Ozothamnus reflexifolius (Reflexed Everlasting)

Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) on Amendments to the list of Threatened Species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

1. Scientific name, common name (where appropriate), major taxon group.

Ozothamnus reflexifolius (Reflexed Everlasting).

The Reflexed Everlasting is a newly described species in the daisy family (Leeson and Rozefelds 2003).

2. Description

The Reflexed Everlasting is differentiated from other species in the Ozothamnus genus by its unique leaf characters of strong reflexed adult leaves. It is a shrub in the daisy family (Asteraceae) with slender spreading branches that grows to about 150cm high. The Reflexed Everlasting has white to yellowish hemispherical flowers with flowering and fruiting occuring from November to March.

3. National Context

The Reflexed Everlasting Daisy is endemic to Tasmania. It is a small shrub of the daisy family that is known from a single valley in the Meehan Range (Mt Direction) on Hobart's eastern shore. The species is currently known from one population estimated to be between 4000-5000 mature individuals and is restricted to an area of approximately two hectares. The extent of occurrence is estimated to be four-five hectares.

The Reflexed Everlasting has a very restricted area of occupancy (less than 20km2) and the number of locations is five or fewer. The species occurs on joint tenure (Mt Direction Conservation Area and Meehan Range Nature Recreation Area), both of which are subject to mineral exploration, grazing and trampling.

The Reflexed Everlasting is currently not listed under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

4.How judged by TSSC in relation to the EPBC Act criteria.

TSSC judges the species to be eligible for listing as vulnerable under the EPBC Act. The justification against the criteria is as follows:

Criterion 1 - Decline in numbers

There is no quantitative data available against this criterion. Therefore, the species is not eligible for listing under this criterion.

Criterion 2 - Geographic distribution

The Reflexed Everlasting is known from one small geographically restricted population on the steep slopes of Mt Direction on Hobart's eastern shore. It has a limited area of occupancy being restricted to two hectares in area. Its extent of occurrence is 4-5 hectares. While the species is geographically restricted, there is no evidence of continuing or historical population decline or of extreme population fluctuations. Though the species is located less than 600m from urban development it is considered to be protected from many threats and disturbances due to the inaccessible and rocky terrain on which the species occurs.

There is insufficient quantitative data available against this criterion. Therefore, the species is not eligible for listing under this criterion.

Criterion 3 - Population size and decline in numbers or distribution

The Reflexed Everlasting is estimated to consist of a single population of between 4000-5000 plants. There is no evidence of a decline in number or in its distribution over time.

Therefore, the species is not eligible for listing under this criterion.

Criterion 4 - Population size

It is estimated that the Reflexed Everlasting consists of one single population of between 4000-5000 plants. It has a very restricted area of occupancy (less than 20 km2), and the number of locations is fewer than five such that it is prone to the effects of human activities or stochastic events within a very short time period. The species occurs on joint tenure (Mt Direction Conservation Area and Meehan Range Nature Recreation Area), and though its occurrence is within 600m of urban development, it is considered to be protected from many threats and disturbances due to the inaccessible and rocky terrain on which the species occurs. While there is currently no direct threat to the survival of the species, the population is geographically restricted and the species may be at risk from a localised catastrophic disturbance such as frequent fire or landslide.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as vulnerable under this criterion.

Criterion 5 - Probability of extinction in the wild

There is no quantitative data available against this criterion. Therefore, the species is not eligible for listing under this criterion.

5. Conclusion

The Reflexed Everlasting is known from one population of 4000-5000 mature individuals and is restricted to an area of approximately two hectares. The extent of occurrence is estimated to be four-five hectares. As the population is geographically restricted, the species would be at risk from a localised catastrophic disturbance such as frequent fire or landslide. The species is eligible for listing as vulnerable under criterion 4.

6. Recommendation

TSSC recommends that the list referred to in section 178 of the EPBC Act be amended by including in the list in the vulnerable category:

Ozothamnus reflexifolius (Reflexed Everlasting)

Publications used to assess the nomination

Leeson, K. E. and Rozefelds, A. C. (2004) A new endemic Ozothamnus species (Asteraceae) from Tasmania, Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 16(3): 317-322.

Conservation advice

Reflexed Everlasting is a shrub in the daisy family that is endemic to Tasmania and known from one valley in the Meehan Range (the Meehan Range Nature Recreation Area, Mt Direction) on Hobart's eastern shore (South Tasmania NRM region). The species is known to occur within inaccessible and rocky terrain providing some protection from direct physical disturbance.

Key threats to the species and its habitat include: landslide and fire and to a lesser extent, physical disturbance from grazing and trampling.

The priority recovery and threat abatement actions required for this species are:

  • protect the only known population from direct physical disturbance;
  • incorporate measures for the protection of the species and its habitat in the Management Plan for the Meehan Range Nature Recreation Area.

This list does not encompass all actions that may be of benefit to this species, but highlights those that are considered to be of the highest priority at the time of listing. Longer term issues that should be considered in broader landscape, regional and or recovery planning include an appropriate fire management strategy and the feasibility and conservation benefits of establishing either an ex situ and/or additional population in the wild.

No Recovery Plan is currently in place for the Reflexed Everlasting.

Priority for the development of recovery plan: Low