Grass Conostylis (Conostylis misera) recovery plan
Renée Hartley and Sarah Barrett
Government of Western Australia, Department of Environment and Conservation 2008
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2008
About the plan
Scientific Name: Conostylis misera
Common Name: Grass Conostylis
Flowering Period: October to November
DEC Regions: South Coast
DEC District: Albany Work Centre
Shires: Albany, Plantagenet and Cranbrook
Recovery Team: Albany District Threatened Flora Recovery Team
Illustrations and/or further information:
Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds). (1998) Western Australia's Threatened Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; Western Australian Herbarium (1998) FloraBase - Information on the Western Australian Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. http://www.calm.wa.gov.au/science/.
Conostylis misera was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 in 1980 and is currently ranked as Vulnerable under World Conservation Union (IUCN 2001) Red List criterion C2a, due to a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and no subpopulations containing more than 1000 mature individuals. The species occurs over an area of approximately 10 hectares and has a range of 65 kilometres. Nineteen extant populations and a total of approximately 1000 plants are known. The species is ranked as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
This prostrate, spreading herb has tufted, green leaves. The sickle-shaped leaves have parallel longitudinal lines and thin hairless margins. The old leaves often remain attached to the plant, becoming blackened and twisted. The bright yellow, solitary flowers are on a stalk within 2 or 3 sheathing bracts, which taper to a point. Short, branched hairs and longer hairs cover the flowers and fruit.
Conostylis misera extends from just north of the Stirling Range to Narrikup, and across to the South Stirling area. It favours seasonally waterlogged flats of sandy loam over clay duplex soils with underlying laterite in low woodland over heath or sedge, mallee heath and heath.
Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations:
The habitat for Conostylis misera comprises the area of occupancy of important populations; areas of similar habitat surrounding important populations (these areas provide potential habitat for natural range extension and for allowing pollinators or biota essential to the continued existence of the species to move between populations); and additional occurrences of similar habitat that may contain important populations of the species or be suitable for future translocations or other recovery actions intended to create important populations. It is considered that all known habitat is critical to its survival and all populations are important populations.
Benefits to other species/ecological communities:
Conostylis misera occurs within the vicinity of a number of other threatened flora and fauna species and threatened ecological communities. Recovery actions put in place for C. misera will benefit these associated species and communities and reciprocally, actions put in place for the recovery of these species and communities will benefit C. misera.
This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity and will assist in implementing Australia's responsibilities under that Convention. Conostylis misera is not specifically listed under any international treaty and therefore this plan does not affect Australia's obligations under any other international agreements.
Role and interests of Indigenous people:
Involvement of the Indigenous community is being sought through the advice of the Department of Indigenous Affairs to determine whether there are any issues or interests identified in the plan. A search of the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register has identified that two registered sites occur in close proximity to Conostylis misera Population 24. Where no role is identified for the Indigenous community associated with this species in the development of the recovery plan, opportunities may exist through cultural interpretation and awareness of the species. Indigenous involvement in the implementation of recovery actions will be encouraged.
Populations occur on freehold, Shire of Plantagenet, City of Albany, Main Roads Department and Conservation Commission land.
Social and economic impacts:
The implementation of this recovery plan has the potential to have some minimal social and economic impact as populations are located on private property, Shire reserves, Main Roads reserves and DEC-managed land. However, recovery actions refer to continued negotiations between stakeholders with regard to these areas.
Evaluation of the Plan's Performance:
The Department Environment and Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the Albany District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (ADTFRT) will evaluate the performance of this IRP.
Completed Recovery Actions:
The following recovery actions have been implemented:
- All land managers have been notified of the location and threatened status of the species.
- Volunteers and staff from the DEC Albany Work Centre have monitored populations.
- Roadside markers have been installed at all populations where appropriate.
- Pigott and Obbens (1997) studied the degree of weed invasion at Population 1.
- Weed control was implemented at Population 1 by DEC Albany Work Centre and The Albany Wildflower Society, and Roadcare has assisted with weed control in the populations on Albany Hwy.
- The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority currently have eight cultivated specimens and 0.1g of Conostylis misera seed.
- Areas of potential habitat have been surveyed for further populations by staff of the DEC Albany Work Centre.
- Fencing materials have been purchased by DEC to exclude livestock from Population 2.
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.
Criteria for success:
The number of populations and individuals within populations remains stable or increases over the five years of the plan.
Criteria for failure:
The number of populations or the number of individuals within populations decreases over the five years of the plan.
- Coordinate recovery actions
- Monitor populations
- Collect seed
- Prioritise and implement weed control
- Implement fire management
- Liaise with stakeholders
- Conduct further surveys
- Obtain biological and ecological information
- Map habitat critical to the survival of the species
- Promote awareness and encourage involvement
- Review the IRP and assess the need for further recovery actions