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 Endangered
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008ada) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010o) [Recovery 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:Draft Recovery Plan for Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), 2004a) [Recovery Plan].
NSW:Hairy Quandong - profile (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), 2005e) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013)
Scientific name Elaeocarpus williamsianus [8956]
Family Elaeocarpaceae:Malvales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Guymer
Infraspecies author  
Reference Telopea 2(4): 385, fig. 1 (1983).
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: Elaeocarpus williamsianus

Common name: Hairy Quandong

The Hairy Quandong is a small rainforest tree growing up to 16 m in height and often multi-stemmed. The leaves are alternate, but tend to be clustered at the ends of branches in spirals, known as pseudowhorls. They are simple, with eight to 10 pairs of inconspicuous irregular broad teeth, broadly oblanceolate (broad, rounded apex and a tapering base), 9.17 cm long, rounded at the tip and tapering quickly to the base (Department Of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) 2004a; 2005e). The upper surface of the leaf is dark-green, glossy and smooth except for the basal half of the midrib, which is rusty-brown. The under surface is dull and covered in dense rusty-brown hairs. Petioles (leaf stalks) are 23.3 mm long, densely hairy, swollen and slightly bent where the leaf base is attached. Inflorescences (clusters of flowers) range from 11 to 16 flowers and are 2.5 to 5 cm long, found near the ends of branchlets or in the axils (upper angles) of the upper leaves. The flowers are pale green and pendulous. The fruit is a globular prussian blue drupe, 2.3 cm long and resembles that of Eucalyptus grandis (DECC 2004a; 2005e).

The species' distribution is highly restricted in the northeast of NSW. The Hairy Quandong is currently only known from nine populations in northeastern NSW extending from the Tweed Valley, south to the Byron Bay area (DECC 2004a). Of the nine populations so far recorded, six populations occur on privately owned lands, one population occurs within a road reserve managed by Byron Shire Council and two sites occur in conservation reserves. These reserves are Mooball National Park and Inner Pocket Nature Reserve. All populations occurring outside conservation reserves are on private property that has been subject to clearing (DECC 2004a).

The known range for the species covers an area of approximately 50 km north-south by 30 km east-west (DECC 2004a).

Clearing and habitat fragmentation throughout the Hairy Quandong's habitat has been widespread (DECC 2004a).

Fragmentation of the species into small isolated sites, and disturbance from agricultural and logging activities, are thought to have favoured the persistence of a single clone at each site. It is only within the largest and least disturbed site that two genets (sexually produced individuals) can be found (Rossetto et al. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a).

The species is distributed in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical zones throughout southeast Asia, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and the West Indies (DECC 2004a).

Targeted surveys for the Hairy Quandong have been undertaken since the species was first discovered, however, many of these surveys have not been successful in identifying new populations. The majority of populations have been recorded during general flora and threatened species surveys. Monitoring of populations has been undertaken at most sites to identify threats and responses to recovery actions such as weed control activities (DECC 2004a).

Floyd (1989) reports that Bunningbar, the site of one population, had about six mature trees and several smaller individuals (possibly root suckers) over an area of 2 ha. A further seven trees were found at Middle Pocket Nature Reserve (Floyd 1989). The first location is on private property at Upper Burringbar, the second is 6 km further south in the Inner Pocket Nature Reserve. This second population is close to the perimeter boundary of the reserve. Counting all the individuals was impractical due to steep slopes and erosion-prone substrate, which makes foot travel impossible. Approximately 90 stems occur in the two areas: 60 stems at Burringbar and 30 at Inner Pocket Nature Reserve (Hunter et al. 1991b).

Eight of the nine known populations consist of a single clone; the other population consists of two clones which form two sub-populations separated by a creek line (DECC 2004a).

Two sites of the Hairy Quandong occur in conservation reserves - Mooball National Park and Inner Pocket Nature Reserve (DECC 2004a).

The Hairy Quandong's habitat is subtropical to warm temperate rainforest, including regrowth areas where it has apparently re-grown from root suckers after clearing. Early accounts recorded the species only from a disturbed complex Notophyll vine forest on brown clay loams derived from greywackes (Guymer 1983). The Hairy Quandong occurs along the coastal range within Notophyll vine rainforests and wet sclerophyll ecotones on metasediment-derived soils (Hunter et al. 1991b).


The species is typically found on steep and eroding slopes at low altitude in gullies, toe slopes, steep drops adjacent to creeks and the headwater areas of creeks (DECC 2004a; Floyd 1989). The climate over the range of the species is subtropical with a well-defined summer-autumn wet season. The driest months are August and September and rainfall is generally in excess of 2000 mm per year. Humid winds from the southeast prevail in summer and dry west to north-westerlies in the winter and spring. Temperature ranges from an average annual minimum of 15°C to an average annual maximum of 26°C (Bureau of Meteorology, 2003, cited in DECC 2004a).

Flowering occurs between November and December. The flowers are likely to be mostly insect pollinated, however, flying foxes have also been observed feeding on the Hairy Quandong's blossoms (Russ 1999, cited in DECC 2004a). Research carried out by Gross (1996, cited in DECC 2004a) at two Hairy Quandong populations found that fruit could be produced without pollen vectors but that no seed was detected in any of the fruit. As a result of fragmentation the majority of pollination events will involve self-pollination between 'ramets' (individuals that have been vegetatively reproduced from the original plants, and are thus genetically identical to it). Bats and native pigeons consume the Hairy Quandong's drupes and are thought to be major seed dispersers (Russ 1999, cited in DECC 2004a). Fruit is ripe from April to July and occasionally November to December (Floyd 1989; Harden 2000, cited in DECC 2004a).

Low numbers and a narrow genetic base are medium to long-term threats (Leigh & Briggs 1992). Major threats are fire, weed invasion (particularly Camphor Laurel Cinnamomum camphora and Lantana Lantana camara) and, possibly, erosion (Hunter et al. 1991b).

Habitat clearing and fragmentation

Extensive clearing and habitat fragmentation in the range of the Hairy Quandong, primarily for agricultural activities, has occurred. Clearing has most likely resulted in the destruction of unknown Hairy Quandong populations. A number of populations are still at risk of accidental disturbance or clearing. Habitat fragmentation isolating known populations exposes these populations to increased edge effects such as fire, weed invasion, trampling by livestock, and reduces the potential for genetic transfer between populations (DECC 2004a).

Habitat disturbance

The species generally occurs on unstable metasediments, and some sites occur on actively eroding slopes. If processes of erosion are accelerated, individuals within a site may become destabilised or the root system exposed, resulting in decreased population viability. Activities which may result in habitat disturbance include development above Hairy Quandong populations, excessive access to sites by bush regenerators, researchers or bushwalkers, access by livestock or catastrophic natural events (DECC 2004a).

Weeds

Weed invasion is a threat to Hairy Quandong populations at a number of locations. Dominant weed species include Lantana, Camphor Laurel and Small Leaf Privet (Ligustrum sinense). Weeds have the potential to displace the Hairy Quandong by competing for resources or altering the microclimate in which the species occurs (DECC 2004a).

Introduced pathogens

Limited collection of Hairy Quandong material has occurred for propagation experiments and herbariums. If appropriate harvesting procedures are not implemented, there is the potential for pathogens to be introduced during material collection. Appropriate hygiene protocols are also required to prevent the introduction of pathogens during habitat regeneration activities (DECC 2004a).

Loss of genetic diversity and genetic isolation

Genetic work carried out by Rossetto and colleagues identified that populations usually consist of a single clone (Rossetto et al. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a). This discovery means that the Hairy Quandong is much rarer than previously thought. Although some clones are represented by a greater number of ramets than others, the respective value of each clone is equal. For the long-term survival of the species the loss of any clone would represent a substantial reduction in the species' overall genetic diversity. This would significantly reduce the potential for any actions aimed at improving the genetic fitness of the species. The capacity for long distance pollen dispersal between populations may be lost given that populations are isolated (Rossetto et al. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a). Chances of pollen transfer from one site to another via insects or flying foxes are extremely low, reducing the potential for genetic recombination and the production of viable seed (DECC 2004a).

Fire

The impact of fire on the species is unknown. There is some evidence that the species re-sprouts after a fire event indicating a level of fire tolerance. However, like most species, an inappropriate fire regime may threaten the viability of populations of the Hairy Quandong. The species occurs in rainforest and wet sclerophyll ecotones (transition zones between two distinct communities) which have a low fire tolerance and which would indicate that a high frequency fire or intensity may be detrimental to the species. Further research is required to determine the most appropriate fire regime for the species (DECC 2004a).

Surveys and monitoring

Targeted surveys for the species have been undertaken since the species was first discovered, however, many of these surveys have not been successful in identifying new populations. The majority of populations have been recorded during general flora and threatened species surveys. Monitoring of populations of the Hairy Quandong has been undertaken at most sites to identify threats and responses to recovery actions such as weed control activities. However, only one population has been monitored recently (DECC 2004a).

Management plans

A site specific management plan has been prepared for one population occurring on private property (Kooyman 2003, cited in DECC 2004a). Management actions in the plan include weed control works, replanting native species to provide a buffer around the Hairy Quandong site, and fencing off this buffer area to exclude live-stock. The plan has also identified an area which may be used as a translocation trial site if appropriate (DECC 2004a).

Habitat protection and management

Weed control and regeneration programs have been carried out at a number of Hairy Quandong sites since 1993. Follow-up weeding has also occurred in 1997 and 1998, however no recent work has been undertaken. Although presence of the species has not been recorded in State Forest, measures for the conservation of the species in wood production areas of State Forest are included in the Threatened Species Licence for the upper and lower northeast region of NSW (DECC 2004a). State Forests NSW is required to implement the conditions set out in each Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA), whilst the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change is required to monitor and enforce compliance with conditions. These conditions specify that:

  • Pre-logging and pre-roading surveys must be conducted in compartments where known or potential habitat occurs.
  • Where there is a record of Hairy Quandong within a compartment or within 50 m outside the boundary of the compartment, an exclusion zone of at least 50 m must be imposed around all individuals and an exclusion zone of at least 50 m must be imposed around all groups of individuals.

As an alternative State Forests NSW may, with written approvals from the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, prepare a species management plan for the Hairy Quandong if it is considered that the species can be more appropriately managed by specific conditions not listed in the IFOA licence. A species management plan has not been prepared for the species (DECC 2004a).

Ex-situ conservation

A number of attempts have been made to propagate the Hairy Quandong from seed and cuttings (DECC 2004a). These attempts have generally been unsuccessful; however, Cutting Edge Natives, a commercial nursery in NSW, had some success at propagating cuttings. The nursery now has eight potted plants in stock (A. Bundock, pers. comm. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a). Three marcots established in 1995 were successful and have since been planted at Mt Warning arboretum, Brunswick Valley Heritage Park (Mullumbimby), and Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens. However, germination is difficult and erratic (Floyd 1989). Seed propagation attempts have so far been unsuccessful. One specimen has been grown from a cutting though its growth is slow (Hunter et al. 1991b).

Community awareness

Liaison with private property holders who have populations of Hairy Quandong on their properties has been undertaken since 1991. A Voluntary Conservation Agreement (VCA) has been under negotiation for one population occurring on private property, however, this has not yet been finalised. An information pamphlet for the species has been developed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service outlining the conservation requirements of the species and steps that landholders could take to protect the species (DECC 2004a).

Research has been carried out on seed production and viability (Rossetto et al. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a) and pollination mechanisms (Gross 1996, cited in DECC 2004a). Germination trials have also been undertaken (Gross 1993, cited in DECC 2004a; Rossetto et al. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a), however, these were unsuccessful despite a range of techniques being trialled. In terms of genetic studies, Peakall (1994) surveyed two Hairy Quandong populations for genetic variation. Genetic differences were identified between populations but the technique used was not able to detect variation within populations. Rossetto and colleagues carried out a study that made a direct comparison between two different types of genetic analysis (SSR and RAPD) in their potential for qualifying and quantifying clonality in the species (Rossetta et al. 2003, cited in DECC 2004a). This study found most populations to consist of a single clone.

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:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification with associated erosion Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Habitat deterioration due to soil degradation and erosion Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008ada) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:inappropriate conservation measures Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008ada) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Lantana camara (Lantana, Common Lantana, Kamara Lantana, Large-leaf Lantana, Pink Flowered Lantana, Red Flowered Lantana, Red-Flowered Sage, White Sage, Wild Sage) Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ligustrum sinense (Chinese Privet, Narrow-leaved Privet. Small-leaved Privet, Privet, Hedge Privet, Narrow-leaf Privet, Chinese Ligustrum, Ligustrum) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008ada) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Laurel, Camphor Tree, Gum Camphor, True Camphor, Japanese Camphor, Formosa Camphor, Shiu Leaf) Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008ada) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].
Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate fire regimes including natural wildfires Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008ada) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hy) [Internet].

Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) (2004a). Draft Recovery Plan for Elaeocarpus williamsianus. [Online]. Hurstville: Dept. of Environment & Conservation (NSW). Available from: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/PDFs/recoveryplan_draft_elaeocarpus_williamsianus.pdf.

Floyd, A.G. (1989). Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Guymer, G.P. (1983). A new species of Elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpaceae) from north east New South Wales. Telopea. 2(4):385-389.

Hunter, J., Jay, A., Nicholson, H., Nicholson, N. & Horton, S., (1991b). Elaeocarpus williamsianus (Guymer): species recovery plan. Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

Leigh, J.H. & J.D. Briggs (Eds) (1992). Threatened Australian Plants. Overview and Case Studies. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) (2005e). Hairy Quandong - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10262. [Accessed: 30-Jun-2008].

NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2010o). Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland. [Online]. Sydney South, New South Wales: Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/border-ranges-rainforest-biodiversity-management-plan.

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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). Elaeocarpus williamsianus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:11:44 +1000.