Western Cyphanthera (Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis) recovery plan
- Scientific Name: Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis
- Common Name: Western Cyphanthera
- Family: Solanaceae
- Flowering Period: August - November
- DEC Region: Wheatbelt
- DEC District: Avon Mortlock
- Shire: Wyalkatchem
- Recovery Team: Avon Mortlock District Threatened Flora Recovery Team
The criterion for failure in the previous plan (the number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations has decreased over the term of the plan) has been met as the number of known plants in the wild population has decreased from 145 in 2000 to 66 in 2007. This is believed to have occurred due to senescence and poor recruitment resulting from a lack of suitable disturbance such as fire.
Actions carried out in the previous plan include:
- Action 2 Research into the biology and ecology. Research into population structure, soil seed bank dynamics, germination requirements and fire response has been undertaken.
Action 2 and other recovery actions included in the previous plan are ongoing and are included in this revised plan.
New recovery actions included in this plan are:
- Action 3 Liaise with relevant land owners.
- Action 11 Seek security of tenure for Subpopulation 1b.
- Action 12 Map habitat critical to the survival of Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis.
Current status: Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act, 1950 in 1997 and is currently ranked as Critically Endangered (CR) under World Conservation Union (IUCN 1994) Red List criteria B1+2e; C2b due to there being less than 250 mature individuals, severe fragmentation and the species being known from a single population with continued decline in the number of mature individuals. Main threats are road and rail maintenance, weeds, senescence and lack of suitable disturbance for germination.The subspeciesis listed as Endangered (EN) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis is currently known from a single population of 66 mature plants in DEC’s Avon Mortlock District. Ninety seven percent of plants are located on WestNet Rail Reserve (Subpopulations 1a and 1c) and three percent of plants are on private property (Subpopulation 1b).
Description: Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis is a greyish shrub to 2.5 m tall. Branches are covered in dense woolly hair that is mainly branched and non-glandular. Leaves are broadly to narrowly ovate to elliptic, almost sessile, 18 to 35 mm long, and covered in dense wooly hairs. Flowers occur in dense clusters, often forming leafy spikes with pedicels 0.5 to 2 mm long. The calyx is 4 to 7 mm long, the lower half covered in short downy hair becoming woolly above. The corolla is 5.5 to 8.5 mm long, white with purple striations, and is sparsely covered in downy hairs outside and densely covered inside, the lobes are broadly ovate and 1.3 to 1.8 mm long. The stamens are 1.3 to 2.5 mm long. The filaments are covered in non-glandular hairs at the base. The capsule is ellipsoid to ovoid, 3 to 5 mm long. The seeds are 2.8 to 3.4 mm long (Haegi 1982).
Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis differs from the more widespread Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. odgersii in having smaller corolla lobes and leaves that are 2.3 to 4 times as long as they are wide (Coates et al. 1998).
Habitat requirements: Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis grows in orange sandy soils and red-brown sandy and clayey loams in open mallee-heath.
Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important population: Given that Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis is listed as CR (WA), it is considered that all known habitat for the natural population is critical to the survival of the subspecies, and that the population is an important population. Habitat critical to the survival of C. odgersii subsp. occidentalis includes the area of occupancy of the extant population, areas of similar habitat (i.e. orange sandy soils and red-brown sandy and clayey loams in open mallee-heath) surrounding the population (this is necessary to provide habitat for pollinators and future population expansion), and additional occurrences of similar habitat that may contain the species or be suitable for future translocations.
Benefits to other species or ecological communities: Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of habitat of Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis will also improve the status of remnant associated vegetation. No other conservation listed flora species are known to occur with C. odgersii subsp. occidentalis.
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. Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis 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: According to the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register, no sites of Aboriginal significance are known at or near populations of the subspecies covered by this recovery plan. However, the involvement of the Indigenous community is currently being sought to determine whether there are any issues or interests identified in the Plan. If no role is identified for Indigenous communities in the recovery of this species, opportunities may exist through cultural interpretation and awareness of the subspecies.
The advice of the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) and Department of Indigenous Affairs is being sought to assist in the identification of potential Indigenous management responsibilities for land occupied by threatened species, or groups with a cultural connection to land that is important for the species' conservation.
Continued liaison between DEC and the Indigenous community will identify areas in which collaboration will assist implementation of recovery actions.’
Social and economic impact: The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant adverse social and economic impact. However, as Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis occurs on land managed by WestNet Rail and also on adjacent private property the protection of the subspecies may potentially affect rail maintenance and farming activities.
Affected interests: Stakeholders potentially affected by the implementation of this plan include WestNet Rail and the owners of the private property.
Evaluation of the plan’s performance: The Department of Environment and Conservation, in conjunction with the Avon Mortlock District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (AMDTFRT) 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.
Completed Recovery Actions
- Land managers including the private land owner and WestNet Rail with subpopulations on their property have been made aware of the threatened nature of this subspecies, its location and their legal obligations to protect it.
- Declared Rare Flora (DRF) markers have been installed at Subpopulations 1a and 1c.
- Fencing of Subpopulation 1a, b and part of 1c has been undertaken.
- Collections of seed have been stored at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) and DEC’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC).
- Between 1991 and 1996 surveys were conducted for Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis in the Lake Moore area.
- A translocation proposal was prepared for this subspecies in 1998.
- In 2000 research into population structure, soil seed bank dynamics, germination requirements and fire response of Cyphanthera odgersii subsp. occidentalis was undertaken.
Ongoing and future recovery actions
- The AMDTFRT is overseeing the implementation of this recovery plan and will include information on progress in their annual report to DEC’s Corporate Executive and funding bodies.
- Staff from DEC’s Avon-Mortlock District office are monitoring the single known population.
Recovery plan objective: The objective of this recovery plan is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance a viable in situ population to ensure the long-term preservation of the subspecies in the wild.
Criteria for success: The number of populations or subpopulations 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 or subpopulations has decreased and/or the number of mature individuals has decreased by ten percent or more over the term of the plan.
- Coordinate recovery actions
- Monitor population
- Liaise with land managers
- Develop and implement a fire management strategy
- Develop and implement fire and soil disturbance trials
- Promote awareness
- Collect seed
- Undertake translocation
- Weed control
- Conduct further surveys
- Seek security of tenure
- Map habitat critical to the survival of the subspecies
- Obtain biological and ecological information
- Review the plan and need for further recovery actions