National recovery plan for the Chariot Wheels (Maireana cheelii)
Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria
The Chariot Wheels Maireana cheelii is a small, tufted perennial shrub belonging to the saltbush family Chenopodiaceae. The species was once widely distributed across the inland plains of south-eastern Australia, occurring from south-western Queensland through western New South Wales to north-western Victoria. However, conversion of much of its former range to agriculture has resulted in an extensive decline in range and abundance. The species is now extinct in Queensland and northern NSW, and survives only in southern NSW and Victoria, where there are about 17 populations containing perhaps 700,000 plants. Most of these populations occur on private land or along roadsides, where they are threatened by continued degradation and destruction of habitat from weed invasion, grazing, cropping, clearing and increasing salinity.
The Chariot Wheels is listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is also listed as Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and Vulnerable under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. This national Recovery Plan for the Chariot Wheels details the species’ distribution and biology, conservation status, threats, and recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure its long-term survival.