Dandaragan Mallee Eucalyptus dolorosa 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This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from June 2004 to May 2009 but will remain in force until withdrawn or replaced.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, if the taxon is still ranked Critically Endangered, this IRP will be reviewed after five years and the need for a full Recovery Plan assessed.

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 May 2004.

Summary

Scientific Name: Eucalyptus dolorosa Common Name: Dandaragan Mallee
Family: Myrtaceae Flowering Period: February - March
CALM Region: Midwest CALM District: Moora District
Shire: Dandaragan Recovery Team: Moora District Threatened Flora and Communities 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; Brooker, M.I.H. and Hopper, S.D. (1993) New series, subseries, species and subspecies of Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) from Western Australia and from South Australia. Nuytsia 9(1), 1-68; Rossetto, M., Jezierski, G., Hopper, S.D. and Dixon, K.W. (1999) Conservation genetics and clonality in two critically endangered eucalypts from the highly endemic south-western Australian flora. Biological Conservation 88, 321-331.

Current status: Eucalyptus dolorosa was declared as Rare Flora in July 1989, and is currently ranked as Critically Endangered under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. E. dolorosa is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List Category CR under criterion D (IUCN 2000) as it is only known from few individuals in a single population. The main threats are inappropriate fire regimes, lack of recruitment and restricted distribution.

Description: Eucalyptus dolorosa is a low mallee to 2.5 m tall with stout stems and rough grey bark on the older stems. The juvenile leaves are broadly falcate, and light bluish-grey in colour. The adult leaves are slightly glossy and green, lanceolate to falcate, and measure 10 x 2 cm. They have a moderately dense vein network and numerous oil glands. The inflorescences are axillary, but are clustered at the leafless ends of branchlets, appearing to be terminal. There are 7 flowers in each. The buds have pedicels up to 1 cm long and are rhomboid in shape, 9 x 6 mm with a slightly beaked operculum. The stamens are very numerous. The fruits have stalks to 7 mm long, and are cup-shaped to globose, measure 1 x 1.4 cm, and have four valves. The seeds are brown, pyramidal and winged (Patrick and Brown 2001)

Habitat requirements: Eucalyptus dolorosa is currently known from a single population west of Dandaragan. It is confined to lateritic breakaway slopes and a summit in mallee heath over low scrub, amongst massive ironstone blocks (Brown et al. 1998).

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Eucalyptus dolorosa comprises the area of occupancy of the known population; similar habitat within 200 metres of the known population; 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 listed as Critically Endangered, 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: The habitat supporting Eucalyptus dolorosa is highly species rich, and contains a number of threatened and Priority flora species. The following threatened species occur on the same lateritic hill as E. dolorosa: Acacia forrestiana (DRF, Vulnerable under Wildlife Conservation Act and EPBC Act); Grevillea synapheae subsp. A Flora of Australia, Lasiopetalum miseryense and Melaleuca clavifolia (Priority 1); Boronia scabra subsp. condensata, Eucalyptus abdita and Stylidium aeonioides (Priority 2); Beaufortia eriocephala and Gastrolobium axillare (Priority 3); and Asterolasia drummondii (Priority 4). Recovery actions such as protecting the E. dolorosa population from frequent fire will protect the ecological community in which the populations are located.

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. However, as Eucalyptus dolorosa is not specifically listed under any international agreement, the implementation of other international environmental responsibilities is not affected by this plan.

Role and interests of indigenous people: Indigenous communities interested or involved in the area affected by this plan have not yet been identified. The Aboriginal Sites Register maintained by the Department of Indigenous Affairs does not list any significant sites in the vicinity of this population. However, not all significant sites are listed on the Register. Input and involvement will be sought from any indigenous groups that have an active interest in the areas that are habitat for Eucalyptus dolorosa, and this is discussed in the recovery actions.

Social and economic impact: The only known population of Eucalyptus dolorosa occurs on private land and negotiations will continue with regard to the future management of this population. The landholders are very supportive of managing this area of remnant vegetation for conservation.

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

  • Relevant land managers have been made aware of the location and threatened status of the species. A cooperative relationship has been established between CALM and the land managers.
  • Some seed was collected from the population in 2003, and is stored in CALMs Threatened Flora Seed Centre. The viability of this seed is not yet known.
  • The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority currently hold 0.7g seed, 12 plants in the nursery, and 2 plants in the Botanic Gardens. Initial propagation attempts from seed and cuttings have been unsuccessful, but a number of plants have been successfully produced from tissue culture.
  • DNA research has been conducted, and established that E. dolorosa is not a hybrid.
  • An information sheet that describes and illustrates the species has been prepared and will be printed in the near future.
  • Staff from CALMs Moora District regularly monitor this species.
  • The Moora District Threatened Flora Recovery Team is overseeing the implementation of this IRP and will include information on progress in an annual report 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 the viable in situ population 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. Liaise with land managers
  4. Develop and implement a fire management strategy
  5. Monitor population
  6. Collect seed
  7. Conduct further surveys
  8. Propagate translocates from tissue culture
  9. Undertake and monitor translocation
  10. Promote awareness
  11. Obtain biological and ecological information
  12. Review the need for a full Recovery Plan