Green Hill Thomasia (Thomasia sp. Green Hill) Interim Recovery Plan 2003-2008

Interim Recovery Plan No. 132
Val English
Department of Conservation and Land Management, WA, 2003

Summary

Scientific Name: Thomasia sp. Green Hill Common Name: Green Hill Thomasia
Family: Sterculiaceae Flowering Period: October
Dept Region: Midwest Dept District: Moora
Shire: Victoria Plains Recovery Team: Moora District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (MDTFRT)

Illustrations and/or further information: A. Brown, C. Thomson-Dans and N. Marchant (Eds) (1998) Western Australia's Threatened Flora.

Current status: An Interim Recovery Plan was drafted for Thomasia sp. Green Hill in 1999 (Evans and English 1999). This plan is based on that document and includes additional information compiled since 1999.

Thomasia sp. Green Hill was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 in October 1996 and ranked as Critically Endangered (CR) in November 1998. It is also listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN 2000) Red List category 'CR' under criterion B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) (IUCN 2000), as it is only known from one population, with declining quality of the habitat. The species exists in a bush block in New Norcia and the main threats are weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes, grazing by kangaroos, destruction resulting from firebreak maintenance and farming activities, and a lack of genetic diversity.

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Thomasia sp. Green Hill comprises the area of occupancy of the known population; similar habitat within 200 metres of the known population; remnant vegetation that links subpopulations; and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the species but may have done so in the past and may be suitable for translocations.

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

Benefits to other species/ecological communities
There are no other known threatened species or communities that occur in the habitat of Population 1. However, recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of Thomasia sp. Green Hill Population 1 are likely to improve the condition of its bushland habitat.

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 Thomasia sp. Green Hill 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 only known population of Thomasia sp. Green Hill occurs on private land and the landholders are amenable to managing the habitat of the species for conservation. Recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders with regard this area.

Evaluation of the Plans Performance
The Department of Conservation and Land Management, in conjunction with the Recovery Team, will evaluate the performance of this IRP. In addition to annual reporting on progress with listed actions and comparison against the criteria for success and failure, the plan is to be reviewed within five years of its implementation.

Habitat requirements: Thomasia sp. Green Hill is endemic to Western Australia and is apparently confined to the New Norcia area. It is known from only one population, consisting of two subpopulations, with a total of 99 plants. The subpopulations grow approximately 1.5 km apart but within the same bush block and on the same brown clayey sand over laterite, in open wandoo woodland. Associated taxa include Grevillea, Melaleuca, Glischrocaryon, Allocausarina, Hibbertia and Stylidium species.

Existing Recovery Actions: The following recovery actions have been or are currently being implemented:

  1. Land managers and adjacent landowners have been made aware of the location and threatened status of the species.
  2. Approximately 230 seeds were collected from Population 1 in November 1998 and are stored in the Department's Threatened Flora Seed Centre at -18°C.
  3. The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority currently have two plants of Thomasia sp. Green Hill from two clones.
  4. An information sheet that describes and illustrates the species has been produced and distributed.
  5. Staff from the Department's Moora District regularly monitor populations of the species.
  6. The Moora District Threatened Flora Recovery Team is overseeing the implementation of this IRP and will include information on progress in an annual report to the Department's Corporate Executive and funding bodies.

IRP Objective: The objective of this Interim Recovery Plan is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the species in the wild.

Recovery criteria

Criteria for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have increased by ten percent or more.
Criteria for failure: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have decreased by ten percent or more.

Recovery actions
1. Coordinate recovery actions 8. Undertake and monitor translocation
2. Maintain boundary fence 9. Undertake weed control
3. Map critical habitat 10. Develop and implement a fire management strategy
4. Monitor population 11. Seek long-term protection of habitat
5. Obtain biological and ecological information 12. Conduct further surveys
6. Promote awareness 13. Stimulate germination of soil-stored seed
7. Collect seed and cutting material 14. Review the need for a full Recovery Plan