Small-flowered Snottygobble (Personia micranthera) Interim Recovery Plan 2003-2008

Interim Recovery Plan No. 145
Gillian Stack and Andrew Brown
Department of Conservation and Land Management, WA, 2003

Summary

Scientific Name: Persoonia micranthera Common Name: Small-flowered Snottygobble
Family: Proteaceae Flowering Period: February - March
Dept Region: South Coast Dept District: Albany Work Centre
Shire: Gnowangerup Recovery Team: Albany District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (ADTFRT)

Illustrations and/or further information: Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds). (1998) Western Australia's Threatened Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; Robinson, C. J. and Coates, D. J. (1995). Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District. Western Australian Wildlife Management Program No. 20. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; DCLM (1999). Stirling Range and Porongurup National Parks: Management Plan. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; Weston, P. H. (1994) The Western Australian Species of subtribe Persooniiae (Proteaceae: Persooniodeae: Persoonieae), Telopea, 6(1): 116-117.

Current status: Persoonia micranthera was declared as Rare Flora in November 1997 and ranked as Critically Endangered in November 1998. It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN, 2000) Red List Category 'CR' under criteria B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)+B2ab(i,ii,iii,v), C2a(i) and D, due to the extremely small number of adult plants, the fragmented nature of the populations, a decline in habitat quality due to fire and Phytophthora and a decline in adult plant numbers. Only six mature plants are known from four populations, with many subpopulations represented only by juveniles. All are threatened by dieback, and most populations have been damaged by fire in 1991 and 2000. Additional minor threats are grazing by an unknown herbivore and recreational use of the area.

Distribution and habitat: Persoonia micranthera occurs at high altitudes in the eastern section of the Stirling Range. Habitat is low dense heath and scrub on a rocky shallow soil over schist. The community is described as 'dense heath or thicket with scrub vegetation on skeletal soils'. Associated species include Kunzea montana, Beaufortia anisandra, Sphenotoma sp. Stirling Range, Andersonia echinocephala, Darwinia spp., Banksia solandri, Banksia brownii and Dryandra concinna (Barrett 1999).

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Persoonia micranthera comprises the area of occupancy of the known populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of known populations; native vegetation that links populations and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the species but may have done so and may be suitable for 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 Persoonia micranthera will also improve the health of the Critically Endangered Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) "Eastern Stirling Range Montane Heath and Thicket Community" in which it occurs and which includes several other threatened plant taxa including Dryandra montana, Sphenotoma drummondii, Darwinia collina, D. squarrosa, Banksia brownii, Leucopogon gnaphalioides, Deyeuxia drummondii and Andersonia axilliflora.

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 Persoonia micranthera 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.

Social and economic impacts: The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant adverse social and economic impacts. All populations occur in the Stirling Range National Park.

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. Stirling Range National Park Rangers are aware of the location and threatened status of the species.
  2. The populations are in areas that are being sprayed with phosphite at regular intervals to help protect plants form the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi.
  3. The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority currently have 40 plants of Persoonia micranthera that were propagated from 11 clones.
  4. Tissue culture of Persoonia micranthera has been undertaken by BGPA but was unsuccessful.
  5. An IRP has been prepared for the Threatened Ecological Community in which Persoonia. micranthera occurs.
  6. A demographic study has commenced in association with a study of the fire ecology of the Montane Heath Community.
  7. Staff from DCLM's Albany Work Centre regularly monitor populations of Persoonia micranthera.
  8. The Albany District 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 8. Propagate plants for translocation
2. Phytophthora control 9. Develop and implement a translocation proposal
3. Develop and implement a fire management strategy 10. Obtain biological and ecological information
4. Monitor populations 11. Promote awareness
5. Conduct further surveys 12. Review the need for a revised IRP or full Recovery Plan and prepare if necessary
6. Collect seed and cutting material