Boscabel Conostylis (Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys) Interim Recovery Plan 2003-2008

Interim Recovery Plan No. 150
Bethea Loudon
Department of Conservation and Land Management, WA, 2003

Summary

Scientific Name: Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys Common Name: Boscabel Conostylis
Family: Haemodoraceae Flowering Period: October-November
Dept Region: Wheatbelt Dept District: Katanning
Shire: Shire of Kojonup Recovery Team: Katanning District Threatened Flora Recovery Team

Illustrations and/or further information: A. Brown, C. Thomson-Dans and N. Marchant (Eds) (1998) Western Australia's Threatened Flora; S.D. Hopper, R.W. Purdie, A.S. George and S.J. Patrick (1987), Haemodoraceae - Conostylis, Flora of Australia 45: 57-110.

Current status: Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys was declared as Rare Flora and ranked Endangered November 1991. In September 1999 the subspecies was upgraded to Critically Endangered. It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN, 2000) Red List Category 'CR' under criteria A1(a); B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) due to an estimated decline in the number of mature individuals of 90% over three generations, a geographic range of less than 100 km2 and area of occupancy less than 10 km2, a severe fragmentation of populations (just two known) and a continuing decline in the quality of habitat. The main threats are the taxon's narrow distribution, habitat degradation due to the effects of Phytophthora cinnamomi, rabbits and poor seed production/viability.

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys comprises the area of occupancy of the known populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of known populations; and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the taxon but may have done so and may be suitable for future translocations.

Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations: Given that this subspecies is listed as Critically Endangered it is considered that all known habitat for wild and future translocated populations is habitat critical and that all populations are important.

Benefits to other species/ecological communities: There are no threatened ecological communities or other threatened species in the immediate vicinity of Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys. However, recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of the habitat of the subspecies, such as rabbit control, will benefit the remnant bushland habitat in which it occurs.

International Obligations: This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by Australia in June 1993, and will assist in implementing Australia's responsibilities under that Convention. However, as Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys is not listed under any international agreement, the implementation of other international environmental responsibilities is not affected by this plan.

Role and interests of indigenous people: There are no known indigenous communities interested or involved in the management of areas affected by this plan.

Social and economic impacts: The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant adverse social and/or economic impacts. Populations occur on road reserves, a gravel reserve, unvested crown land and private property. Negotiations have resulted in a voluntary agreement that the area directly supporting the species on private property will be left uncleared.

Evaluation of the Plans Performance: The Department of Conservation and Land Management (DCLM), in conjunction with the Recovery Team will evaluate the performance of this IRP. In addition to annual reporting on progress with listed actions and comparison against the criteria for success and failure, the plan is to be reviewed within five years of its implementation.

Habitat requirements: Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys is currently known from just two populations northwest of Kojonup. It grows in gravelly loam, gravelly sand and occasionally gravel, in Eucalyptus marginata and E. wandoo woodlands with low heath where Jarrah is dominant over Wandoo.

Existing Recovery Actions: The following recovery actions have been or are currently being implemented -

  • Managers of land on which Population 1 and 2 occur have been made aware of the location and threatened status of the taxon.
  • Population 1B is a large piece of privately owned bush, fenced for conservation purposes. Other subpopulations of Population 1 and Population 2 are unfenced but are not affected by stock.
  • Some 63 seeds were collected from Population 1C and 70 seeds from Population 2 in December 1999. These are stored in DCLM's Threatened Flora Seed Centre at -18°C. Germination results were poor (0% and 11%).
  • The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority (BGPA) currently have 8 plants (of one clone) of Conostylis setigera subsp. dasys, and all are growing in the BGPA Nursery.
  • Cuttings were taken by Luke Sweedman (BGPA) in September 1993 from Population 1A.
  • Declared Rare Flora (DRF) markers are in place on road verges for populations 1A and 1D.
  • Environmental markers are present on power poles (Pole #127, 128 & 129) at Population 1B.
  • Staff from DCLM's Katanning District regularly monitor populations of the taxon.
  • The Katanning District Threatened Flora Recovery Team is overseeing the implementation of this IRP and will include information on progress in an annual report to DCLM's Corporate Executive and funding bodies.

IRP Objective: The objective of this Interim Recovery Plan is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the taxon in the wild.

Recovery criteria

Criterion for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have increased by 10% or more.
Criterion for failure: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have decreased by 10% or more.

Recovery actions
1. Coordinate recovery actions 7. Conduct further surveys
2. Liaise with land managers 8. Promote awareness, disseminate information
3. Establish DRF markers 9. Obtain biological and ecological information
4. Collect seed and cutting material 10. Conduct weed control
5. Control rabbits, monitor rabbit activity & numbers 11. Develop a fire management strategy
6. Monitor populations 12. Review this IRP and revise it or prepare a full Recovery Plan if necessary