Approved Recovery Plan for the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood (Rapanea species A Richmond River)

Threatened Species Unit, North East Branch
New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation, 2004
ISBN: 1741221382

5. Previous Recovery Actions

5.1 Surveys and monitoring

Targeted surveys for threatened plant species, including the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood, were undertaken in 1997 as part of the governments Comprehensive Regional Assessment process (Horton 1997). These surveys resulted in the discovery of the population of Ripple-leaf Muttonwood near Tatham.

Further targeted surveys were commissioned by DEC, with funding from the Natural Heritage Trust Endangered Species Program in 1998 and 1999. This included an assessment of the threatening processes at each population and recording the height classes in the populations on the floodplain. All the known extant populations of Ripple-leaf Muttonwood were initially found as a result of these surveys.

5.2 Management plans

Plans of Management for reserves

Specific management actions for the protection of the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood are included in the The Parks and Reserves of the Northern Richmond Range Plan of Management (NPWS 2002).

Bush regeneration plans

Specific management actions for the control of weeds and restoration of Ripple-leaf Muttonwood habitat are included in the Review and update of restoration and rehabilitation project report (1995), Boatharbour Nature Reserve (Joseph 2000b) and Restoration and rehabilitation project incorporating weed control strategies, Mallanganee National Park (Joseph 2000a). The DEC prepared a Review of Environmental Factors for both of these projects.

5.3 Habitat protection and management

Fencing to exclude cattle

The immediate surrounds of the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood plants (approximately 2 x 10 m2) in the Tatham population were fenced in 1998 to exclude cattle. This fencing was instigated by the DEC and the landholder, with funding from the Natural Heritage Trust Endangered Species Program. The majority of the remnant forest including the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood habitat was fenced off from the adjoining pasture in 1999.

The boundary fences of Mallanganee National Park have been replaced and now exclude cattle. Also, pregrazing leases for the area that is now Mallanganee National Park have been terminated.

Forestry

Measures for the conservation of the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood in native timber production areas of state forest are detailed in the Threatened Species Licence under the IFOA for each region. State Forests of NSW is required to implement the conditions set out in each IFOA, whilst DEC is required to audit compliance with conditions. These conditions include:

  • pre-logging and pre-roading flora and fauna surveys; and
  • exclusion zones around records of threatened flora species.

The known distribution of the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood is within the area covered by the Upper North East Region IFOA. In this, Section 6.22 of the Threatened Species Licence specifically applies to the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood and requires an exclusion zone of at least 50 m radius around all individuals or around all groups of individuals of the species.

Bush regeneration and monitoring

Weed control and bush regeneration work has been undertaken to protect Ripple-leaf Muttonwood in DEC reserves. This work was undertaken in accordance with the strategies in the relevant restoration and rehabilitation project reports (Joseph 2000a, Joseph 2000b).

The Ripple-leaf Muttonwood populations were monitored and follow-up weed control undertaken as necessary. The DEC holds records of observations by staff of new sites of occurrence of Ripple-leaf Muttonwood and updated estimates of the number of plants.

Roadside marking system for sensitive areas

The DEC Northern Rivers Region has developed a roadside marking system for sensitive areas, such as areas that contain threatened plants, on DEC estate. Marker posts, with a DEC symbol, indicating the sensitive area have been installed at appropriate locations, including in the area of the Ripple-leaf Muttonwood population at Mallanganee National Park.

5.4 Other recovery actions

The DEC commissioned the preparation of an identification key for Ripple-leaf Muttonwood (Horton 2000). A key to distinguish between the Rapanea species in Australia is also being developed by Associate Professor B. Jackes, James Cook University.