McCutcheon's Grevillia (Grevillia maccutcheonii) Interim Recovery Plan 2003-2008

Interim Recovery Plan No. 144
Gillian Stack, Andrew Brown and Val English
Department of Conservation and Land Management, WA, 2003

Summary

Scientific Name: Grevillea maccutcheonii Common Name: McCutcheon's Grevillea
Family: Proteaceae Flowering Period: July - November
Dept Region: South West Dept District: Blackwood
Shire: Busselton Recovery Team: South West Region Threatened Flora Recovery Team (SWRTFRT)

Illustrations and/or further information: A. Brown, C. Thomson-Dans and N. Marchant (Eds) (1998) Western Australia's Threatened Flora; V. English (1999) Shrubland Association on Southern Swan Coastal Plain Ironstone, Draft Interim Recovery Plan; G.J. Keighery and R.J. Cranfield (1996) Grevillea maccutcheonii (Proteaceae), a new rare Grevillea from Western Australia. Nuytsia 11, 33-36.

Current status: Grevillea maccutcheonii was declared as Rare Flora in August 1994 and ranked as Critically Endangered (CR) in September 1995. It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN, 2000) Red List category 'CR' under criteria B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a; D due to it being known from a single location, a continuing decline in the quality of habitat and number of mature individuals and population size estimated to be fewer than 50 mature individuals. G. maccutcheonii has specific habitat requirements and is naturally geographically restricted to ironstone formations near Busselton. This soil type has been massively impacted by vegetation clearing in the past. The main continuing threats are weed invasion, rabbit grazing, disease, fire, road maintenance and degraded habitat.

Distribution and habitat: Grevillea maccutcheonii was probably once found in a tall mixed shrubland but this is now hard to confirm as its remaining habitat is now very degraded. Soils are shallow red brown clay associated with the highly restricted southern ironstone formations found at the base of the Whicher Range, a Critically Endangered assemblage currently listed as a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) and known as 'Shrublands on southern Swan Coastal Plain Ironstones' (English 1999). In this area the single known population grows on a one metre high mound of soil which was probably left following early road construction works. During winter months the mound is surrounded by water.

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Grevillea maccutcheonii comprises the area of occupancy of the known population; the area of occupancy of translocated populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of known and translocated populations; corridors of remnant vegetation that link populations; the local catchment area; and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the species but may have done so and may be suitable for future translocations.

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

Benefits to other species/ecological communities: Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of the habitat of Grevillea maccutcheonii will also improve the health of the Critically Endangered TEC 'Shrublands on southern Swan Coastal Plain Ironstones' 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 Grevillea maccutcheonii 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. Therefore no role has been identified for indigenous communities in the recovery of this species.

Social and economic impacts: The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant adverse social and economic impacts. The single known population occurs along a narrow road reserve.

Evaluation of the Plan's Performance: The Department of Conservation and Land Management (DCLM), in conjunction with the Recovery Team will evaluate the performance of this IRP. 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. All appropriate land managers have been made aware of the location and threatened status of the species.
  2. Declared Rare Flora (DRF) markers have been installed at Population 1a.
  3. Dashboard stickers and posters describing the significance of DRF markers have been produced and distributed.
  4. Populations 1a, 1b, 1T and 2T have been fenced to protect plants from road maintenance activities and grazing.
  5. Pruning of associated native flora at Population 1a is undertaken as necessary to avoid excessive competition.
  6. Broad scale weed control was undertaken at Population 1t in 2001.
  7. The fences around wild and translocated populations are maintained as necessary, and 1080 poisoned oats, gassing and shooting have all been used to reduce the number of rabbits.
  8. Disease hygiene is always observed, but dieback is known to occur near Populations 1b and 1t. All translocates planted in 2000 were backpack sprayed with phosphite in February 2001.
  9. Susceptibility testing undertaken by DCLM's Science Division indicates that this species is moderately susceptible to Phytophthora dieback.
  10. A fire response plan has been prepared for wild and translocated sites, and incorporated into the Blackwood District's Fire Control Working Plan.
  11. Part of the private property adjacent to the population was purchased by DCLM in 1999, was then vested as an A Class Nature Reserve, and is being rehabilitated (site of Subpopulations 1b and 1T).
  12. A total of approximately 1000 seeds are stored in DCLM's Threatened Flora Seed Centre.
  13. The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority currently hold 15 plants of Grevillea maccutcheonii from 5 clones.
  14. An experimental translocation of this species has been implemented in stages in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Planting is occurring into two newly vested Nature Reserves. This action is ongoing.
  15. Implementation of the recovery actions outlined in the IRP for the TEC 'Shrublands on southern Swan Coastal Plain Ironstones' (English 1999) has commenced and is ongoing. Various actions that protect the community in which it occurs also protect this species.
  16. An information sheet that describes and illustrates the species, threats and recovery actions has been produced.
  17. A separate information sheet describing and illustrating the TEC in which it occurs has also been produced.
  18. Staff from DCLM's Blackwood District regularly monitor wild and translocated populations of the species.
  19. The South West Region 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 and/or enhance in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the taxon in the wild.

Recovery criteria

Criteria for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have increased by 10% or more.
Criteria 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 10. Liaise with land managers
2. Weed control 11. Monitor populations
3. Rabbit control 12. Promote awareness
4. Implement hygiene measures 13. Conduct further surveys
5. Spray Phosphite 14. Stimulate germination of soil-stored seed
6. Implement the fire management strategy 15. Promote community awareness
7. Continue translocations 16. Obtain biological and ecological information
8. Rehabilitate habitat 17. Review the IRP and if required update, or prepare a full Recovery Plan
9. Collect seed and cutting material