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

Executive summary

Introduction

Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek (Family Elaeocarpaceae) is a forest tree most commonly found in warm temperate rainforest or near the ecotone between warm temperate rainforest and sclerophyll forest associated with rhyolitic soils. It has a very restricted distribution and is endemic to the Mt Warning caldera in north-eastern New South Wales.

This Recovery Plan describes the current knowledge of Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek, summarises the research and management actions undertaken to date, and identifies the actions required and parties responsible in addressing the conservation of the species in the wild.

Current species status

Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek is listed as Endangered on Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales). It is also listed as Nationally Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth). From the eight known populations for Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek only four reproductive populations have been found.

Legislative context

This Recovery Plan has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales). This Act is the legislative framework in New South Wales to protect and encourage the recovery of threatened species, populations and communities. Under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales), the Director-General of National Parks and Wildlife is responsible for the preparation of Recovery Plans.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth) requires the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment to ensure the preparation of a Recovery Plan for Nationally listed species and communities or adopt plans prepared by others including those developed by State agencies. It is the intention of the Director-General of National Parks and Wildlife to forward the final version of this Recovery Plan to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment for consideration for adoption, once it has been approved by the NSW Minister for the Environment.

Recovery objectives

The overall objective of this Recovery Plan is to maintain the viability of all existing wild populations of Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek in the long term. Successful recovery of this species is largely dependent on identification, protection and knowledge of the biology of extant populations.

Specific objectives are to:

  • identify and protect all populations of Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek;
  • obtain ecological and population dynamics information to assist with effective management of Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek;
  • determine the extent and severity of threatening processes, and remove or minimise impacts;
  • inform the community about Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek and its habitat;
  • assess the need for a translocation program and/or ex-situ propagation; and
  • assess known reproductive population sites for Critical Habitat within the meaning of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales).

Recovery performance criteria

The recovery criteria are that:

  • all potential habitat areas are surveyed and threatening processes identified within the life of the Recovery Plan;
  • the understanding of the ecology and biology of the species is sufficient to enable management for long term survival of the species in New South Wales;
  • adequate management regimes are in place to protect all known populations from human-induced disturbance;
  • all known populations are protected either in conservation reserves or by other conservation mechanisms; and
  • all known reproductive population sites are assessed for Critical Habitat within the meaning of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales).

Recovery actions

Recovery actions will be directed towards:

  • implementing management programs which promote the security and survival of known wild populations;
  • undertaking surveys of potential habitat for unknown occurrences of the species; and
  • research on population ecology, genetics and health of the species.

Biodiversity value

Worldwide, 14 per cent of the 400 species in the family Elaeocarpaceae are considered threatened under the conservation criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek habitat occurs in an area of biogeographic significance that has very high biodiversity values. Protection of Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek would also provide protection for a number of plants and animals associated with its habitat. Five Vulnerable flora species and 11 Vulnerable fauna species have been recorded in areas where Elaeocarpus sp. Rocky Creek populations occur (McKinley et al. 1996, Kooyman pers. comm.).

BRIAN GILLIGAN
Director-General

BOB DEBUS
Minister for the Environment