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 Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National recovery plan for threatened Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in central Australia (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzl) [Recovery Plan].
 
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].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Sickle-leaf Wattle, Undoolya Wattle Acacia undoolyana (Nano, C., R. Kerrigan, D. Albrecht, C. Pavey & A. Duguid, 2012) [Information Sheet].
NT:Recovery action implementation for threatened arid acacias. Distribution, monitoring and Indigenous ecological knowledge of A. peuce, A. undoolyana, A. pickardii & A. latzii (Northern Territory Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NT NRETAS), 2008) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Vulnerable (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012 list)
Scientific name Acacia undoolyana [3073]
Family Fabaceae:Fabales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author G.J.Leach
Infraspecies author  
Reference Leach, G.J., Latz, P.K. & Soos, A. (1988) Acacia undoolyana: A new species from central Australia. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 11(1): 55, fig. 1, map 1 [tax. nov.]
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
http://www.nretas.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/10984/Acacia_undoolyana_VU.pdf

Scientific name: Acacia undoolyana

Common name: Undoolya Wattle

The Undoolya Wattle is a slow growing and long lived shrub or tree to 6 m high (rarely to 11 m) with rough, greyish-brown bark and bright yellow flower spikes (DEWHA 2008zzl; Orchard & Wilson 2001a). 

This species is restricted to the East MacDonnell Ranges, east of Alice Springs, in southern NT (Latz et al. 1989; Latz 1992; Orchard & Wilson 2001a). Its area of occupancy is estimated to be 16 km² (Kerrigan et al. 2002) and it occurs in extremely low densities (Pitts et al. 1995). Its extent of occurrence is estimated at 195 km² (Duguid & Schunke 1998).

The total number of individuals for the species is estimated to be between 30 000 to 80 000, including regeneration (Duguid 1999).

The species is known from five populations: N'Dhala, Kadaicha Range (or Ross River Homestead), Vee Gorge, Arumbera and a single plant on Love's Creek Station (Briggs & Leigh 1996; Kerrigan et al. 2002; DEWHA 2008zzl).

The largest of the five populations occurs west of N'Dhala Gorge, where the Undoolya Wattle occupies 600 ha of mainly 'unburnt' woodland on the southern slope of a ridge (Soos et al. 1987). The ridge stand was partially burnt by wildfire in the 1920s and, by 1989, the stand was healthy and mature, with a wide range of age classes.

The second largest population occurs about 5 km north of Ross River Homestead on the Kadaicha Ranges, covering 200 ha (Soos et al. 1987). In 1989, individuals were generally scattered immatures, with spinifex (Spinifex sp.) understorey (Latz et al. 1989).

The smallest population, occurring at Vee Gorge, is spread over 35 ha, about 3 km east of Corroboree Rock (Soos et al. 1987). In 1989, it was the only mature stand on quartzite and had not been burnt for more than 60 years. It contained a wide range of age classes and had a high cover of spinifex. Serious soil erosion in the past may explain the more barren nature of this site compared to N'Dhala Ridge (Latz et al. 1989).

The Arumbera population occurs on ranges of 'Arumbera Sandstone', which run along the south side of the Ross River Highway (DEWHA 2008zzl).

A single individual has been reported from Love Creek Station, approximately 50 km east of the main site (Latz 1992).

The species is conserved in N'Dhala Gorge National Park (NP). The remaining populations occur on three pastoral leases, a tourism lease and a stock route (Briggs & Leigh 1996; Kerrigan et al. 2002; DEWHA 2008zzl).

The species grows on steep rocky slopes with skeletal soils or at the base of sandstone gullies (Orchard & Wilson 2001a). It occurs on quartzite and sandstone ranges, generally on south-facing steep slopes. It also occurs on north-facing shallow rocky gullies, slopes and crests (Latz et al. 1989; Latz 1992; Pitts et al. 1995; Soos et al. 1987). Sheltered south-facing slopes, particularly where run-off water can accumulate, support the tallest and densest stands (Soos et al. 1987). The soil type is sandy loam with a pH of 6.  Rock outcrops generally cover more than 30 per cent of the ground. The climate is seasonally variable and rainfall varies markedly from year to year (Pitts et al.1995).

There are eight major associated plant communities: the Yapungah (Eucalyptus thozetiana) low open woodland; the Mulga (Acacia aneura) low open woodland; the Hill Mulga (A. macdonnelliensis) low open woodland; the Undoolya Wattle (A. undoolyana) low open woodland; the White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) low open to sparse woodland; spinifex (Triodia spp.) hummock grassland; the Georgina Gidgee (A. georginae) low open woodland; and Dipteracanthus corynothecus shrubland (Latz et al. 1989; Latz 1992).

Fire on ridges and crests increases erosion on surrounding slopes, which in turn encourages the growth of spinifex creating a community increasingly vulnerable to repeated burning. The species' absence, from seemingly suitable areas, is assumed to be a result of increased fire frequency and intensity. On the other hand, the current restricted distribution may be due to the absence of fire for a prolonged period compared to an originally more extensive distribution where fire may have been present (Soos et al. 1987; Pitts et al. 1995).

Competition from other plant communities also appears to restrict the species' distribution. As growth conditions become more harsh (less soil and moisture), a succession of plant communities appears to be: the Mulga (A. aneura) (good conditions); and the Hill Mulga (A. macdonnelliensis), the Undoolya Wattle (A. undoolyana) and the White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) (poor conditions) (Leach et al. 1987; Latz 1992). Soil build up, which has been shown to occur in the absence of fire, may also allow other Acacia species to invade sites currently supporting the Undoolya Wattle (Latz et al. 1989; Latz 1992).

The Vee Gorge and sections of the N’Dhala populations are considered to be of highest conservation value because of the maturity of trees present. The locations of both populations should be considered as habitat critical for the survival of the species. Key components of such habitat includes the presence of sandstone and quartzite hills occurring mostly on steep, rocky south facing slopes that are relatively well protected from wildfires (DEWHA 2008zzl).

The species appears to be slow growing and long lived (Latz 1992), with individuals persisting for more than 100 years (Duguid 1999). Flowers are borne from July to September (Latz et al. 1989; Latz 1992; Orchard & Wilson 2001a). Fruiting occurs during September and October (Leach et al. 1987; Orchard & Wilson 2001a).

The success of seed set appears to be related to environmental factors (Latz et al. 1989) such as specific rainfall conditions (Latz 1992).

Wildfires normally kill plants, but some individuals may reshoot if they are only mildly affected by fire (Latz et al. 1989). Fire stimulates seedling growth, but is not essential for the germination and growth of seedlings (Latz 1992) as the species may regenerate readily during periods of high rainfall on burnt and unburnt sites.  Long periods are needed between fires for the species to replenish the soil seed bank (Latz et al.1989).

The Undoolya Wattle is closely related to the Hill Mulga (A. macdonnellensis), but is distinguished by its strongly sickle-shaped phyllodes which are longer and broader and silvery when fresh. It is also related to the Mount Connor Wattle (A. ammobia) which has glabrous peduncles, mostly straight phyllodes and occurs on sand dunes (Orchard & Wilson 2001a).

Populations are severely threatened by wildfire (Leach et al. 1987; Latz 1992). The basis of recovery is to reduce the frequency and severity of wildfires. Recently burnt stands need the most protection to ensure the persistence of the colony (Latz et al. 1989). Most populations are completely surrounded by spinifex, which represents a major source of fuel for fires (Pitts et al. 1995). Mapping by Pitts and colleagues (1995) found that spinifex occurred in 93 per cent of survey sites containing the Undoolya Wattle.

Weed invasion is also a threat contributing to an increased fuel load.

For more information on these threats, refer to the National Recovery Plan for Threatend Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in Central Australia found at the start of the profile.

Recommendations in the above National Recovery Plan, include:

  • Carry out population and habitat monitoring at selected sites.
  • Implement management strategies for key threatening processes.
  • Undertake ecological research on fire ecology, reproductive biology, seed dormancy and germination cues and soil seedbank dynamics.
  • Carry out population and habitat monitoring at selected sites.
  • Collect and store seeds from all populations in recognised seed-banks.
  • Engage indigenous ecologists to provide input into the recovery process.

Management documents for the Undoolya Wattle can be found at the start of the profile.

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) Acacia undoolyana in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ad) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Cynodon dactylon (Couch, Couch Grass, Green Couch, Bermuda Grass) National recovery plan for threatened Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in central Australia (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzl) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Cenchrus ciliaris (Buffel-grass, Black Buffel-grass) National recovery plan for threatened Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in central Australia (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzl) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) National recovery plan for threatened Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in central Australia (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzl) [Recovery Plan].
Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Acacia undoolyana in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ad) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate fire regimes including natural wildfires National recovery plan for threatened Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in central Australia (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzl) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens (CHABG) (1994). Census of plants in botanic gardens. [Online]. Canberra: Australian National Botanic Gardens. Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chabg/census/census.html.

Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008zzl). National recovery plan for threatened Acacias and Ricinocarpos gloria-medii in central Australia. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/r-gloria-medii.html.

Duguid, A (1999). Protecting Acacia undoolyana from Wildfire: an example of off park conservation from Central Australia. [Online]. Parks & Wildlife Commission of the NT. Available from: http://life.csu.edu.au/bushfire99/papers/duguid/.

Duguid, A & Schunke, D (1998). Final report on project No. 290 Acacia undoolyana (Undoolya Wattle) Species Recovery Plan. Parks & Wildlife Commission of the NT. Parks & Wildlife Commission of the NT.

Kerrigan, R., D. Albrecht & B. Baker (2002). Threatened Speies of the Northern Territory. Page(s) 2.

Latz, P.K. (1992). Species Recovery Plan - Management Phase & Conservation Research Statement for Acacia undoolyana Leach. Darwin: Conservation Commission of the NT.

Latz, P.K., P.D. Kube & A. Soos (1989). Habitat, Ecology and Conservation of Acacia undoolyana. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory.

Leach, G.J., P.K. Latz & A. Soos (1987). Acacia undoolyana: A new species from Central Australia. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 10(1):55-58.

Nano, C., R. Kerrigan, D. Albrecht, C. Pavey & A. Duguid (2012). Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Sickle-leaf Wattle, Undoolya Wattle Acacia undoolyana. [Online]. Department of Land Resource Management. Available from: http://lrm.nt.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species/specieslist.

Northern Territory Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NT NRETAS) (2008). Recovery action implementation for threatened arid acacias. Distribution, monitoring and Indigenous ecological knowledge of A. peuce, A. undoolyana, A. pickardii & A. latzii. [Online]. Available from: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/animals/threatened/pdf/Acacia_recovery_implementation_NT_07_09sm.pdf.

Orchard, A.E. & A.J.G. Wilson, eds. (2001a). Flora of Australia, Volume 11B, Mimosaceae, Acacia Part 2. In: Flora of Australia. Canberra, ACT: ABRS & CSIRO.

Pitts, B., D. Schunke & D. Parsons (1995). Species Recovery Plan for Acacia undoolyana - Final Report. Darwin: Parks & Wildlife Commission of the NT.

Soos, A., P. Latz & P. Kube (1987). Occurence of two Rare Plant Populations in the East MacDonnell Ranges. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory.

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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 undoolyana in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sun, 27 Jul 2014 03:18:42 +1000.