Matchstick Banksia (Banksia cuneata) recovery plan
Government of Western Australia, Department of Environment and Conservation 2009
- Scientific Name: Banksia cuneata
- Common Name: Matchstick Banksia, Quairading Banksia
- Family: PROTEACEAE
- Flowering Period: September - December
- DEC Region: Wheatbelt
- DEC Districts: Great Southern and Avon-Mortlock
- Shires: Quairading, Brookton and Cuballing
- Recovery Teams: Great Southern and Avon-Mortlock District Threatened Flora Recovery Teams
- NRM Regions: Avon, South West
Current status: Banksia cuneata was declared as Rare Flora in 1982 under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and is currently ranked as Endangered (EN) under World Conservation Union (IUCN 1994) Red List criterion C2a due to there being less than 2500 mature individuals in the wild and severe fragmentation of populations which are showing a continuing decline. The main threats are weed invasion, rabbit activity, road maintenance, farming activities (including chemical drift, application of herbicides and fence maintenance), parrot damage, disease, lack of natural recruitment, salinity, rising water tables, exposure to wind, habitat degradation and inappropriate fire regimes. Banksia cuneata is listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Description: Banksia cuneata is a smooth barked shrub or small tree to 4 m high with one or more woody stems, each of which has many branches. The erect branches form an irregular, bushy crown. The species name refers to the wedge-shaped leaves that are 1 to 4 cm long and 0.5 to 1.5 cm wide and generally flat with prominent marginal teeth. Flower heads are 3 to 4 cm wide. The style is cream, turning red, with a green pollen presenter. Each fruiting cone usually has one to five follicles 17 to 21 mm long and 9 to 12 mm wide and densely covered with short, soft, matted hairs (Brown et al. 1998).
Banksia cuneata differs from the closely related B. ilicifolia in that it has smaller leaves and fruit and occurs more than 50 km further inland. The smooth bark and flowers are also a distinctive feature of B. cuneata (Brown et al. 1998).
Habitat requirements: Banksia cuneata occurs in small, localised stands of tall sclerophyllous scrub-heath or low open woodland on undulating deep yellow sands (Lamont et al. 1991; cited Burgman and Lamont 1992).
Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations: Given that Banksia cuneata is ranked as EN, it is considered that all wild and translocated populations are important populations. Habitat critical to the survival of B. cuneata includes the area of occupancy of populations, areas of similar habitat surrounding and linking populations (these providing potential habitat for population expansion and for pollinators), additional occurrences of similar habitat that may contain undiscovered populations of the species or be suitable for future translocations and the local catchment for the surface and/or groundwater that maintains the habitat of the species.
Benefits to other species or ecological communities: Several Banksia cuneata populations occur within the Priority Ecological Community ‘Banksia prionotes and Xylomelum angustifolium low woodlands on transported yellow sands’ (Priority 1). Five threatened and priority flora species - Jacksonia quairading ms (EN), Calectasia pignattiana (VU), Hemiandra coccinea (Priority 3), Conospermum eatoniae (Priority 3) and Acacia lirellata subsp. compressa (Priority 2) - will benefit from recovery actions put in place for B. cuneata.
International obligations: 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. Banksia cuneata is not listed under any specific international treaty however, and this recovery plan does not affect Australia’s obligations under any other international agreements.
Indigenous Consultation: Involvement of the Indigenous community is being sought through the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and the Badjaling Wanderers Aboriginal group to assist in the identification of cultural values for land occupied by Banksia cuneata, or groups with a cultural connection to land that is important for the species’ conservation, and 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 revealed that several plants from B. cuneata Population 2 are located on land vested with the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT). 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.
Continued liaison between DEC and the Indigenous community will identify areas in which collaboration will assist implementation of recovery actions.
Social and economic impact: As some populations of Banksia cuneata occur on, or adjacent to, private land, recovery actions could potentially affect farming activities. Where populations are located on private property, recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders with regards to these areas.
Affected interests: Stakeholders potentially affected by the implementation of this plan include the Shires of Brookton, Quairading and Cuballing, Main Roads WA, owners of private land and the Badjaling Wanderers Aboriginal group. Recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders.
Evaluation of the plan’s performance: DEC, in conjunction with the Great Southern and Avon-Mortlock District Threatened Flora Recovery Teams will evaluate the performance of this recovery plan. In addition to annual reporting on progress and evaluation against the criteria for success and failure, the plan will be reviewed following five years of implementation.
Recovery plan objective: The objective of this recovery plan is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance viable in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the species in the wild.
Criteria for success: The number of populations has increased and/or the number of mature individuals has increased by ten percent or more over the term of the plan.
Criteria for failure: The number of populations has decreased and/or the number of mature individuals has decreased by ten percent or more over the term of the plan.
Completed recovery actions
- Land owners and managers have been made aware of the threatened nature of this species, its location and their legal obligations to protect it.
- DRF markers have been installed at Populations 1, 4, 5 and 9.
- Populations 4 and 11 and Subpopulations 8a & b, and part of Population 10 have been fenced to exclude rabbits and livestock.
- A groundwater pump has been installed and a Eucalyptus plantation established at Population 8 to lower the rising water table.
- A translocation site for Banksia cuneata has been established to protect the type population.
- Re-vegetation of the translocation site (Population 13t) with local natives has been undertaken.
- Cultivated plants have been planted at the translocation site and at Populations 1, 4, 7, 8 and 10.
- Banksia cuneata has been planted on road verges within the Quairading townsite.
- Live Banksia cuneata plants are held in the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) Rare and Endangered Garden.
- Between 1996 and 2005, recruitment and seedling survival following fire was investigated at Population 6.
- Seed collections are stored with DEC’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC) and Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA).
Ongoing and future recovery actions
- Rabbit baiting is being undertaken at Populations 1, 8, 10, 12 and 13t.
- A series of bore monitoring stations have been installed at Population 7 to monitor rising groundwater levels.
- Sixty five hectares of land on a Private Property adjacent to Population 1 has been offered to DEC for the re-establishment of Banksia cuneata.
- DEC’s Great Southern and Avon-Mortlock District Recovery Teams are overseeing the implementation of this recovery plan and will include it in their annual report to DEC’s Corporate Executive and funding bodies.
- Staff from DEC’s Great Southern and Avon-Mortlock District offices are monitoring all known populations.
- Coordinate recovery actions
- Monitor populations
- Liaise with relevant land managers and Indigenous groups
- Install DRF markers
- Implement rabbit control
- Undertake weed control
- Monitor groundwater levels and salinity
- Develop and implement fire and disturbance trials
- Develop and implement a fire management strategy
- Enhance habitat
- Collect seed
- Control dieback
- Report on the post fire study
- Enhance populations
- Investigate security of tenure
- Promote awareness
- Conduct further surveys
- Obtain biological and ecological information
- Map habitat critical to the survival of Banksia cuneata
- Review this plan and assess the need for further recovery actions