National recovery plan for Twenty-five threatened orchid taxa of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales 2003 - 2007

Coates, F., Jeanes, J. and Pritchard, A.
Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne, 2002

Appendix 3

Corysanthes sp. aff diemenicus Coastal
(Late Helmet-orchid)

Conservation status:
EPBC Act 1999: Not listed
IUCN (2000): CR
NRE (2000): E
Endemic to Victoria - Victorian Gippsland Plain Bioregion (Cape Schank, Mornington Peninsula National Park) and Wilsons Promontory Bioregion (Cotters Lake, Wilsons promontory National Park). Can be expected to occur in similar habitat in southern Victoria, but no records are yet available.
Specific details of population localities (including GPS data) are held on DSE internal files.
Present Range
Occurs in closed scrub dominated by Leptospermum lanigerum, typically associated with Leucopogon parviflorus in swamps and along water courses on moist, black, peaty alkaline soils overlying calcarenite. Understorey is relatively open, with a herbaceous ground layer which may include Viola hederacea, Lobelia anceps, Selliera radicans and Geranium molle. Critical habitat has not been determined, but likely to be restricted to alkaline soils and may require occasional creation of canopy gaps for regeneration.
Reservation status:
Reserved at Wilsons Promontory National Park and Mornington Peninsula National Park.
Parks Victoria (Victoria East Region, Tidal River; City and Bays Region, Rosebud).
Current and potential threats and their risk:
Current threats Perceived risk
Weed invasion Extremely high at MPNP - the known site is severely weed invaded (predominantly Senecio angulatus).Moderate at WPNP - Hypochaeris radicata, Solanum sp.
Grazing/pest animals Low - populations are reasonably well protected from grazing.
Inappropriate fire regimes Low at present - sites are protected from fire.
Site disturbance Low - site at WPNP is close to a track and at some risk of damage from management vehicles.
Potential threats Perceived risk
Reservation status Adequately reserved.
Illegal collection Low - no evidence of collection in the past.
Ecology/biology High - conditions for seed recruitment and maintenance of pollinator and fungal activity unknown; increased extinction risk due to small population size at MPNP; response to fire unknown, but likely to require protection.
Recovery objectives:
Maintain and/or increase existing population sizes; protect and manage habitat

Recovery actions undertaken:

  • Both sites were visited during recovery plan preparation.

Issues specific to recovery:

  • The site at MPNP appears to have dried out somewhat, and plants have not been seen in recent years. Woolly Tea-trees are also showing signs of senescence and the site is significantly degraded by invasive pest plants, predominantly Senecio angulatus.
  • Searches in similar habitat in the Mornington Peninsula are urgently required (eg. Buckleys Reserve, Balnarring).
  • All PV staff at WPNP, including seasonal field staff, should be made aware of the site's location to prevent damage to plants.
  • Some careful hand weeding may be required at WPNP.

Overall recovery strategy:

Searches for new populations to re-locate known populations will be conducted, and baseline data collected with assistance of Field Naturalists. Weed management will be investigated at MPNP in the immediate vicinity of the known population and strategies to maintain and regenerate habitat will be investigated. Risk management at WPNP will include site protection by ongoing track closure and inclusion on Environmental Information System. Recovery will be jointly managed by DSE and PV.


Parks Victoria (Victoria East Region, Tidal River; City and Bays Region, Rosebud); John Eichler (Melbourne Field Naturalists Club).

Action Morrnington Peninsula NP (L) Wilsons Promontory NP (H)
1. Determine current conservation status    
1.1 Clarify taxonomy L L
1.2 Acquire baseline population data H M
Responsibility Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research Biology, Canberra, DSE-BNR Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research Biology, Canberra, DSE-BNR
2. Investigate population biology    
2.1 Describe life history H H
2.2 Evaluate natural pollination levels and/or causes of pollinator limitation M M
2.3 Determine the effects of artificial pollination on growth survival and reproduction N/A N/A
2.4 Determine spatial distribution of mycorrhizal fungi N/A N/A
2.5 Determine optimal conditions for growth of mycorrhizal fungi in-situ N/A N/A
Responsibility DSE-BNR DSE-BNR
3. Determine habitat requirements of key populations    
3.1 Identify key populations N/A N/A
3.2 Conduct surveys H M
3.3 Identify ecological correlates of populations H M
3.4 Prepare habitat descriptions M M
Responsibility DSE-BNR DSE-BNR
4. Manage risks to populations    
4.1 Identify and implement strategies to control threats H H
4.2 Identify disturbance regimes to promote regeneration and recruitment H H
4.3 Protect key public land populations and habitat N/A N/A
4.4 Protect key private land populations and habitat N/A PV (Tidal River), DSE-BNR
Responsibility PV (Rosebud), DSE-BNR N/A
5. Promote in-situ recruitment    
5.1 Prepare habitat for seedling recruitment H H
5.2 Re-stock populations with seed H H
Responsibility DSE-BNR DSE-BNR
6. Measure population trends and responses against recovery actions    
6.1 Conduct annual censusing of populations M M
6.2 Collate, analyse and report on census data M M
6.3 Re-prioritise and adjust recovery actions and/or threat management H H
Responsibility PV (Rosebud), DSE-BNR PV (Tidal River), DSE-BNR
7. Increase populations ex-situ    
7.1 Hand pollinate plants M M
7.2 Establish a threatened orchid seed bank and determine seed viability M M
7.3 Establish a mycorrhizal fungi bank M M
7.4 Establish and maintain cultivated populations M M
7.5 Maintain a database of threatened orchid taxa in cultivation L L
8. Translocate cultivated plants    
8.1 Determine criteria for re-stocking/re-introduction N/A N/A
8.2 Evaluate site suitability N/A N/A
8.3 Determine long term cost-benefits and feasibility of translocating plants N/A N/A
8.4 Prepare and implement translocation plans N/A N/A
8.5 Maintain translocated populations N/A N/A
Responsibility DSE-BNR DSE-BNR
9. Implement an education and communication strategy    
9.1 Prepare technical educational material on in-situ recovery techniques L L
9.2 Undertake community extension L L
9.3 Conduct workshops and symposia on in-situ recovery techniques L L
9.4 Encourage and support research by Higher Education Institutions and existing research partners N/A N/A
Responsibility DSE-BNR DSE-BNR
10. Consolidate recovery and extend networks    
10.1 Maintain the Threatened Orchid Recovery Team L L
10.2 Establish and facilitate regional Recovery Teams L L
10.3 Co-ordinate recovery and exchange knowledge with interstate agencies N/A N/A
Responsibility DSE-BNR, TSN DSE-BNR, TSN