Irwin's Conostylis (Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres) interim recovery plan 2005-2009
Interim recovery plan no.191
Alanna Chant, Gillian Stack and Val English
Department of Conservation and Land Management
Western Australian Threatened Species and Communities Unit WA, January 2005
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- Irwin's Conostylis (Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres) interim recovery plan 2005-2009 (PDF - 151 KB) | (RTF - 383 KB)
- Scientific name: Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres
- Common name: Irwin’s Conostylis
- Family: Haemodoraceae
- Flowering period: July - August
- CALM region: Midwest
- CALM district: Geraldton
- Shires: Irwin, Mullewa
- Recovery team: Geraldton District Threatened Flora Recovery Team
Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres was declared as Rare Flora in October 1996 under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. It currently meets World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List category Vulnerable (IUCN 2000) under criteria B1ab(iii), as it is only known from a total of nine populations that occur over a 30km range, with decline in quality of habitat from weed invasion in four road reserve populations. C dielsii subsp. teres is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Five relatively secure populations have been located since 1996. Four are within a Nature Reserve and one occurs within a wide (> 100m width) road reserve. The main threats to C. dielsii subsp. teres include edge effects, weeds, road, railway and firebreak maintenance, rabbits and inappropriate fire regimes.
Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres is a tufted perennial herb, that grows to about 20cm tall, and has leaves 13 to 33 cm long and less than a mm wide. The leaf bases are densely hairy, while the upper part of the leaf is less hairy. C. dielsii subsp. teres has a dense inflorescence composed of many flowers, held on a 4-10 cm long stem. The individual flower stalks are short and each cream flower, 7.5 to 10 millimetres long, is tubular for a third to a half of its length then divides into six lobes. The flowers are covered with short, densely matted hairs. The petal lobes remain on the fruit and become claw-like, touching at the apex with gaps at the bases (Brown et al. 1998).
Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres is currently known from a range of approximately 30 km, to the north east of Dongara. It is found on white, pale yellow or grey sand with lateritic gravel, in heath, open scrub, low open heath and low open woodland, in upland areas with Allocasuarina species, Banksia scabrella, Dryandra fraseri, Hibbertia hypericoides, Ecdeiocolea monostachya and Hakea species.
Critical habitat and important populations
Populations 1, 2, 4 and 5 occur on Shire road reserves, but are in reasonably good condition. Populations 3, 6, 7 and 8 occur in a Nature Reserve, are not in decline and are subject to few threats. These populations are considered to be important. The critical habitat for Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres comprises the area of occupancy of important populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of important populations; corridors of remnant vegetation that link important populations and additional occurrences of similar habitat near important populations that do not currently contain the species but may have done so in the past and may be suitable for translocations.
Benefits to other species or ecological communities
Conostylis micrantha (Vulnerable under Wildlife Conservation Act 1950; Endangered under EPBC Act) occurs in association with Populations 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of C. dielsii subsp. teres. Leucopogon marginatus (Endangered under Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and under EPBC Act) occurs in association with Populations 3, 6, 7 and 8 of C. dielsii subsp. teres. Grevillea hirtella (Priority 3) occurs in association with Populations 3, 4 and 7 of C. dielsii subsp. teres. Grevillea erinacea (Priority 3) occurs in association with Population 7 of C. dielsii subsp teres. Banksia scabrella (Priority 4) occurs in association with Populations 3 and 4 of C dielsii subsp teres. Recovery actions such as weed and rabbit control and fire management strategies will help to protect these Rare and Priority Flora as well as C. dielsii subsp. teres, and the ecological community in which the populations are located.
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 Australia’s responsibilities under that Convention. However, as Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres is not specifically listed under any international agreement, the implementation of other international environmental responsibilities is not affected by this plan.
Role and interests of indigenous people
The Aboriginal Sites Register maintained by the Department of Indigenous Affairs does not list any significant sites in the vicinity of these populations. Implementation of recovery under this plan will include consideration of the role and interests of indigenous communities in the region, and this is discussed in the recovery actions.
Social and economic impact
Populations of C. dielsii subsp. teres occur on Shire road reserves and a Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve is under the joint care, control and management of the Conservation Commission and the Tree Society. The implementation of this interim recovery plan therefore has limited potential for social or economic impact, where populations occur on lands that are not specifically managed for conservation. Laying of poison oats for rabbit control will occur after liaison with managers of nearby properties. Recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders with regard to populations on shire road reserves.
Evaluation of the plan’s performance
The Department of Conservation and Land Management will evaluate the performance of this IRP in conjunction with the Geraldton District Threatened Flora Recovery Team. 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:
- Relevant land managers have been made aware of the location and threatened status of the subspecies.
- Declared Rare Flora (DRF) markers are in place at all populations that are under threat from road maintenance activities.
- The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) currently hold a small amount of seed in their seed store.
- Propagation from seed has been trialled by BGPA on one occasion, but without success.
- Rabbit baiting was conducted at Populations 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 in 1999. Follow-up baiting was undertaken at these populations in 2000.
- Some control of grassy weeds has been undertaken at Populations 1 and 2.
- Staff from CALM’s Geraldton District and West Australian Threatened Species and Communities Unit (WATSCU) undertook surveys of suitable habitat and discovered new populations of the subspecies (Populations 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9).
- Staff from CALM’s Geraldton District implement pre-suppression fire management strategies within the Nature Reserve that contains populations 3, 6, 7 and 8 of this subspecies.
- Staff from CALM’s Geraldton District regularly monitor populations of the subspecies.
- The Geraldton District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (GDTFRT) is overseeing the implementation of this IRP.
The objective of this Interim Recovery Plan is to maintain or enhance viable in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the subspecies in the wild.
Criteria for success
The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have increased by ten percent or more over the five year period of the plan.
Criteria for failure
The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have decreased by ten percent or more over the five year period of the plan.
- Coordinate recovery actions
- Monitor populations
- Conduct further surveys
- Liaise with relevant land managers
- Map critical habitat
- Implement weed control when necessary
- Implement rabbit control as necessary
- Obtain biological and ecological information
- Obtain information of fire response
- Develop and implement a fire management strategy
- Collect seed
- Promote awareness
- Review the need for further recovery actions