Moresby Range Drummondita Drummondita ericoides Interim Recovery Plan 2004-2009

Western Australian Threatened Species and Communities Unit (WATSCU)
© The Western Australian, Department of Conservation and Land Management, 2004

Foreword

Interim Recovery Plans (IRPs) are developed within the framework laid down in Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) Policy Statements Nos. 44 and 50.

IRPs outline the recovery actions that are required to urgently address those threatening processes most affecting the ongoing survival of threatened taxa or ecological communities, and begin the recovery process.

CALM is committed to ensuring that Critically Endangered taxa are conserved through the preparation and implementation of Recovery Plans or Interim Recovery Plans and by ensuring that conservation action commences as soon as possible and always within one year of endorsement of that rank by the Minister.

This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from June 2004 to May 2009 but will remain in force until withdrawn or replaced. It is intended that this IRP will be reviewed after five years.

This IRP was given regional approval on 4 June, 2004 and was approved by the Director of Nature Conservation on 22 June, 2004. The allocation of staff time and provision of funds identified in this Interim Recovery Plan is dependent on budgetary and other constraints affecting CALM, as well as the need to address other priorities.

Information in this IRP was accurate in June 2004.

Summary

Scientific Name: Drummondita ericoides Common Name: Moresby Range Drummondita
Family: Rutaceae Flowering Period: June - October
CALM Region: Midwest CALM District: Geraldton
Shire: Chapman Valley Recovery Team: Geraldton District Threatened Flora Recovery Team

Illustrations and/or further information: Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds) (1998) Western Australias Threatened Flora, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; Grieve, B.J. and Blackall, W.E. (1998) How to know Western Australian wildflowers: a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part II, Dicotyledons (Amaranthaceae to Lythraceae). Restructured & rev. 2nd ed. University of Western Australia Press, Western Australia.

Current status: Drummondita ericoides was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 in March 1982. It currently meets Red List (IUCN 2000) category Vulnerable (VU) under criterion D1+2 due to the relatively low total number of plants (less than 600), restricted area of occupancy and number of locations. Drummondita ericoides is also listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The main threats are impacts from increased human presence in a residential development near Population 1 and too frequent fire.

Description: Drummondita ericoides is a shrub growing 5 to 20 cm tall on ridges, or from 50 cm to 1 m tall in sheltered gullies. Scattered simple leaves are terete, glabrous and approximately 8 mm long. Yellowish-white flowers are usually solitary and occur at the end of branchlets.

Habitat requirements: Drummondita ericoides is currently known over a range of approximately 20 km, in an area north of Geraldton. It grows amongst low heath on sandstone and laterite slopes, ridges and gullies of the Moresby Range, in brown loam or sandy loam and clay soils. It is associated with Melaleuca megacephala, M. cardiophylla, Acacia blakelyi, Hakea pycnoneura and Gastrolobium spinosum.

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Drummondita ericoides comprises the area of occupancy of the known populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of known populations; corridors of remnant vegetation that link populations and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the species but may have done so in the past and may be suitable for translocations.

Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations: Given that this species is Declared Rare Flora, it is considered that all known habitat for wild and translocated populations is habitat critical to its survival, and that all wild and translocated populations are important populations.

Benefits to other species or ecological communities: Eucalyptus blaxellii (Howatharra Mallee) is a Declared Rare Flora (DRF) species that occurs in the habitat of Drummondita ericoides. Eucalyptus blaxellii is ranked as Vulnerable under both the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and the EPBC Act. Acacia guinetii also occurs in this general area, and is listed as Priority 4 on CALMs Priority Flora list (Atkins 2003). All three of these species are components of the Priority 1 Ecological Community Melaleuca megacephala and Hakea pycnoneura thickets of Moresby Range. Recovery actions listed within this IRP such as regenerating natural vegetation in areas previously cleared for agriculture near Drummondita ericoides populations will also be of benefit to the ecological community in which the populations are located. Additional DRF and Priority species that may benefit from recovery work in the habitat of Drummondita ericoides as they occur in the general area, include Caladenia hoffmanii subsp. hoffmanii (DRF, ranked as Endangered under both the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and the EPBC Act), Leucopogon oblongus (Priority 2), Grevillea triloba (Priority 3) and Verticordia densiflora subsp. roseostella (Priority 3).

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 Australias responsibilities under that convention. The taxon is not listed under any specific international treaty, however, and therefore this IRP does not affect Australias obligations under any other international agreements.

Role and interests of indigenous people: An Aboriginal Sites Register is kept by the Department of Indigenous Affairs, and this lists one burial site and one painting site in the vicinity of Drummondita ericoides. Indigenous communities interested or involved in the region affected by this plan have not yet been identified. Input and involvement will be sought from any indigenous groups that have an active interest in the areas that are habitat for D. ericoides, and this is discussed in the recovery actions.

Social and economic impact: The implementation of this recovery plan has the potential to have some limited social and economic impact, where populations are located on private property (such as Populations 3 and 4). Recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders with regard to these areas.

Evaluation of the plans performance: The Department of Conservation and Land Management in conjunction with the Geraldton District Threatened Flora 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.

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

  1. Owners of land that contains Population 4 have been notified of the location and threatened status of the species.
  2. Land acquisition has increased the security of Populations 1, 2 and 5 through incorporating them within the conservation estate.
  3. Approximately 200 seeds were collected from Population 2 in 2001 and are stored in CALMs Threatened Flora Seed Centre.
  4. The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority currently hold approximately 250 seeds collected from Population 1 in 1994, but have no live plants in the nursery. Some tissue culture material is also held, although no plants have been successfully grown on yet from this material.
  5. An information sheet that describes and illustrates the species has been prepared and will be printed and distributed.
  6. Staff from CALMs Geraldton District regularly monitor populations of the species.
  7. The Geraldton District Threatened Flora Recovery Team is overseeing the implementation of this IRP and will include information on progress in annual reports to CALM's Corporate Executive and funding bodies.

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

Recovery criteria

Criteria for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have increased by ten percent or more over the period of the plans adoption under the EPBC Act.

Criteria for failure: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have decreased by ten percent or more over the period of the plans adoption under the EPBC Act.

Recovery actions:

  1. Coordinate recovery actions
  2. Map critical habitat
  3. Notify landholder
  4. Liaise with land managers
  5. Monitor populations
  6. Conduct further surveys
  7. Revegetate areas previously cleared for agriculture
  8. Seek long-term protection of habitat
  9. Collect seed
  10. Develop and implement a fire management strategy
  11. Promote awareness
  12. Obtain biological and ecological information
  13. Review the need for further recovery actions