National recovery plan for the Tallong Midge Orchid (Genoplesium plumosum)

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, May 2002
ISBN 0 731 36457 0

4. Management Issues

Apart from the apparent disappearance of this species from Kurnell Peninsula, there is no evidence of a substantial decline in its currently known area of occupancy. It must be noted, however, that most of the known sites were only discovered in 1999 and it is difficult to determine how many sites around Tallong were lost to farming, road construction and urban development prior to the surveys. It is possible that there are other small populations of this species in the Tallong and Wingello areas which have not yet been located.

Sensitive design of any building development on the residential blocks in Tallong is required to protect the population on these sites. Careful management of a housing development located up-slope of the population located on Council land in the township of Tallong is required to minimise potential indirect impact (such as nutrient run-on or habitat trampling through increased pedestrian usage of the area) to that population. Appropriate protection of the roadside populations is also required by MSC during any road maintenance or road construction works.

The largest populations are those located on Tallong Park Housing Estate, the Tallong Recreation Reserve and on SRA land. These appear to be secure providing the habitat there is retained as open space and the current low levels of recreational use are maintained.

5. Previous Recovery Actions

  • A Recovery Team was established by the NPWS and met for the first time on 28 November 1998.
  • Initial surveys for the species were conducted in late March/April 1999. These surveys increased the number of known sites, but confirmed the distribution to be extremely restricted and apparently confined to within three kilometres of Tallong.
  • In 1999 the Tallong Park Association withdrew a proposed site for the construction of a golf course at Tallong Park Estate from consideration. This action was taken once it became known that the Tallong Midge Orchid occurred adjacent to the site and that its habitat could have been adversely affected by indirect impacts from such a development. An alternative site has since been developed.
  • In 1999 a short article was published in the MSC Newsletter describing the predicament of this species and inviting landholders to contact NPWS if they believed they had this species or suitable habitat on their properties.
  • In March 2001, a detailed population count was conducted at all known sites of the Tallong Midge Orchid. Three permanent monitoring plots were established, two in Tallong Park and one in the Wingello Recreation Reserve. One new site supporting the Tallong Midge Orchid was also discovered by NPWS staff approximately 8.5 km south-east of the town of Wingello. Surveys for the Tallong Midge Orchid were also conducted in several other sites of potential habitat, but no other occurrences were found.
  • Three permanent monitoring plots were established in 2001. These were selected as representative samples of the core populations at Tallong. The plots range from eight to ten square metres in area and included a minimum of 30 flowering individuals in each plot at the time of establishment. All plants in these plots have been marked and will be monitored for at least five consecutive years. The second year of monitoring was conducted by NPWS in March and April 2002.