower (subsp. spinescens) and the Wimmera Rice-flower (subsp. pubiflora). The Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment is searching for new populations and propagating plants to help either increase the population size or establish new sites. The Wimmera Catchment Management Authority intends to include the Wimmera Rice-flower in its Wimmera Threatened Flora Project (DSE 2005d).

Additionally, the following priority recovery and threat abatement actions can be undertaken to support the recovery of the Wimmera Rice-flower (TSSC 2009p).

Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification

  • Ensure road widening and maintenance activities in areas where the Wimmera Rice-flower occurs, do not adversely impact on the known populations.
  • Ensure chemicals or other mechanisms used to eradicate weeds do not have a significant adverse impact on the Wimmera Rice-flower.
  • Control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land.
  • Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary.
Invasive Weeds
  • Identify and remove weeds in the local area, which could become a threat to the Wimmera Rice-flower, using appropriate methods.
  • Manage sites to prevent introduction of invasive weeds, which could become a threat to the Wimmera Rice-flower, using appropriate methods.
Fire
  • Develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy for the Wimmera Rice-flower.
  • Identify appropriate intensity and interval of fire to promote seed germination.
  • Provide maps of known occurrences of the subspecies to local and state Rural Fire Services, and seek inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plans, and/or operation maps.
Conservation Information
  • Raise awareness of the Wimmera Rice-flower within the local community through site visits, signage (where appropriate), and fact sheets/information brochures.
  • Engage the local council managing the roads, to ensure they are aware of the sites where the Wimmera Rice-flower occurs.
  • Develop a community network interested in the protection and management of the two populations.

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 Conservation Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009p) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009o) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Habitat degradation caused by firebreak construction and/or maintenance Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009o) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009o) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009p) [Conservation Advice].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Herbicide drift Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009o) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009p) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009o) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009p) [Conservation Advice].

Biodiversity Information, Resources and Data (BIRD) (2007). Wimmera Rice-flower: Threatened flora. [Online]. Available from: http://bird.net.au/bird/index.php?title=Wimmera_Rice-flower.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) (2005d). Wimmera Rice-flower Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora. Fact Sheet. Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

Poole, L. (2008). Grader hits rare roadside flowers. Wimmera Mail. [Online]. Available from: http://wimmera.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/grader-hits-rare-roadside-flowers/1239097.aspx.

Rye, B.L. (1990). Thymelaeaceae. In: Flora of Australia. 18:122-215. Canberra: AGPS.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009o). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/21979-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009p). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora (Wimmera Rice-flower). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/21979-conservation-advice.pdf.

Walsh, N.G. & T.J. Entwisle (1996). Flora of Victoria. 3. Melbourne, VIC: Inkata Press.

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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). Pimelea spinescens subsp. pubiflora in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:41:46 +1000.