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 Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C.Phelps ORG 5269)
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ci) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (20/10/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
 
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 (81) (20/10/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009g) [Legislative Instrument] as Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C.Phelps ORG 5269).
 
Scientific name Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C.Phelps ORG 5269) [81964]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Australian National Herbarium
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Prasophyllum sp. aff. petilum [81734]
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: Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C.Phelps ORG 5269)

The species is conventionally accepted as Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C.Phelps ORG 5269) (CHAH 2007).

This profile will refer to the species as Prasophyllum sp. Wybong.

Prasophyllum sp. Wybong is a terrestrial orchid that grows to approximately 30 cm high. It has a single, tubular, fleshy, dull-green leaf and a single flower spike with numerous fragrant flowers (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

Prasophyllum sp. Wybong is endemic to NSW. It is known from seven populations in eastern NSW near Ilford, Premer, Muswellbrook, Wybong, Yeoval, Inverell and Tenterfield (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj; L. Copeland 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

Prasophyllum sp. Wybong occurs within the Border Rivers (Gwydir, Namoi, Hunter), Central Rivers and Central West Natural Resource Management Regions. The species occurs within the Sydney Basin, New England Tablelands, Brigalow Belt South and NSW South Western Slopes Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia Bioregions (TSSC 2009cj).

The extent of occurrence of Prasophyllum sp. Wybong is estimated to be 48 000 km² (ERIN 2009) and its area of occupancy is estimated to be 1.5 km² (B. Holzinger 2006, 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj; L. Copeland 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

The species is known from seven populations, with an estimated total population size based on surveys in 2006 of 460 mature individuals (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj; L. Copeland 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj). The total population size could be larger as suitable habitat surrounding the population near Wybong has not been surveyed (B. Holzinger 2006, 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

During monitoring of the population near Muswellbrook from 1999 to 2005, fluctuations in the number of individuals visible (ranging from zero to 10 plants) were observed. However, during years when no individuals are visible above ground, some individuals are presumed to exist as dormant tubers underground (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj). Therefore, the smaller number of individuals counted in some years may be a result of dormancy rather than population decline.

It is likely that habitat clearance will result in a reduction in numbers in the immediate future. The population near Wybong occurs on the site of a proposed open-cut coal mine. This population consists of at least 100 mature plants, but given the limited survey effort in this area and the availability of suitable habitat, this population could be larger (B. Holzinger 2006, 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj). Planned construction on this site is likely to destroy this population. If the current estimate of 100 individuals in the population is accurate, this will result in a 20% decline in the total population size of the species (TSSC 2009cj).

Leek orchids are generally found in shrubby and grassy habitats in dry to wet soil (Jones 2006). Prasophyllum sp. Wybong is known to occur in open eucalypt woodland and grassland (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj; L. Copeland 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

Prasophyllum sp. Wybong is a perennial orchid, appearing as a single leaf over winter and spring. The species flowers in spring and dies back to a tuber over summer and autumn (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

Orchids have complex and generally poorly understood interrelationships with species-specific mycorrhizal fungi and insect pollinators (TSSC 2009cj). Native bees, wasps and beetles are known to be effective pollinators of other Prasophyllum species, while some species can also be self-pollinating (Jones et al. 1999). Leek orchids are not known to reproduce vegetatively and recruitment is from seed (TSSC 2009cj).

The seven populations of this species are separated by large areas of cleared land, making cross pollination and genetic exchange highly unlikely (TSSC 2009cj).

The main threats to Prasophyllum sp. Wybong are habitat clearance, weed invasion, vehicle traffic, inappropriate disturbance regimes, chemical drift from agricultural properties, illegal collection, trampling by people and climate change. Climate change is also likely to impact on the habitats where the species occurs (TSSC 2009cj).

Habitat clearance
Habitat clearance from mining activities and changes in land use are threats to the species, with one population occurring in a proposed open-cut coal mine site (TSSC 2009cj).

Weed invasion
Weed invasion, in particular by exotic grasses, is a current threat to all populations. Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) is present in one population near Muswellbrook and Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) is common in the area (TSSC 2009cj).

Vehicle traffic
Physical damage from vehicles is a threat, both off road and adjacent to sealed roads (B. Holzinger 2006, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj; L. Copeland 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

Inappropriate disturbance regimes
Inappropriate disturbance, such as a change in the frequency or intensity of mowing and slashing regimes is a current threat to this species. Prasophyllum species generally favour some disturbance through their dormant period as it reduces competition from other species. However, slashing at the wrong time of year can damage plants and prevent seed from being produced. The plants near Yeoval were damaged as a result of slashing during the species' flowering period (L. Copeland 2009, pers. comm., cited in TSSC 2009cj).

Chemical drift from agricultural properties
Populations in areas surrounded by agricultural land are potentially at risk from the indirect impacts of chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. These chemicals can be carried by the wind or water and damage non-target species. Herbicides used for weed control also present a threat to the species (TSSC 2009cj).

Illegal collection and trampling
Orchids in the wild are potentially threatened by trampling and illegal collection by people, including orchid enthusiasts (TSSC 2009cj).

Climate change
Climate change is a potential threat as changes in the rainfall pattern may lead to habitat becoming unsuitable for the species and associated pollinators and mycorrhizal fungi (TSSC 2009cj).

Minister's Reasons for Recovery Plan Decision
A recovery plan has not been recommended because a recovery plan will have limited benefit for the species. The approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats. A recovery plan is not considered to be necessary at this time.

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (TSSC 2009ci) outlines the following research priorities:

  • Design and implement a monitoring program or, if appropriate, support and enhance existing programs.
  • More precisely assess population size, distribution, ecological requirements and the relative impacts of threatening processes.
  • Develop a better understanding of life history, disturbance ecology and identification of pollinators.
  • Undertake survey work in suitable habitat and potential habitat to locate any additional populations/occurrences/remnants. Due to the cryptic dormant period of the species during summer and autumn, surveys should be undertaken during the September–November flowering period.
  • Undertake seed germination trials to determine the requirements for successful establishment, including mycorrhizal association trials.

In addition, the Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (TSSC 2009ci) outlines the following priority actions:

  • Ensure mining, road widening and maintenance activities (or other infrastructure or development activities) involving substrate or vegetation disturbance in areas where Prasophyllum sp. Wybong occurs does not adversely impact on known populations.
  • Manage any other known, potential or emerging threats including inappropriate disturbance, loss of pollinators and effects of climate change.
  • Monitor known populations to identify key threats.
  • Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary.
  • Protect populations of the listed species through the development of conservation agreements and/or covenants.
  • Implement the Weed Management Guide - Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) for the control of Coolatai Grass in the region.
  • Develop and implement a management plan for the control of other invasive weed species in the region, particularly Rhodes Grass.
  • Ensure chemicals or other mechanisms used to eradicate weeds do not have a significant adverse impact on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong.
  • Raise awareness of Prasophyllum sp. Wybong within the local community.
  • Frequently engage with private landholders and land managers responsible for the land on which populations occur and encourage these key stakeholders to contribute to the implementation of conservation management actions.
  • Undertake appropriate seed and mycorrhizal fungi collection and storage.
  • Investigate options for establishing additional populations in-situ, or ex-situ.
  • Implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al. 2004) if translocating existing populations or establishing additional populations is considered necessary and feasible.

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (TSSC 2009ci) provides a brief biological overview and management recommendations. In addition, the Weed Management Guide - Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) (CRC 2007) is available.

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
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Illegal collection Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Reduced rainfall caused by climate change Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat modification through open cut mining/quarrying activities Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Soil disturbance and/or trampling due to bushwalking Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Hyparrhenia hirta (Coolatai Grass, Tambookie Grass, Thatching Grass) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Chloris gayana (Rhodes Grass) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Fertiliser drift Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Herbicide drift Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Pesticide drift Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009cj) [Listing Advice].

Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management (CRC) (2007). Weed Management Guide - Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta). [Online]. Available from: http://www.weedscrc.org.au/documents/wmg_coolatai.pdf. [Accessed: 26-Nov-2009].

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2007). 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/.

Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN) (2009). Mapping data. Canberra, ACT: Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

Jones, D.L. (2006). A complete guide to Native Orchids of Australia, including the island Territories. Sydney, NSW: New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Jones, D.L., H. Wapstra, P. Tonelli & S. Harris (1999). The Orchids of Tasmania. Carlton South, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009ci). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/81964-conservation-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009cj). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C. Phelps ORG 5269) (a leek-orchid). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/81964-listing-advice.pdf.

Vallee, L., T. Hogbin, L. Monks, B. Makinson, M. Matthes & M. Rossetto (2004). Guidelines for the translocation of threatened plants in Australia - Second Edition. Canberra, ACT: Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

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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). Prasophyllum sp. Wybong (C.Phelps ORG 5269) in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:19:31 +1000.