National recovery plan for Zieria lasiocaulis

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2002
ISBN 0 731 36892 4

12. Recovery actions

Recovery actions will be directed towards:

  • implementing management strategies which ensure the survival of new and existing wild populations of Z. lasiocaulis;
  • research into the ecology, biology, population demographics and genetics of Z. lasiocaulis;
  • survey in potential habitat for additional populations of Z. lasiocaulis;
  • familiarising land managers with Z. lasiocaulis.
  • monitoring existing populations of Z. lasiocaulis;
  • investigating the need for establishing ex situ collections of Z. lasiocaulis;
  • community education; and
  • assessment of the need for the declaration of critical habitat for Z. lasiocaulis.

12.1 Management strategy

The application of specific management strategies suitable for the maintenance of Z. lasiocaulis is not possible given the lack of information about the biology and ecology of the species. Consequently, the 'precautionary principle' will apply, and human-induced disturbance of populations of Z. lasiocaulis are to be avoided until such time as research data are available.

Any proposed action in potential habitat of Z. lasiocaulis to be preceded by adequate survey to ensure that known and/or previously unrecorded populations of Z. lasiocaulis are not adversely affected.

Data from monitoring and research programmes will need to be used to adopt appropriate management for the maintenance of the species in the wild. This information should also provide data to assess any weed invasion, feral animal or fire impacts on Z. lasiocaulis populations.

Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines will be prepared to assist land use planners to assess the likely impacts of any proposed development on Z. lasiocaulis and its habitat. These guidelines will include survey guidelines, information on the life cycle of the species, any threatening processes and distributional and habitat information.

12.2 Familiarisation with Z. lasiocaulis

NPWS staff directly responsible for the management of Z. lasiocaulis populations and habitat will be made familiar with the species, both in the wild and as a dried specimen to assist with identification of the species. A list of features to distinguish Z. lasiocaulis from other similar species will be developed. Dried specimens are to be prepared and stored in an accessible place for land managers including State Forests of NSW (SFNSW) and the Department of Land and Water Conservation (DLWC).

A GIS layer will be developed which digitises the habitat areas of Z. lasiocaulis.

12.3 Monitoring

There is no evidence to suggest that the populations of Z. lasiocaulis have changed significantly in recent times (section 8.1). To determine whether populations of Z. lasiocaulis are declining, stable or increasing, a monitoring program will need to be maintained. Monitoring should measure recruitment, death, flowering and seed production.

Permanent plots were established in 2001 within populations and suitable habitat of Z. lasiocaulis. Measurements within plots should continue to include the number, age estimate, growth stage of individuals and dominant species present in the plots. Disturbance regimes that populations are subjected to should also be recorded.

In addition to monitoring permanent plots, individual plants should be tagged to monitor their growth and survival.

Permanent plots for monitoring to be maintained. Monitoring should be undertaken on an annual basis.

A plot monitoring proforma is provided in Appendix 1.

12.4 Ecological research

Survey

Survey of suitable habitat for Z. lasiocaulis should be carried out. Surveys should be both targeted and opportunistic: targeted for population assessment reasons and in areas that may be impacted by management actions, and opportunistically when conducting inventories in suitable habitat.

Prior to targeted surveys for Z. lasiocaulis in 1997 (NSW NPWS 1999) and 1999 (Gilmour pers obs), and the establishment of monitoring plots in 2001 (Gilmour 2001), the only information available on population sizes and localities were from herbarium labels and in Armstrong (2002). Other land management agencies such as SFNSW and DLWC will be encouraged to survey for the plant in suitable habitat.

Population ecology

The long-term survival of Z. lasiocaulis in the wild is determined by how the life history attributes of the species are affected by the management of natural ecosystems. Limited study of life history attributes of the genus Zieria has been undertaken (Armstrong 2002). Research is needed in the following areas:

  • seedling survival, plant longevity and juvenile period;
  • flowering, pollination and seed set;
  • seed-bank dynamics, particularly the time required to establish an adequate seed-bank and the effect of different disturbance regimes on the seed-bank;
  • mortality rates, particularly of seedlings after a germination event; and
  • response to fire and physical disturbances.

To enable additional flexibility, it may be useful to separate out design and implmementaion of the research program.

Genetic research

In order to conserve the genetic diversity of the species, all sites will need to be protected. An assessment of the genetic variation between and within populations of Z. lasiocaulis would only be a priority if there was a risk of extinction of any of the sites.

There is some potential to source funding for genetic research via a SPIRT grant in partnership with NPWS.

12.5 Ex situ conservation

Investigations should be made into the need to establish ex situ plants and a seed-bank of Z. lasiocaulis in appropriate locations (e.g. regional and national botanic gardens or universities). This measure would act as insurance against loss in the wild due to a catastrophic disturbance or series of disturbances.

Z. lasiocaulis plants have been propagated in the past at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra, however, a check of the living collection database for these gardens indicated that Z. lasiocaulis is no longer in cultivation there.

12.6 Community education

Maintenance of biodiversity is an important conservation issue, and the continued survival of rare plant and animal species is a critical component of the maintenance of biodiversity. It is important that the general public be made aware of the significance of threatened plants and their habitats.

A leaflet on Z. lasiocaulis suitable for distribution to the general public is to be produced, and the recovery plan publicised through the media.

12.7 Critical habitat

An assessment of the need to declare critical habitat for Z. lasiocaulis under the TSC Act will be carried out.

13. Implementation

Table 2 allocates responsibility for the implementation of recovery actions specified in this plan to NPWS for the period until this recovery plan is reviewed, and details the costs of implementing the recovery plan.

Priority is categorised as 1 (high), 2 (medium) or 3 (low).

Table 2: Implementation schedule
Section Description Responsibility for implementation Timeframe Priority Costs of implementing the recovery plan
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
12.1 Management strategy NPWS Life of plan 1 * * * * *
12.2 Familiarisation with species NPWS Year 1 1 *        
12.3 Monitoring NPWS Life of plan 1 * * * * *
12.4 Ecological research                
  Survey NPWS Year 1 2 $4000# - - - -
  Population ecology: design NPWS Year 1 1 $3000# - - - -
  Population ecology: implementation NPWS Years 1 & 2 1 $5000# $5000# $5000#    
  Genetic research NPWS Year 1 3
12.5 Ex situ conservation NPWS Year 1 2 $1000# - - - -
12.6 Community education NPWS Year 1 1 $1000# - - - -
12.7 Critical habitat NPWS Year 1 3 *        
Annual cost of implementing recovery plan $14000# $5000# $5000#    

Total cost of implementing recovery plan $24 000
* = Cost covered by agency's core responsibility
# = Subject to the availability of funding. Funding will be sought from external sources.
♦ = Not costed: action only undertaken if there is a risk of extinction of a site or if external funding becomes available.

14. Preparation details

This recovery plan was prepared by consultant botanist Phil Gilmour and updated by Dianne Brown of the NSW NPWS Threatened Species Unit, Northern Directorate.

14.1 Date of last amendment

No amendments have been made to this recovery plan to date.

14.2 Review date

This recovery plan will be reviewed within five years of the date of publication.

15. Acknowledgments

This recovery plan was prepared for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service by consultant botanist Phil Gilmour and updated by Dianne Brown of the Threatened Species Unit, NPWS Northern Directorate. The project was co-ordinated by Dianne Brown.

Peter Richards NPWS Northern Directorate helped with modelled habitat and database information. Andrew Marshall, Bryce Laut and Scott Filmer NPWS Mid North Coast Region provided helpful discussions on management issues. Katrina McKay and Shane Ruming of NPWS Northern Directorate assisted with layout and map production. Bob Makinson, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, provided information on the undescribed Astrotricha.

Robert DeVries, Carole Helman, Peter Richards and Dianne Brown assisted on field trips.

16. References

Armstrong, J. A. (2002) Zieria (Rutaceae): a systematic and evolutionary study. Australian Systematic Botany 15(3): 277-463.

Armstrong, J. A. and Harden, G. J. (2002) Zieria. In: Flora of New South Wales Volume 2. (ed G. J. Harden) pp. 277-288. NSW University Press, Kensington, NSW.

Auld, T. D., Keith, D. A. and Bradstock, R. A. (2000) Patterns in longevity of soil seedbanks in fire-prone communities of south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 48: 539-548.

Bean, A. R. (2001) A revision of Solanum brownii Dunal(Solanaceae) and its allies. Telopea 9(3): 639-661.

Briggs, J. D. and Leigh, J. H. (1996) Rare or Threatened Australian Plants. CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, Australia.

DASET (Department of the Arts, Sport, Environment and Territories) (1992) Nomination of the Central Eastern Rainforests of Australia by the Government of Australia for Inscription in the World Heritage List. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Floyd, A. G. (1990) Australian Rainforests in New South Wales. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.

Forestry Commission of New South Wales (1989) Forest Preservation in State Forests of New South Wales. Forestry Commission of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.

Gilmour, P. (2001) Population monitoring of the threatened plant species Zieria lasiocaulis. Internal report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service Threatened Species Unit, Northern Directorate.

Gomez, C. and Espadaler, X. (1998) Myrmecochorous dispersal distances: a world survey. Journal of Biogeography 25:573-580.

Harden G. J. (Ed.) (1990-93) Flora of New South Wales Volumes 1 to 4. NSW University Press, Kensington, NSW.

Harden G. J. (Ed.) (2002) Flora of New South Wales Volume 2 - revised edition. NSW University Press, Kensington, NSW.

NSW NPWS (1999) Upper and lower north-east NSW Comprehensive Regional Assessment targeted flora surveys. NSW NPWS Northern Zone, Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Olde, P. M. and Marriott, N. (1994) The Grevillea Book Volume 1. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, NSW.

Smith, J. (1989) Ant-assisted plant invasion. Australian Journal of Ecology 14 (2): 247-250.

Truyard Pty Ltd (1993) Proposed Forest Management Kempsey and Wauchope Management Areas. Environmental Impact Statement. Forestry Commission of New South Wales.

Vaughton, G. (1998) Soil seed-bank dynamics in the rare obligate seeding shrub, Grevillea barklyana (Proteaceae). Australian Journal of Ecology 23: 375-384.