Granite featherflower Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea interim recovery plan 2004-2009

Western Australian Threatened Species and Communities Unit (WATSCU)
© The Western Australian, Department of Conservation and Land Management, 2004

3. Recovery Actions

Existing recovery actions

The owners and managers of land containing all but the newly discovered Population 9 have been formally notified of the presence of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea. This notification details the Declared Rare status of the taxon and the associated legal responsibilities.

Populations 5 and 6 have been fenced to prevent grazing by stock.

Seed has been collected from populations 1, 2 and 3 by Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC) staff with initial germination rates varying from 57-97%. After one year in storage the germination rate was 100% (Crawford, unpublished data). Seed has also been collected from populations 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 however results from these seed collections will not be available until early April (Crawford, unpublished data).

Propagation protocols and germplasm storage techniques that have been successfully developed for Verticordia staminosa subsp. staminosa could also be applied to Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea for ex situ conservation of the species (Yates et al, 2000). No propagation records of this species could be found at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) (Shade

Amanda Shade, Horticulturalist, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, personal communication).

Seed has been collected to enable a genetic study between Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea and var. erecta. Genetic work by staff from CALMs Science division is scheduled to begin in April May 2004.

An information sheet has been produced for Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. erecta, which includes a description of the plant, its habitat, threats, recovery actions and photos. Although the poster is not specifically for var. cylindracea it has still been used to promote awareness of both varieties. A reply paid postal drop of the information sheet has been distributed by the CALM's Katanning District office to local farmers and other residents in Shires containing possible habitat of the taxon. These information sheets were posted at the Pingaring local community store and Pingaring Golf Club by CALM's Narrogin District whilst conducting survey work in 2003.

Five volunteers from the Newdegate Rare Flora Volunteer Group have assisted in the survey and monitoring of three populations of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea.

CALM Staff searched for the taxon on an unnamed rock south of Lake Varley in 1986, the Glenelg Hills in September 1999, Nature Reserve 28715 in August 2000, King Rocks in December 2001, Burngup Water Reserve in June 2002 and UCL 301 near Hyden, Dragon Rocks, McGann Rock, McDonald Rock and Lane Rock in October 2003 but no plants of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea were found.

Staff from CALM's Katanning and Narrogin Districts regularly monitor all populations of this taxon.

The Katanning and Narrogin District Threatened Flora Recovery Teams are overseeing the implementation of this IRP and will include information on progress in an annual report to CALM's Corporate Executive and funding bodies.

Future recovery actions

Where populations occur on lands other than those managed by CALM, permission has been or will be sought from the appropriate land owners and managers prior to recovery actions being undertaken. The following recovery actions are roughly in order of descending priority; however this should not constrain addressing any of the priorities if funding is available for lower priorities and other opportunities arise.

1. Coordinate recovery actions

The KDTFRT and NDTFRT will continue to oversee the implementation of recovery actions for Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea and will include information on progress in its annual report to CALMs Corporate Executive and funding bodies.

Action:Coordinate recovery actions
Responsibility:CALM (Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$2,200 per year.

2. Map critical habitat

It is a requirement of the EPBC Act that spatial data relating to critical habitat be determined. Although critical habitat is described in Section 1, the areas as described have not yet been mapped and will be addressed under this action. If any additional populations are located, then critical habitat will also be determined and mapped for these locations.

Action:Map critical habitat
Responsibility:CALM (Narrogin and Katanning District, WATSCU) through the NDTFRT and KDTFRT
Cost:$2,000 in the first year.

3. Formally notify land managers

The Water Corporation needs to be formally notified of the presence of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea on land that contains Population 9.

Action:Formally notify land owners
Responsibility:CALM (Wildlife Branch)
Cost:$100 in first year

4.Conduct further surveys

Although extensive surveys have been carried out on many granite outcrops in the species range, further surveys will be conducted for this taxon during its flowering period (July-October). Granite rocks on private property to the south of Population 7 have been suggested as one possible survey area.

Action:Conduct further surveys
Responsibility:CALM (Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$3,000 per year for first four years

5. Achieve long-term protection of habitat

Staff from the CALM's Katanning and Narrogin Districts will continue liaison with landowners and managers to ensure that populations are not accidentally damaged or destroyed. In addition, ways and means of improving the security of populations and their habitat will be investigated. This may include purchase, conservation covenants or the Land for Wildlife scheme.

Action:Achieve long-term protection of habitat
Responsibility:CALM (Narrogin and Katanning District) through the NDTFRT and KDTFRT
Cost:$1,000 per year

6. Monitor populations

Annual monitoring of factors such as population stability (expansion or decline), habitat degradation, pollinator activity, seed production, recruitment, longevity and predation is essential. Particular attention should be paid to the level of threat posed by weeds and rabbits and if this should increase, appropriate control should be undertaken.

Action:Monitor populations
Responsibility:CALM (Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$2,000 per year

7. Rabbit control

Rabbits do not appear to graze adult plants of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea, and there is no evidence of disturbance near plants through diggings. However, rabbits are known to preferentially graze soft young growth of native species and in areas where rabbits are present there appeared to be little recruitment suggesting that rabbits are grazing on young seedlings. Rabbit control will be implemented in consultation with the landholders at Populations 2, 5 and 7.

Action:Rabbit control, if required in future
Responsibility:CALM (Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$1,000 per year

8. Weed control if required

With the exception of Population 2 the level of threat from weeds is very low. However, if weed density increases at in the area of other populations there is potential that they will have a negative impact by preventing seed germination, competing for resources, exacerbating grazing pressure, and increasing the risk and severity of fire. Weed control should be carried out at Population 2 in consultation with the landholder. If during monitoring it is deemed that the threat from weeds has increased at other locations, weed control will be also be undertaken in those areas in consultation with the landholders and land managers. The method used will include hand weeding or careful spot spraying to minimise herbicide washing off the rock and into surrounding vegetation.

Action:Weed control
Responsibility:CALM (Narrogin District and Katanning District if weeds spread) through the NDTFRTand KDTFRT
Cost:$700 per year until weeds are no longer a problem

9. Conduct genetic testing

Seed collections for genetic testing were completed for 2003 and genetic work is scheduled to begin in April May 2004. This will determine the relationships/differences between Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea and var. erecta.

Action:Genetic testing
Responsibility:CALM (Science Division)
Cost:$5,000 over years one and two

10. Promote awareness

The importance of biodiversity conservation and the need for the long-term protection of the wild population of this species will be promoted to the community through poster displays and the local print and electronic media. Formal links with local naturalist groups and interested individuals will also be encouraged. In the past the promotional material for Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. erecta has been used to help promote var. cylindracea however it should be promoted as a separate taxon.

A reply paid postal drop of a pamphlet that illustrates Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea and describes its distinctive features and habitat will be developed and will be distributed to residents in Shires that contain possible habitat for the species. Postal drops aim to stimulate interest, provide information about threatened species and provide a name and number to contact if new populations are located by members of the community. An information sheet, which includes a description of the plant, its habitat type, threats, management actions and photos will also be produced.

Action:Promote awareness
Responsibility:CALM (Narrogin and Katanning District, Strategic Development and Corporate Affairs Division) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$1,300 in first year and $900 in subsequent years.

11. Collect seed and cutting material

Preservation of germplasm is essential to guard against extinction if wild populations are lost. Such collections are also needed to propagate plants for possible future translocations. Seeds have been collected from Populations 1-7 and 10, but further collections from the newly discovered Population 9 when more plants are discovered would be beneficial to expand the range of genetic material available. At this time cuttings will also be obtained to enhance the living collection at the BGPA.

Action:Collect seed and cutting material
Responsibility:CALM (TFSC, BGPA, Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$1,000 (if more individuals establish at Population 9)

12. Develop a fire management strategy, if required in future

Fire is thought to kill adult plants of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea and is unlikely to stimulate germination of soil-stored seed as the taxon occurs in habitat that would rarely if ever experience fire naturally. Currently, fire presents a low level of threat to the taxon as the large areas of surrounding exposed granite provide a buffer. However, if vegetation were to become more continuous over the rock through the introduction of weeds the fire risk would increase sharply. This may occur if grassy weeds succeed in establishing in the small fissures between soil pockets where the Verticordia occurs. If during monitoring it is deemed that the fire risk has increased, a fire management strategy will be developed to determine fire control measures.

Action:Develop a fire management strategy, if required
Responsibility:CALM (Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$2,400 for preparation in year deemed necessary and $1,000 for implementation in subsequent years (if required)

13. Liaise with land managers

Staff from CALMs Narrogin and Katanning Districts will continue to liaise with private landowners and the Water Corporation to ensure that populations are not accidentally damaged or destroyed. Input and involvement will also be sought from any indigenous groups that have an active interest in areas that are habitat for Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea.

Action:Liaise with land managers
Responsibility:CALM (Wildlife Branch, Katanning and Narrogin Districts) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$600 per year

14. Review the need for further recovery actions or an update to this IRP and prepare if necessary

If the species is still ranked as Vulnerable at the end of the fourth year of the five-year term of this Interim Recovery Plan, the need for further recovery actions or an update to this IRP will be assessed.

Action:Review the need for a full Recovery Plan
Responsibility:CALM (WATSCU, Katanning and Narrogin District) through the KDTFRT and NDTFRT
Cost:$20,300 in the fifth year (if required)