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 on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011ak) [Conservation 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 (14/03/2011).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (108) (14/03/2011) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011h) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list)
Scientific name Callistemon wimmerensis [82943]
Family Myrtaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Marriott & G.W.Carr
Infraspecies author  
Reference Marriott, N.R. & Carr, G.W. (2008) A new species of Callistemon (Myrtaceae, Melaleuceae) from Victoria, Australia. Muelleria 26(2): 57-62, Fig. 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

Scientific name: Melaleuca wimmerensis

Common name: Wimmera Bottlebrush

Callistemon wimmerensis is conventionally accepted (CHAH 2011). It has been suggested that the species should be treated as Melaleuca wimmerensis (Craven 2009), but this is not accepted (CHAH 2011).

The Wimmera Bottlebrush is a shrub or small tree which grows up to 10 m high with a single or multi-stemmed trunk, typically higher than it is wide. Flowers are in the form of a pink to mauve bottlebrush 11-14 cm long, and appear from late October to early December. The small 5 mm long fruit persist for up to 13 years. Bark is grey-brown in colour and slightly stringy. Leaves are approximately 30-50 mm long and 4-7 mm wide, and oil glands are prominent (Marriott & Carr 2008; Victorian Government 2009).

The Wimmera Bottlebrush is endemic to Victoria, occurring only at one location along a narrow 13 km long band of vegetation on the western bank of the MacKenzie River, approximately 18 km south of Horsham (Craven 2009; Vic. DSE 2009s).

Since its discovery in 2004, the Wimmera Bottlebrush has been well surveyed along the Mackenzie River and monitoring occurred in 2006 (Marriott 2006a, 2006b) and 2010 (Marriott 2010) associated with environmental water release events.

The Wimmera Bottlebrush occurs as two populations separated by 7.4 km. The estimated total number of mature individuals of the Wimmera Bottlebrush is several hundred thousand (Marriott & Carr 2008).

The one known location for this species occurs on Crown Land (Marriot & Carr 2008).

The Wimmera Bottlebrush occurs along the MacKenzie River, which is classified as an anastomosing (branching) river (Marriott, 2006a). This type of river is rare in south-east Australia. The Wimmera Bottlebrush is associated with 'Plains Riparian Shrubby Woodland' with a shrubby and grassy understorey (Ecological Vegetation Class 659), and with 'Plains Swampy Woodland' (EVC 651) in one small area in the upper reaches (Marriott & Carr 2008). Associated plant species include Wirilda (Acacia provincialis), Kneed Wallaby-grass (Austrodanthonia geniculata), Scarlet Bottlebrush (Callistemon rugulosus), Downy Dodder-laurel (Cassytha pubescens), Leafy flat-sedge (Cyperus lucidus), Grassland Pale Flax-lily (Dianella sp. nov. aff. longifolia), River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Grey Box (Eucalyptus macrocarpa), Rush (Juncus sp.), River Tea-tree (Leptospermum obovatum), Weeping Grass (Microleana stipoides) and Annual Buttercup (Ranunculus sessiliflorus) (Marriott 2006a).

The Wimmera Bottlebrush is rarely found away from creek edges, and does not occur on steep terraces or rocky areas (Marriott & Carr 2008). Soil type in the known habitat is alluvial terraces of pale brown, silty alluvium (over a sandstone bedrock) derived predominantly from Upper Silurian-Lower Devonian quartose sandstones of the Grampians (Marriott & Carr 2008).

The species is suggested to be long-lived, possibly up to 100 years. The species is thought to mature at two to three years of age or when it is about 1 m high (Marriott & Carr 2008).

Flowers have been recorded for the Wimmera Bottlebrush from late October to late December. With seeds taking approximately one year to reach maturity. Seed capsules may be seratinous, where the plant releases seed only with fire and fruits persist on branches for up to 13 years (Marriott & Carr 2008). Recruitment has also been observed following an environmental flow event, indicating the species is responsive to seasonally wet conditions (Marriott 2006a; Victorian Government 2009). The species is not known to reproduce vegetatively (Marriott 2006a). The Wimmera Bottlebrush is pollinated by both larger native wasps and birds, such as New Holland Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), and also exotic honeybees all of which have been observed on plants (Marriott & Carr 2008).

Only two Callistemon species reside along the lower reaches of the MacKenzie River, Wimmera Bottlebrush and Scarlet Bottlebrush (Callistemon rugulosus). Wimmera Bottlebrush has a very upright habit of growth compared to Scarlet Bottlebrush which is shorter and lower spreading, with branches having a more divaricately (spread about) branching habit. Scarlet Bottlebrush has very rough leaves compared to the relatively smooth leaves of the Wimmera Bottlebrush. Scarlet Bottlebrush flowers earlier in the season with red inflorescence compared to the pink inflorescence of Wimmera Bottlebrush which normally begin around one month later. With these diagnostic differences, surveys can be conducted successfully at any time of year (Marriott 2009 pers. comm.).

Water flow

Lack of adequate environmental water flows along the MacKenzie River is a major threat to the Wimmera Bottlebrush's long-term survival. The species relies on seasonal inundation to stimulate growth and germination. The Wimmera/Mallee irrigation scheme and the long drought, between 1997-2009, has placed pressure on riparian vegetation along the MacKenzie River. In 2005, 695 ML of environmental water was released and in 2009 745 ML was released. Monitoring of these events showed that plants responded to flows with rapid growth, however, despite these flows, monitoring showed that the overall health of the riparian vegetation along the river was poor (Marriott 2006b, 2010).

Exotic species

Weeds of concern include Perennial Veldt-grass (Ehrharta calycina), Asparagus Fern (Asparagus asparagoides), Bulbous Canary Grass (Phalaris aquatica) and the native hemi-parasite Dodder-laurel (Cassytha pubescens) (Marriott 2006a; Marriott & Carr 2008).

Recreational use

Trail bike use is also a threat, damaging soil and root stability along the MacKenzie River stream banks and frontage (Marriott 2006b). Rabbit burrows along the MacKenzie River allow air penetration near the roots of the Wimmera Bottlebrush which increases desiccation of this species. Burrows also limit nutrients to the plants due to the roots either dying off or attempting to veer around the hole to other areas of soil (Marriott 2009 pers. comm.).

Minister's Reasons for Recovery Plan decision

There should not be a recovery plan for this species as the approved conservation advice (TSSC 2011aj) for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats.

Management documents relevant to the Wimmera Bottlebrush 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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use Commonwealth Listing Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [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 Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ehrharta erecta (Panic Veldtgrass) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Cassytha pubescens (Hairy Devil's Twine, Hairy Dodder, Downy Dodder-laurel, Rusty Dodder-laurel, Spilled Devil's-twine, Blackfellow Twine) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [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 Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes to hydrology due to water diversion Commonwealth Listing Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2011aj) [Listing Advice].

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2011). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/apclist.

Craven, L. (2009). Melaleuca (Myrtaceae) from Australia. Novon. 19:444-453.

Marriott, N.R. (2006a). Monitoring the response of vegetation to an environmental water release in the lower MacKenzie River - with particular reference to the response of Wimmera Bottlebrush, Callistemon wimmerensis ms. Report for Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

Marriott, N.R. (2006b). Monitoring the condition of vegetation following a zero environmental water release in the lower MacKenzie River, December 2006: with particular reference to the Wimmera Bottlebrush, Callistemon wimmerensis ms. Report for the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

Marriott, N.R. (2009). Personal Communication.

Marriott, N.R. (2010). Monitoring the recruitment of Wimmera Bottlebrush, Callistemon wimmerensis following an environmental water release in the Lower MacKenzie River. Report For Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

Marriott, N.R. & G. Carr (2008). A new species of Callistemon (Myrtaceae, Melaleuceae) from Victoria, Australia. Muelleria. 26(2):57-62.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2011aj). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush). [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/82943-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2011ak). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Callistemon wimmerensis (Wimmera Bottlebrush). [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/82943-conservation-advice.pdf.

Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE) (2009s). Nomination for listing- Callistemon wimmerensis.

Victorian Government (2009). Our water-Our Future. [Online]. Press release. Available from: http://www.ourwater.vic.gov.au/monitoring/river-health/report-card/river_health_regions/environmental_flows_give_new_bottlebrush_new_lease_on_life.

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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). Callistemon wimmerensis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:17:18 +1000.