National recovery plan for the Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek (syn E. sp. 2 'Minyon')

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, January 2003
ISBN 0 731 36909 2

Appendix 1 Draft Hygiene Protocol

Background

Three E. sp. Rocky Creek trees died in at Site 1 in Whian Whian State Forest in 1999. Pathology samples taken from the three trees found that all were infected with Ophiostoma sp. Two carried Botryosphaeria ribis, and one carried a Hymenochaete species. The role of these pathogens in the death of the trees is unclear (Simpson 2000). Surveys undertaken in 2001, revealed an additional seven dead trees, all in the larger size category (10-40 cm dbh). Surveys of all other populations found no dead trees (Kooyman 1999). Precautionary measures will need to be implemented to ensure that any potential fungal pathogens are not transferred to other sites.

Proposed hygiene procedures at the E. sp. Rocky Creek site in Site 1 Whian Whian State Forest4

  1. Footwear that has been used at the site must be thoroughly cleaned and sterilised before re-use at other E. sp. Rocky Creek sites.
  2. A shallow tray containing a disinfecting solution should be set up near the vehicle so that footwear can be disinfected and dried prior to leaving the site or entering the vehicle. Footwear should be scraped clean of mud and the soles of the footwear stood in the tray of disinfectant. The remainder of the boot should be rinsed or sprayed with a disinfecting solution. A change of footwear and bagging the affected footwear for disinfecting later is another option.
  3. Any equipment used on site should be cleaned with alcohol or disinfectant between use on different trees on the site. The equipment should be cleaned and sterilised prior to leaving the site or should be bagged for disinfecting prior to re-use at another site.
  4. Hands should be cleaned between contacts with different trees or clean plastic gloves worn for each tree sampled.
  5. In most instances, vehicles are unlikely to be a problem. However if a vehicle is driven off-road in the vicinity of the site then wheels and tyres should be cleaned and sterilised. This should be done on the formed road where the wheels and tyres should be sprayed with hospital grade 'toilet duck'.
  6. Disinfecting agents to be used must be effective against bacteria and both the vegetative and spore stages of fungi. Chloramine and Chlorhexidine based products such as Halamid, Halasept or Hexifoam Hand Wash are effective for both bacteria and fungi. They are also suitable for use on hands, footwear, instruments and equipment. The manufacturer instructions should be followed when making up these solutions.
  7. Bleach and alcohol, diluted to appropriate concentrations are also effective on bacteria and fungi, however, they are less practical because of the corrosive and hazardous nature of these substances. It is also possible to use methanol on instruments, either by:
    • immersion in 70% methanol for 30 minutes;
    • dipping in 100% methanol and then flamed or boiled in water for 10 minutes.
    • some equipment not easily disinfected in these ways can be cleaned using medical standard 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes e.g. Isowipes.
  8. Any sterilising solutions used must be disposed of safely and away from the site.

References:

Kooyman, R.M. 1999, A report detailing the results of surveys to determine the health of plants of Elaeocarpus sp. 'Minyon': following the detection of mortalities in the Compartment 79 area Whian Whian State Forest, report prepared for NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service 2000, Hygiene Protocol for the Control of Disease in Frogs, Threatened Species Management Information Circular no. 6, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, Hurstville.

Simpson, J. 2000, Tree deaths in Compartment 79, Whian Whian State Forest, report prepared for the Forest Health Survey Unit, State Forests of NSW, Sydney.

4derived from NPWS Information Circular No.6: Hygiene protocol for Frogs.