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 Euphrasia arguta
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ai) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, a recovery plan will have limited benefit for the species. The actions covered by the conservation advice are considered to be sufficient at this time (02/02/2011).
 
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 Euphrasia arguta.
 
Amendment to the List of Threatened Species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (106)(02/02/2011) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011k) [Legislative Instrument] as Euphrasia arguta.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Euphrasia arguta R. Br. - proposed vulnerable species listing (NSW Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Critically Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Euphrasia arguta
Scientific name Euphrasia arguta [4325]
Family Scrophulariaceae:Scrophulariales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author R.Br.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Brown, R. (1810), Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae 437
Other names Euphrasia scabra var. arguta [53622]
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: Euphrasia arguta

Conventionally accepted as Euphrasia arguta (CHAH 2010).

Euphrasia arguta is an erect, semi-parasitic annual herb growing between 20–45 cm in height (Harden 1992; Leigh et al. 1984). Branches are densely hairy with recurved (curved backwards) stiff, non-glandular hairs. The plant has 18–30 pairs of leaves along each stem. Leaves are in pairs opposite to each other, with adjacent pairs arranged at right angles. Individual leaves have no stalks, are ovate to elliptical in shape and 7–15 mm in length, 3.5–13 mm wide, with two to four pairs of long, slender 'tooth-like' projections. The leaf surface can be either rough or smooth, and with or without deeply lobed margins (Barker 1992; Benson & MacDougall 2001; Harden 1992; Leigh et al. 1984).

Flowers are numerous, with 50–90 usually being recorded, in a 'spike-like' raceme (flower-head). Flowers are white to lilac in colour with yellow markings. A number of flowers are together on lateral stalks with the oldest at the base and the youngest at the top. These stalks carry leaves as well. Both the petals and sepals are tubular, and usually scabrous, though smooth at the base. The upper lip of the petal is hooded with two downward curved lobes. The fruit of this species is a capsule 4–8 mm long with a 'bristly' upper half, and contains many minute seeds (Barker 1992; Benson & MacDougall 2001; Harden 1992; Leigh et al. 1984).

Euphrasia arguta is known from Nundle State Forest and adjacent private land, in New South Wales (NSW), where it was rediscovered in 2008 (NSW DPI 2008). These populations occur at the border between the New England Tableland and the North Coast Bioregions (NSW DECCW 2010). Prior to this, the species had not been sighted since 1904 and was previously known from Sydney to Bathurst and north to Walcha, NSW. Collections had also been made from Nundle on the New England Tableland; the Paterson and William Rivers in the Hunter Valley; Mudgee; and the plains near Bathurst (Bentham 1869 cited in Leigh et al. 1984).

The extent of occurrence of Euphrasia arguta is estimated to be 26 km2 (Scott 2009 cited in NSW DECCW 2010). The species is known from three locations in two areas approximately 14 km apart.

The area of occupancy is estimated to be 0.03 km2 (TSSC 2011ah).

Euphrasia arguta consists of 16 000 individuals (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in TSSC 2011ah). In 2009, the largest population contained an estimated 15 000 individuals and occurred in an area that was cleared as a fire break in 2007. The densest patches occurred in open disturbed area, and along the roadside, indicating the species may be responding to the disturbance (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in NSW DECCW 2010). The other two populations are approximately 14 km to the south-east and separated by 3 km; in 2007, one contained 6 plants and the other 1120 plants (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in NSW DECCW 2010).

The Euphrasia arguta populations found in 2008 occur in eucalypt forest with a mixed grass and shrub understorey within Nundle State Forest. These sites have either been logged in the last few decades, or appear to have regrown from past clearing (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in NSW DECCW 2010).

Historical information from Euphrasia arguta collections suggest the species could be found in 'open forest country around Bathurst in subhumid places', 'on the grassy country near Bathurst' (Barker 1982, 1987) or more generally, in grassy areas near rivers at elevations up to 700 m above sea level, with an annual rainfall of 600 mm (Benson & McDougall 2001).

Euphrasia arguta flowers from January to April (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in NSW DECCW 2010), although some flowering has been recorded in June and October (Leigh et al. 1984). The species is recorded as dying off over winter, with most growth occurring in the January to April period (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in NSW DECCW 2010). As an annual species, Euphrasia arguta may undergo fluctuations in population numbers at different sites based on seasonal environmental factors and levels of disturbance (NSW DECCW 2010).

The species has been rediscovered in habitat types unlike those documented in original records. The species is also suggested to be a disturbance coloniser, therefore it is likely that more populations may be located following searches of similar habitat to that in the Nundle area.

The majority of the Euphrasia arguta population is in Nundle State Forest where logging occurs. Whilst the effects of logging activities on the species is unknown, most of the plants are likely to be excluded from logging (NSW DECCW 2010). Though the species may be a disturbance coloniser, activities that impact sites, such as road maintenance and clearing roadside vegetation for fire breaks, may still pose a threat to the soil seedbank if undertaken at inappropriate times. The frequency, seasonality and extent of road maintenance, may influence the response of the species to disturbance. Herbicide application associated with the road maintenance may also threaten the species (NSW DECCW 2010).

A small part of the largest Euphrasia arguta population is located on private land that is adjacent to Nundle State Forest, and currently used for light grazing by sheep or cattle (Binns 2009 pers. comm. cited in NSW DECCW 2010) and may also be effected by the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) or macropods (Macropus spp.) (TSSC 2011ah). The impact of this grazing on the species is unknown.

As Euphrasia arguta occurs in a limited number of populations in a confined area, the species is highly susceptible to environmental and demographic stochasticity (events/variables that may affect population survival rates) (NSW DECCW 2010).

Historically, loss of habitat for farming most likely caused the decline of Euphrasia arguta, though the species was suggested to be naturally rare (Barker 1974 pers. comm. cited in Leigh et al. 1984).

Minster's recovery plan decision

A recovery plan is not considered necessary for this species as it will have limited benefit for the species. The actions covered by the conservation advice are considered to be sufficient at this time.

Commonwealth Conservation Advice

Refer to the Commonwealth Conservation Advice (TSSC 2011ai) for information on research priorities and recovery priority actions to mitigate threats including habitat loss, disturbance and modification, weeds and fire. Raising awareness of the species and enabling recovery of additional populations are also encouraged in the Advice.

Management documents for Euphrasia arguta can be found at the start of this profile. In addition, Forests NSW has developed Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management Plans (NSW DPI n.d.).

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 Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Intensification of farming practices such as increased grazing pressure, cropping expansion, vegetation clearance and/or pasture improvement Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat disturbance due to foresty activities Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ah) [Listing Advice].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Euphrasia arguta in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ks) [Internet].

Barker, W R (1987). Taxonomic Studies in Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae). V. New and rediscovered taxa, typifications and other notes on the genus in Australia. J. Adel. Bot. Gard. 10(2):201-221.

Barker, W.R. (1982). Taxonomic studies in Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae). A revised infrageneric classification, and a revision of the genus in Australia. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 5:1-304.

Benson, D. & L. McDougall (2001). Ecology of Sydney plant species: Part 8 Dicotyledon families Rutaceae to Zygophyllaceae. Cunninghamia. 7(2):241-462. [Online]. Sydney: Royal Botanic Gardens. Available from: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/58556/Cun7Ben241.pdf. [Accessed: 25-Sep-2008].

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/.

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

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) (n.d.). Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management Plans. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forests/management/esfm.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) (2008). Blast from the past: Rare plant discovered 100 years after last sighting. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/news/recent-news/forests/rare-plant-discovered. [Accessed: 23-Sep-2008].

NSW Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2010). Euphrasia arguta R. Br. - proposed vulnerable species listing. [Online]. NSW Scientific Committee - preliminary determination. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/determinations/euphrasiaargutaPD.htm.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2011ah). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Euphrasia arguta. [Online]. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Canberra, ACT: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/4325-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2011ai). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Euphrasia arguta. [Online]. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Canberra, ACT: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/4325-conservation-advice.pdf.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

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). Euphrasia arguta in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:54:14 +1000.