Manypeaks Rush (Chordifex abortivus) recovery plan
Renée Hartley, Sandra Gilfillan 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: Chordifex abortivus
Common Name: Manypeaks Rush
Flowering Period: August to October
DEC Regions: South Coast
DEC District: Albany Work Centre
Shires: City of Albany
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/. Meney, K.A. and Pate, J.S. (Eds) (1999) Australian Rushes. Biology, Identification and Conservation of Restionaceae and Allied Families University of Western Australia Press, Australian Biological Resources Study.
Chordifex abortivus was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 in May 1991 and is currently ranked Vulnerable (VU) under World Conservation Union (IUCN 2001) Red List Criterion D2 due to its restricted area of occupancy and the small number of populations. Three populations (five subpopulations) are currently known and together total around 2.17 million plants. Two populations approximately 40 kilometres apart, together total around 2,000,000 plants over an area of 194 hectares. The species is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Chordifex abortivus is an erect, slightly spreading perennial herb to 60cm high. It has separate male and female plants. The hollow jointed culms are 1.5 to 2.5 mm in diameter and olive green. The culm sheaths are flared and the lamina is absent. They have numerous branches, with each branch divided again into branchlets and terminating in spikelets. Egg-shaped bracts with hairy tips surround the base of each stem. Male plants have egg-shaped spikelets, 4 to 5 mm long, while those of females are slightly longer, with sickle-shaped tips. Both old and new, rust red spikelets are present. The rhizomes are horizontal to erect, on the surface or buried to 1 cm deep, pale brown with prominent tufts of ginger hairs.
Chordifex abortivus is currently known from three populations approximately 40 kilometres apart in the Waychinicup area east of Albany. The species grows in sand over gravelly clay in heath or scrub with a sedge understorey. Associated species include Hakea cucullata, Banksia brownii, B. baxteri, B. coccinea, Melaleuca striata, Pericalymma ellipticum and Dasypogon bromeliifolius.
Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations:
The habitat critical to the survival of Chordifex abortivus 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. All population are considered important for the long-term recovery and survival of the species.
Benefits to other species/ecological communities:
Chordifex abortivus occurs in the same location as a population of the Critically Endangered (WA) Banksia brownii. The population is also within the known range of four threatened bird species and could potentially contain the Endangered Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis). Recovery actions put in place for C. abortivus will benefit the above threatened species and reciprocally, recovery actions for these species will benefit C. abortivus.
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. The taxon is not listed under any specific international treaty, however and therefore this IRP 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 there are no sites of Aboriginal significance at or near populations of the species covered by this IRP. 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.
Two populations are on Crown land. One population is on private property.
Social and economic impacts:
The implementation of this Interim Recovery Plan has the potential to have some minimal social and economic impact, as parts of Population 1 are located within an Unvested Crown Reserve and proposed National Park and Population 2 is in a City of Albany Reserve and Population 3 is located on private property. Recovery actions include continued liaison between all stakeholders with regard to the conservation of this species.
Evaluation of the Plan's Performance:
The Department of 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.
- Rare flora markers have been installed at two populations.
- Staff from the DEC's Albany Work Centre and volunteers have regularly monitored populations.
- Seed collections have been made by staff at DEC's Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC).
- Fire management strategies are in place.
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.
Criterion for success:
The number of populations and individuals within populations remains stable or increases over the five years of the plan.
Criterion 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.
- Implement a fire management strategy.
- Conduct further surveys.
- Undertake seed collection and ex situ propagation.
- Obtain biological and ecological information.
- Implement weed control.
- Promote awareness and encourage involvement.
- Map habitat critical to the survival of the species.
- Review the IRP and assess the need for further recovery actions.