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

Foreword

Interim Recovery Plans (IRPs) are developed within the framework laid down in Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) Policy Statements Nos. 44 and 50.

IRPs outline the recovery actions that are required to urgently address those threatening processes most affecting the ongoing survival of threatened taxa or ecological communities, and begin the recovery process.

CALM is committed to ensuring that Vulnerable taxa are conserved through the preparation and implementation of Recovery Plans or Interim Recovery Plans and by ensuring that conservation action commences as soon as possible and always within one year of endorsement of that rank by the Minister.

This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from May 2004 to April 2009 but will remain in force until withdrawn or replaced. It is intended that, if the taxon is still ranked Critically Endangered, this IRP will be reviewed after five years and the need for a full Recovery Plan assessed.

This IRP was given regional approval on 25 March, 2004 and was approved by the Director of Nature Conservation on 15 June, 2004. The allocation of staff time and provision of funds identified in this Interim Recovery Plan is dependent on budgetary and other constraints affecting CALM, as well as the need to address other priorities.

Information in this IRP was accurate at May 2004.

Summary

Scientific Name: Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea Common Name: Granite Featherflower
Family: Myrtaceae Flowering Period: July-October
Dept Region: Wheatbelt Dept District: Katanning and Narrogin
Shires: Kulin and Lake Grace Recovery Teams: Narrogin District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (NDTFRT) and Katanning District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (NDTFCRT)

Illustrations and/or further information: A. Brown, C. Thomson-Dans and N. Marchant (Eds) (1998) Western Australias Threatened Flora; A.S. George (1991) Verticordia (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae) Nuytsia, 7(3), 231-394; George, E.A. (2002) Verticordia, The Turner of Hearts. University of Western Australia Press, Western Australia.

Current status: Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea was declared as Rare Flora on 12 March 1982 and currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN, 1994) Red List Category VU under criteria C2a due to their being less than 10,000 mature plants, a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and no subpopulation containing more than 1000 mature individuals. The species now meets World Conservation Union (IUCN, 2000) Red List Category VU under criteria C2a(i). The species is also listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The main threats are grazing by rabbits, drought, weeds, limited habitat, recreation, water pipeline maintenance and insecurity of tenure.

Habitat requirements: Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea is currently known from eight localities between Pingaring and east of Newdegate. It grows in seasonally wet shallow soil pockets in crevices and on edges of exposed granite outcrops.

Critical habitat: The critical habitat for Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea comprises the area of occupancy of the known populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of known populations; and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat i.e. shallow soil pockets on granite that do not currently contain the taxon but may have done so and may be suitable for future translocations.

Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations: Given that this taxon is listed as Vulnerable it is considered that all known habitat for wild and translocated populations is habitat critical, and that all populations, including any resulting from translocations, are important to the survival of the species.

Benefits to other species/ecological communities: Population 5 of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea grows in conjunction with the Critically Endangered V. staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. erecta (Population 2). Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of the habitat of V. staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea will also improve the status of V. staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. erecta at this location.

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 Australias responsibilities under that Convention. Although the taxon is listed under the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) this IRP does not affect Australias obligations under international agreements.

Role and interests of indigenous people: According to the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register, no sites have been discovered near the Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea populations. Input and involvement will be sought from any indigenous groups that have an active interest in the areas that are habitat for V. staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea, and this is discussed in the recovery actions.

Social and economic impacts: The implementation of this recovery plan has the potential to have some limited social and economic impact. The variety occurs on and around large granite outcrops some of which are on private property. However recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders and negotiations have ensured that the areas that directly support the species will be left uncleared.

Evaluation of the Plans Performance: CALM, in conjunction with the Narrogin and Katanning District Threatened Flora Recovery Teams (NDTFRT and KDTFRT), 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.

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

  • All land managers (except in the case of the recently discovered Population 9 on Water Corporation Land) have been formally notified of the presence of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea
  • Population 5 has been fenced from stock.
  • Seeds were collected from Population 2 in 1995, Population 1 and 3 in 1998, Population 5 in 2002 and Populations 1, 4, 6, 7, and 9 in 2003. Germination trials have been conducted on seed collected in the 1990s and germination rates vary from 57 to 96 %. The remaining seed is stored in CALM's Threatened Flora Seed Centre at 18C. Results from later seed collections will not be available until early April (Andrew Crawford, Senior Technical Officer, CALM's Threatened Flora Seed Centre, personal communication).
  • A number of searches have been carried out at the Burngup Water Reserve; Glenelg Hills; UCL near Hyden; a Nature Reserve north of Hyden; a rock south of Lake Varley townsite; King Rocks; Dragon Rocks, McDonald Rock, Lane Rock and a granite rock east of McDonald Rock; granite outcropping a few hundred metres from Newdegate North Rd; a Water Reserve west of Varley on Dempster Rd and McGann Rock. No plants of Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea were found during these searches.
  • Seed has been collected for a genetic study comparing Verticordia staminosa subsp. cylindracea var. cylindracea and the var. erecta. Genetic work will be conducted by CALMs Science division and 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.
  • Staff from CALMs Katanning and Narrogin Districts regularly monitor populations of the taxon. All known populations were monitored in 2002 and 2003.
  • 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 CALMs 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 taxon in the wild.

Recovery criteria

Criterion for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have increased by 10% or more over the period of the plans adoption under the EPBC Act.

Criterion for failure: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have decreased by 10% or more over the period of the plans adoption under the EPBC Act.

Recovery actions:

  1. Coordinate recovery actions
  2. Map critical habitat
  3. Formally notify land managers
  4. Conduct further surveys
  5. Achieve long-term protection of habitat
  6. Monitor populations
  7. Rabbit control
  8. Weed control if required
  9. Conduct genetic testing
  10. Promote awareness
  11. Collect seed and cutting material
  12. Develop a fire management strategy, if required in future
  13. Liaise with land managers
  14. Review the need for further recovery actions or an update to this IRP and prepare if necessary