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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012af) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement advice for predation, habitat degradation,competition and disease transmission by feral pigs (2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014p) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for competition and land degradation by unmanaged goats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008ada) [Threat Abatement 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
NSW:Xerothamnella parvifolia - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005na) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list)
Scientific name Xerothamnella parvifolia [3141]
Family Acanthaceae:Scrophulariales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author C.White
Infraspecies author  
Reference Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 55 (26 Jun. 1944) 72.
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

Scientific name: Xerothamnella parvifolia

Conventionally accepted as Xerothamnella parvifolia (CHAH 2010).

Xerothamnella parvifolia is a shrub to one metre high, with angled, longitudinally furrowed branches. The leaves are ovate, less than 10 mm long, and without stalks. The flowers are white with red spots, comprising a tube and widely spreading lobes. The fruit is a capsule 7–8.5 mm long, without hairs (Barker 1986).

Xerothamnella parvifolia is endemic to Australia, occurring in the Flinders Ranges of SA, central-west and south-west Queensland, and far north-west NSW (Barker 1986; Queensland Herbarium 2009). There are nine localities for the species: one in SA (AVH 2009; Davies 1995a), seven in Queensland (Queensland Herbarium 2009) and one in NSW (AVH 2009).

In SA, the species is found at Wertaloona Pastoral Lease in the Northern Flinders Ranges, in the vicinity of Moro Gorge (Davies 1995a). In Queensland, localities are Grey Range and Gowan Range from Thargomindah to Blackall; Walters Range east of Eulo; and Idalia National Park (NP), south-west of Blackall (Barker 1986; Queensland Herbarium 2009). In NSW, the species is known from a single collection at Mt Poole near Tibooburra (Barker 1986; Harden 1992).

Xerothamnella parvifolia is known from an area of approximately 291 600 km2 (AVH 2009).

Xerothamnella parvifolia has been moderately well surveyed in SA (Davies 1995a) and in Queensland (Bean 2010 pers. comm.). In NSW, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW 2005na) states that searches of rocky hill-tops north from Broken Hill to the Queensland border have not yielded new populations of the species, and that the species is considered very rare in NSW.

There are no data on the total population size for all populations nor the total number of subpopulations. In South Australia, a total of 523 individuals were counted in 5 subpopulations (Davies 1995a) and in Idalia NP, Queensland, there are more than 100 000 individuals in at least 10 subpopulations. Data from herbarium specimens indicates that the species can be locally common (Queensland Herbarium 2009). At Mt Poole, NSW, a total of 142 plants on five ridges has been observed in ten subpopulations over an area of approximately 2 hectares (NSW DECCW 2005na).

Xerothamnella parvifolia is recorded from the Idalia NP, south-south-east of Longreach (Queensland Herbarium 2009). There is no active management for this species in Idalia NP, although research that was underway may result in the implementation of active management strategies (Bean 2010, pers. comm.).

Xerothamnella parvifolia occurs on stony ridges and lower slopes of rocky escarpments, often in association with Gidgee (Acacia cambegei). The soil type is variable (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

In SA, X. parvifolia has been recorded growing on unstable rocky slopes of breakaway country in sandy loams, sandy clay loams, fine sandy clays or sandy clays with a pH of 8.0 to 8.5, and surface with calcereous rocky debris. The vegetation was a low open woodland or low sparse woodland dominated by Belah (Casuarina pauper) or Curly Mallee (Eucalyptus gillii) or both. Associated shrub strata was sparse to very sparse and most frequently dominated by Senna artemisioides subsp. coriacea, Hopbush (Dodonaea microzyga) and Silvery Emu-bush (Eremophila scoparia). In localised areas, X. parvifolia dominated the understorey. Ground strata was absent or very sparse and dominated by Smoke Bush (Ptilotus obovatus), Silver Sida (Sida fibulifera) or Enneapogon spp. (Davies 1995a).

In Queensland, the species is reported growing in Gidgee low open woodland with Blunt-leaved Cassia (Senna artemisioides subsp. oligophylla) and Senna artemisioides subsp. coriacea in reddish clays with a gravelly surface (Barker 1986) and also on lower slopes of dissected low tablelands in reddish clay soil with stony surface debris (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

In NSW, Harden (1992) reported X. parvifolia growing in low sclerophyll woodland in skeletal, fine sandy clays along ridge tops. The Mt Poole collection was in a grazed area on the summit of the mountain with low chenopod shrubland (Atriplex and Sclerolaena spp.) (NSW DECCW 2005na). Other associated species include Spinach-burr (Sclerolaena lanicuspis), Western Copper-burr (Sclerolaena parallelicuspis), Pop Saltbush (Atriplex holocarpa), Bladder Saltbush (Atriplex vesicaria), Gidgee, Blunt-leaved Cassia, Smoke Bush and Whitewood (Atalaya hemiglauca) (NSW DECCW 2005na).

Xerothamnella parvifolia flowers are recorded in January, February, April, July, September and October. Fruiting has been observed in April and October (Barker 1986; Queensland Herbarium 2009). The species is considered likely to re-sprout after disturbance (Environment Australia & Qld Environmental Protection Agency n.d.), and South Australia populations were observed to have signs of previous extensive dieback but most populations then displayed healthy new growth (Davies 1995a).

Xerothamnella is an endemic Australian genus with two species: X. parvifolia and X. herbacea. Xerothamnella parvifolia is distinguished from the latter by the following characters: its a low woody shrub; its leaves are sessile, ovate, 0.4–1 cm x 0.2–0.3 cm; its lower corolla lip is entire; its capsule glabrous; and its anthers are one-celled, the vestige of a lower second cell sometimes represented by a bump (Barker 1986).

Xerothamnella parvifolia could be mistaken for is Rhaphidospora bonneyana, as both species are woody shrubs with small opposite leaves. Xerothamnella parvifolia has smaller flowers and capsules than R. bonneyana (Bean 2010 pers. comm.).

Overgrazing by feral Goats (Capra hircus) and macropods (Macropus spp.) (Queensland Herbarium 2009; Silcock 2009 pers. comm.) is a threat to all populations, preventing regeneration of plants, and weakening existing plants, through continual loss of leaf and stem material. If grazing continues, it could have a significant decline in population size and numbers (TSSC 2010bb).

In NSW, mining exploration, grazing by the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and visitor damage have been identified as threats to the species (NSW DECCW 2005na).

No threat abatement is currently underway for Xerothamnella parvifolia; however grazing exclusion plots have recently been established in Idalia NP to assess the level of impact and possible mitigation (Silcock 2009 pers. comm.). The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW DECCW 2005na) have identified priority actions to help recover the species, including:

  • ongoing Goat control as a very high priority
  • protection of populations from visitor damage and associated physical disturbances at Mt Poole
  • construction of a Euro (Macropus robustus erubescens) proof fence to prevent further browsing damage and eradicate the Rabbit at the Mt Poole site
  • exclusion mining and destructive mineral exploration from any areas containing Xerothamnella parvifolia.

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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Xerothamnella parvifolia in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006wx) [Internet].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in New South Wales (Coutts-Smith, A.J., P.S. Mahon, M. Letnic & P.O. Downey, 2007) [Management Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) Xerothamnella parvifolia in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006wx) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Sus scrofa (Pig) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Xerothamnella parvifolia (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008fj) [Conservation Advice].

Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH) (2009). Australia's Virtual Herbarium. [Online]. Available from: http://www.chah.gov.au/avh/.

Barker, R.M. (1986). A taxonomic revision of Australian Acanthaceae. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 9:1-286.

Bean, A.R. (2010). Personal Communication.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2010). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Davies, R.J.P. (1995a). Threatened Plant Species Management in the Arid Pastoral Zone of South Australia. Pastoral Management Branch, Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Environment Australia & Qld Environmental Protection Agency (n.dat.). Rare and Threatened Species and Plant Communities of the Mulga Lands. EA; Qld Dept of Environment.

Harden, G.J. (Ed.) (1992). Flora of New South Wales Volume 3. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2005na). Xerothamnella parvifolia - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10844.

Queensland Herbarium (2009). Specimen label information.

Silcock, J. (2009). Personal communication. August 2009.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2010bb). Xerothamnella parvifolia Draft-in-Confidence Listing Advice. Unpublished.

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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). Xerothamnella parvifolia in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 17 Sep 2014 03:10:19 +1000.