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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 11 Critically Endangered Species (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003o) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by rabbits (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008adh) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Information Sheets What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2004i) [Information Sheet].
 
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 (03/11/2003) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2003a) [Legislative Instrument].
 
Scientific name Achyranthes margaretarum [68426]
Family Amaranthaceae:Caryophyllales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author de Lange
Infraspecies author  
Reference New Zealand Journal of Botany 39: 3, figs 1C (map), 3B-C, 4, 5B (2001).
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: Achyranthes margaretarum

Common name: Phillip Island Chaffy Tree


Based on morphological and chromosomal data, de Lange and Murray (2001, 2003) believe that this species may not belong in the Achyranthes genus and may have closer relatives in other genus such as Nototrichium.

The Phillip Island Chaffy Tree is a compact shrub up to 2 or 3 m high (DEH 2003b; de Lange & Murray 2001). The leaves are bronze-green with yellow veins and the bark is smooth, pale grey. There are 2–25 maroon-coloured flowers per inflorescence, which are erect at maturity (de Lange & Murray 2001).

Phillip Island Chaffy Tree is endemic to a single site on Phillip Island, in the Norfolk Island group.

It is also grown in cultivation in the Botanical Gardens on Norfolk Island, in Auckland Regional Council Botanic Gardens and at Kew Gardens (APNI 2008; de Lange & Murray 2001).

The species was discovered in the late 1980s and formally described as a new species by de Lange and Murray in 2001, with information on the population size in the wild being recorded at that time. Given the small size of Phillip Island, the stated population size is likely to accurately reflect the actual population size.

In 2003, there were fewer than 20 mature individuals of the Philip Island Chaffy Tree known (TSSC, 2003o).

The Phillip Island Chaffy Tree is endemic to Phillip Island, which is included as part of the Norfolk Island National Park. It is also grown in cultivation in the Norfolk Island Botanic Gardens.

The site where Phillip Island Chaffy Trees have been found is a steep, rubble-strewn, south-east facing hillside (de Lange & Murray 2001).

Phillip Island Chaffy Trees are found growing at 180 m above sea level, in association with Norfolk Island flax (Phormium aff. tenax), under a dense canopy of White Oak (Lagunaria patersonia). The plants show a preference for canopy gaps where flax growth is less dense (de Lange & Murray 2001).

Phillip Island has a sub-tropical climate (BoM 2008).

The Phillip Island Chaffy Tree reaches sexual maturity within two years from seed germination (de Lange & Murray 2001).

The vegetation on Phillip Island has been threatened in the past by grazing by feral pigs, goats and rabbits, but these species have now been removed from the Island (de Lange & Murray 2001).

The destruction of vegetation on Phillip Island led to high levels of erosion, which has resulted in the loss of much of the Island's topsoil (Director of National Parks 2008; Green 1994). This reduces the ability of the Phillip Island Chaffy Tree to colonise areas of the island.

The weed species Bleeding Heart (Homolanthus populifolius) and Tobacco (Solanum mauritianum) compete with the Phillip Island Chaffy Tree and may threaten its establishment in high-light areas (Ziesing 1997).

There is increasing tourism in the Norfolk Island Group. Impacts from tourism (such as trampling) and tourist infrastructure demands can have a negative impact on the Islands' flora (Director of National Parks 2008; Hyder Consulting 2008).

Cyclones are known to occur over Norfolk Island, particularly in the early months of the year (BoM 2008).

All known individuals of the Phillip Island Chaffy Tree are thought to have grown from seedlings produced from a single tree (de Lange & Murray 2001). This would result in a low level of genetic diversity, which could pose a threat to the species' survival. The very small population size makes it more vulnerable to stochastic events.

Regeneration is being undertaken on Phillip Island to redress the erosion and loss of vegetation (Director of National Parks 2008).The plant nursery on the Island propagates nearly all of the Island's endemic species, and transplants some of them to the National Park (Mosley 2001). Erosion is also being reduced by the placement of barriers along watercourses on Phillip Island, which decrease soil loss during heavy rainfall (Mosley 2001).

The park management is currently working to control invasive weeds in the park, including species that have a negative impact on the Phillip Island Chaffy Tree (Director of National Parks 2008). Weed infestations have been reduced by removal of weeds and replanting with native species (Mosley 2001). Bleeding Heart and Tobacco can be removed easily by hand or by the use of herbicides (Ziesing 1997).

Visitors' use of, and access to, areas of the National Park is managed to balance tourism needs against the biodiversity and conservation status of the Norfolk Island Group (Director of National Parks 2008).

Principles relevant to the conservation of the Phillip Island Chaffy Tree can be found in:

  • Norfolk Island National Park Management Plan (Director of National Parks 2008)

  • Island on the Brink: a conservation strategy for Norfolk Island (Mosley 2001)

  • Norfolk Island Weed Control Manual: for selected weeds occurring in Norfolk Island National Park (Ziesing 1997).

  • 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
    Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Achyranthes margaretarum in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ai) [Internet].
    Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
    Climate Change and Severe Weather:Storms and Flooding:Natural events such as storms and cyclones leading to habitat destruction and flora/fauna mortality Achyranthes margaretarum in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ai) [Internet].
    Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
    Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Habitat deterioration due to soil degradation and erosion Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
    Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Achyranthes margaretarum in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ai) [Internet].
    Geological Events:Avalanches/Landslides:Habitat modification due to landslides Achyranthes margaretarum in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ai) [Internet].
    Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Achyranthes margaretarum in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ai) [Internet].
    Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].

    Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) (2008). Achyranthes margaretarum de Lange. [Online]. Australian National Botanic Gardens / Australian National Herbarium. Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/apx?taxon_id=240760.

    Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) (2008). Climate of Norfolk Island. [Online]. Commonwealth of Australia. Available from: http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/norfolk/climate.shtml.

    de Lange, P.J. & B.G. Murray (2001). A new Achyranthes (Amaranthaceae) from Phillip Island, Norfolk Island group, South Pacific Ocean. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 39:1-8.

    de Lange, P.J. & B.G.Murray (2003). Chromosome numbers of Norfolk Island endemic plants. Australian Journal of Botany. 51:211-215. [Online]. Available from: http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=BT02101.pdf.

    Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2003b). What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders - Consultation Draft. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/norfolk-island/index.html.

    Director of National Parks (2008). Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Management Plan 2008-2018. [Online]. Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications/norfolk/pubs/management-plan.pdf.

    Director of National Parks (DNP) (2010). Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan. [Online]. Canberra, Director of National Parks Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/norfolk-island.html.

    Green, P.S. (1994). Norfolk Island & Lord Howe Island. In: Flora of Australia. 49:1-681. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government Publishing Service.

    Hyder Consulting (2008). The Impacts and Management Implications of Climate Change for the Australian Government's Protected Areas. [Online]. Department of Climate Change. Available from: http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/impacts/publications/pubs/protected-areas.pdf.

    Mosley, J.G. (2001). Island on the Brink: A Conservation Strategy for Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island Conservation Society, Melbourne, Victoria.

    Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2003o). Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 11 Critically Endangered Species. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/norfolk-island-flora-critically.html.

    Ziesing, P.D. (1997). Norfolk Island Weed Control Manual: for selected weeds occurring in Norfolk Island National Park. Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, Parks Australia (South).

    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). Achyranthes margaretarum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:11:21 +1000.