Department of the Environment

Publications archive - About us | Contact us | Publications

Header imagesHeader imagesHeader images

Publications archive - Publications

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Phebalium daviesii Recovery Plan 1996 - 2004

AJJ Lynch and MWA Appleby
Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment, July 1996
ISBN 0 7246 6243 X

Download

Contents


Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge Neville & Ruth Treloggen and Jim & Chris Tetlow for their interest in the management of Phebalium daviesii and also for providing access to the George River population.

The following people are also thanked:

For their assistance and comments: Stephen Harris, Louise Gilfedder, Michael Askey-Doran, Wendy Potts, Michael Ilowski, Richard Harvey and Naomi Lawrence (Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment and Land Management).

Mark Fountain and staff at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens for the collection and propagation of P. daviesii.

The many volunteers who have contributed to the project, especially Michael Baxter.

Rene Vaillancourt (Department of Plant Science, University of Tasmania) for his contribution to the genetic analysis of P. daviesii.

Members of the Phebalium daviesii Recovery Team for their contributions to this project.

(The Treloggen family, the Tetlow family, Michael Baxter, Phil Barker - Forestry Tasmania, Darryel Binns - Ranger PWS, Kate Cramond - Endangered Species Unit, Environment Australia, Todd Dudley, Mark Fountain - Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Katrina Hopkins, Murray Luttrell - Ranger PWS, Peter McGlone - Threatened Species Network, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Trish OíLoghlen - Endangered Species Unit, Environment Australia, Rene Vaillancourt - University of Tasmania).

Will Fletcher from the nursery, ëPlants of Tasmaniaí.

Front cover illustration by Wendy Potts.

Endangered Species Unit Project Number 533. Funded by the Endangered Species Program, a program of the Natural Heritage Trust, and administered by the Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. The views expressed are those of the authors.

Citation: Lynch, A.J.J. and Appleby M.W.A. (1996) Phebalium daviesii Recovery Plan 1996-2004. Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Hobart.

Copyright © The Director, Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, GPO Box 44A, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001.

Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means without permission of the Director, Parks and Wildlife Service.

SUMMARY

Current Species Status

Phebalium daviesii was classified as extinct prior to 1990 (Briggs & Leigh 1988) however, 51 plants are now known to exist (July 1996). These plants occur as one population on the George River (NE Tasmania), and are dispersed over a distance of 400 metres. The population is divided into two sub-populations, approximately 200 metres apart on opposite sides of the river. Phebalium daviesii scored the highest priority for ex situ conservation in an iterative scoring applied to nationally threatened Tasmanian plants (Harris & Gilfedder 1992). Early collections of P. daviesii were made from Constable Creek which is also located near St. Helens. It is endangered by extinction in the wild state and is currently classified as Critically Endangered (IUCN 1994) and Eeu (not reserved and likely to become extinct if present trends continue; ANZECC 1993, Lynch 1994a, FAC 1994).

Habitat Requirements and Limiting Factors

The extant site consists of riparian vegetation with moderately steep easterly and northerly slopes of coarse, sandy soil and exposed granite boulders. The extant site is located on two private properties, and the species is unreserved. The plants are threatened by cattle grazing and trampling, at risk of fire and flood, unprotected from vegetation clearance, and unprotected from collectors. The root-rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi is a potential threat to highly susceptible species such as Phebalium daviesii (Barker 1994).

Overall Objective

Prevention of extinction. Down-listing of the species' conservation status by 2005 from its present status of Critically Endangered to Endangered (IUCN 1994). Downlisting should be possible with the re-introduction of three additional self-supporting and self-sustaining populations, each containing at least 250 individuals.

Specific Objectives

Recovery Criteria

Recovery Actions

A Recovery Team comprising representatives from PWS, Forestry Tasmania, ANCA and other organisations and individuals will be appointed to co-ordinate and supervise these actions:

Total Estimated Cost of Recovery

Actions

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Total

1.1

1 758.6

               

1 758.6

1.2

                   

2.1

15 823.6

               

15 823.6

2.2.1

5 180.7

               

5 180.7

2.2.2

10 517.1

               

10 517.1

2.2.3

                   

2.2.4

4 373.2

4 092.6

1 551.5

1 629.0

1 710.5

1 796.0

1 885.8

1 980.1

2 079.1

21 097.8

2.2.5

                   

3.1.1

3 100.0

               

3 100.0

3.1.2

1 666.3

               

1 666.3

3.1.3

                   

3.2

3 956.3

               

3 956.3

3.3

                   

Total

46 375.8

4 092.6

1 551.5

1 629.0

1 710.5

1 796.0

1 885.8

1 980.1

2 079.1

63 100.4

Biodiversity Benefits

Phebalium daviesii is a species of special scientific interest because of its close relationships with mainland congeners and the consequent biogeographical inferences on plant distributions and migrations. Species of Phebalium are noted for the oils in their leaves, which may prove to be of economic or medicinal importance. The management of P. daviesii sites would also help protect the co-occurring rare species Hovea corrickiae (r1 - distribution does not exceed 100 km. x 100 km).


INTRODUCTION

Phebalium daviesii is a member of the family Rutaceae, part of the autochthonian or palaeoaustralian element of the Australian flora (Smith-White 1954). The Rutaceae are characteristic of sclerophyll and heath formations in areas of low nutrient, acidic soils and low, unreliable rainfall, and show a high degree of xeromorphic adaptation (Smith-White 1959). The genus Phebalium is part of the tribe Boronieae, the largest of the six Australian Rutaceae tribes, and the one with the highest level of infrageneric diversity and species endemism (Armstrong 1983, 1989). All 40 species of Phebalium are confined to Australia except for one species in New Zealand (Curtis & Morris 1975). In Tasmania, there are five species of Phebalium, with P. daviesii endemic to north-eastern Tasmania. However, P. daviesii is most closely related to the mainland species P. squamulosum and P. glandulosum (Wilson 1970, Curtis & Morris 1975).

Description of Species

Phebalium daviesii is a medium-sized shrub, usually 1-2 m tall. It is slender with fine, linear-cuneate leaves, of 2-3 cm length, a two-lobed apex, silvery lower surface, and upper surface with a row of glands along each side (Curtis & Morris 1975). The pale yellow flowers occur in umbels of 5-8 at the terminus of the branches (Lynch 1994a). The flowers have symmetrical five-lobed calyces, and are hermaphrodite (Armstrong 1979).

Distribution

Early collections of Phebalium daviesii were from 'near St. Helen's Bay' by R.H. Davies, Georges Bay by A. Simson (1876), and Constable Creek by L. Rodway (1892). In 1990 and 1993, P. daviesii was located on the George River, north-east of St. Helens. The early collections may have been from both Constable Creek and the George River, since Davies was a grazier on the lower reaches of the George River, below the currently known site (A.M. Buchanan, pers. comm.). The extant population on the George River consists of two (formerly five) adult plants on the western bank of the river and 49 plants c. 200 m upstream on the northern bank of the river (July, 1996). Recent searches along Constable Creek have not relocated the species (A.M. Buchanan, D. Binns, pers. comm.).

Habitat

The George River site is sheltered by the steep slopes of the narrow river valley. The 51 Phebalium daviesii are situated within 15 metres of the river-bank and less than three metres vertically above the water-line; well within the flood-zone of the river. The soils are coarse, well-drained granitic sands with exposed granite boulders. The site is dominated by riparian Eucalyptus viminalis woodland with an understorey dominated by heath and wet sclerophyll species, such as Allocasuarina, Pomaderris, Zieria, Micrantheum and Leptospermum. The area was burnt in about 1969 with a more recent fire in about 1983 (Lynch 1994a). The later firing initiated regeneration of Allocasuarina and probably also of Hovea, Acacia, Micrantheum and Phebalium (Lynch 1994a). Fire initiated regeneration of Phebalium in 1983 is supported by extrapolation of the growth rate of cuttings to the stem diameters of the in situ plants (Lynch 1994a).

The precise location and environmental conditions of the Constable Creek site are unknown. However, its past location may be indicated by the presence of Hovea corrickiae on Constable Creek since this species co-occurs with P. daviesii on the George River. This section of Constable Creek is similarly underlain by granite (Davies & Nielson 1987), and has a moderate rainfall of 750-1000 mm p.a. (Pinkard 1980).

Life History and Ecology

Phenology

Phebalium daviesii flowers annually, between late September and mid January with fruit developing from January to February. The floral morphology of Phebalium is consistent with that of outcrossing species (Dafni 1992) with self-incompatible flowers, that is, incapable of self-pollination (Armstrong 1979). Phebalium flowers are adapted to pollination by non-specialised bees and flies, Lepidoptera (Dafni 1992), beetles and birds (Armstrong 1979). However, no pollination vectors have been observed on P. daviesii (Lynch 1994a).

Seed dispersal

Dispersal of Phebalium seed may occur via autonomous self-dispersal using an ejectile mechanism, or by transport by ants or water. The seed of P. daviesii is very small, and a relatively high proportion of viable seeds float (Lynch 1994a).

Seed bank

Large amounts of seed are produced by Phebalium daviesii. Seed has been isolated from the soil-stored seed bank 4-5 months after fruit dehiscence, however, only in low numbers (Lynch 1994a). Predation by ants and redistribution by washing downslope may account for much of the seed (Lynch 1994a). The long-term presence of P. daviesii seed in the seed bank and their long-term viability are not known. Other Rutaceae seed tested have a low to moderate level of viability (McIntyre & Veitch 1972, Jusaitis 1993, Paynter & Dixon 1990), and may also suffer a natural attrition with storage (Paynter & Dixon 1990). The estimated age of plants at the George River site of 12 years old accords with the fire history of the site, and suggests that P. daviesii may regenerate from the soil seed bank after fire. However, the population may also re-establish from a fire-protected seed source farther upstream, although no such populations have been located.

Propagation

Seed of Phebalium daviesii has both physical and chemical dormancy, and requires scarification combined with leaching, cold stratification or addition of gibberellic acids (GA) (Lynch 1994a). Addition of gibberellin was the most effective treatment tested (Lynch unpublished data). Even so, only a very few GA treated seeds progressed to greening of the cotyledons and extension of the radical (Lynch 1994a). Other rare or threatened species of Phebalium in South Australia have also proven difficult to germinate (Jusaitis 1991), and required scarification and GA treatment (Jusaitis pers. comm., Jusaitis 1993). Phebalium daviesii germinants are fragile and display poor vigour (Lynch 1994a). The low vigour and low seed viability may be related to the species' high level of inbreeding. Similarly slow growth rates have been found in seedlings of the endangered South Australian species P. equestre (Jusaitis 1993).

Despite difficulties in the vegetative propagation of many species of Rutaceae (Armstrong 1989, Jusaitis 1991), considerable success has been gained with Phebalium (Lynch 1994a). High strike rates have been achieved with P. daviesii and moderate to high rates with the Victorian species P. glandulosum, P. bullatum and P. bilobum (Lynch 1994a).

Genetic Diversity

An analysis of genetic variation in Phebalium daviesii (Lynch & Vaillancourt 1995) found that all plants tested (30 plants) were individual genomes. The study also determined that plants on the eastern and western banks of the George River are not differentiated as separate populations, despite the interval of 200 m between them, and that the plants should be considered to comprise a single population.

The genetic diversity of Phebalium daviesii is high for such a rare species (Lynch & Vaillancourt 1995). The level of inbreeding in P. daviesii is similar to that in its widespread relatives P. squamulosum spp. squamulosum and P. glandulosum spp. glandulosum, indicating that P. daviesii does not suffer from inbreeding due to rarity (Lynch & Vaillancourt 1995). Its level of genetic diversity is higher than the average for 52 endemic species tested (Hamrick and Godt 1989 in Lynch & Vaillancourt 1995). The genetic diversity of P. daviesii is similar to other rare Australian taxa, despite its extreme rarity (Lynch & Vaillancourt 1995).

Reasons for Listing

Phebalium daviesii is endangered by extinction in the wild state because of its extreme rarity (only 44 adult plants and 7 seedlings at the extant site), the vulnerability of the species to the root-rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi (Barker 1994), and because of the threats to the extant population. The extant population occurs on land of private freehold tenure. The area is grazed by cattle and subject to the associated disturbance from breakage, trampling, nutrient imbalances and compaction of soil. The population is unprotected from land or vegetation clearance for agriculture or housing, unprotected from collectors, and at risk of fire and Phytophthora being spread by public access to the area. The species is likely to become extinct in the wild if current circumstances continue. Phebalium daviesii scored the highest priority for ex situ conservation in an iterative scoring procedure applied to nationally threatened Tasmanian plants (Harris & Gilfedder 1992).

Phebalium daviesii is a species of special scientific interest with regard to the biogeography of south-eastern Australia. Many species of Phebalium currently exist in small, localised populations with patchy or disjunct distributions. P. daviesii is an extreme example of this, being restricted to one riparian location in north-eastern Tasmania and it is highly disjunct from its most closely related congeners in East Gippsland.

Species of Phebalium are noted for the oils in their leaves, and those of P. daviesii may prove to be of economic or medicinal importance.

Existing Conservation Measures

Phebalium daviesii does not occur in a secure state reserve (FAC 1994). The two landholders on whose property the species occurs are keen to help protect P. daviesii and allow the Parks & Wildlife Service to work on their property. Short-term measures to protect P. daviesii have been discussed with both landholders. The options for the long-term management of the population have not been discussed in detail with the landholders. These options will be discussed as soon as it is practical and prudent to do so.

Currently, 250 propagated plants of P. daviesii are held ex situ by the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, the Forestry Tasmania Nursery and several private nurseries. Vegetative propagation has proven to be quite successful with this species, with strike rates of up to 76% being achieved (Lynch 1994a). In comparison, seed has been induced to germinate but very few of the seedlings developed beyond emergence of the radicle (Lynch 1994a). However, propagation using outcrossed seed is the most efficient means of rapidly increasing the effective population size of the species rather than producing populations of identical individuals. No collections of seed are currently held by the aforementioned institutions or by the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Strategy for Recovery

A high priority is a long-term and binding agreement on the protection of Phebalium daviesii with the private landholders on whose property the species occurs. Discussions have been initiated with both landholders on a mutually acceptable means of protection for the sites. The methods to preserve the species in situ have been discussed. Neither landholder has any plan to clear or burn the native vegetation surrounding the population. The effects of grazing or trampling by domestic stock were discussed with Mr. Treloggen and it was agreed that the narrow section of native vegetation around the two remaining plants on his property would be fenced right down to the river to exclude domestic stock. The plants on the Tetlowís property are currently unaffected by domestic stock. However, there is a need to discuss binding agreements prior to any future sale or subdivision of this land to guarantee the ongoing protection of the vegetation at the extant site.

In addition, at least three ex situ stands of P. daviesii should be established as a safeguard against chance destruction of the original population. It is highly desirable that these populations include all individuals found in the existing site in order to conserve all the genetic variation inherent in P. daviesii. Therefore, all living P. daviesii plants should be propagated vegetatively and be used to set up the ex situ populations. At all the ex situ sites there should be a minimum of five clones of each adult plant from the extant site (R. Vaillancourt pers. comm.). The clones should be planted at favourable sites in even proportions and dispersed across the ex situ stands in a statistically valid design.

Large stands of clones producing seed of low viability and with poor fitness would not necessarily increase the long-term viability of the species given that the effective population size of the species is not increased until the plants reproduce sexually. It is important that the long-term viability of the species in the wild should not be measured by the successful establishment of ex situ plantations but by the ability of the plantations to successfully regenerate and produce new individuals through sexual reproduction. Ex situ programs can only be considered successful if the result is a self-sustaining population (Cropper 1993). It is, therefore, imperative that propagation from seed be further investigated. Aspects to be determined include the self-compatibility of P. daviesii flowers, the identity and effectiveness of its pollinator, and also techniques to improve seed germination and survival success.

The conservation stands should preferably be located on Crown Land to avoid any future problems which may occur with changes in land tenure. They should be in similar environments to the extant population and be located within the known past distribution of the species. They should also not adversely affect any existing populations of other significant species, for example, Hovea corrickiae (Cropper 1993). Location of suitable sites for establishment of these populations will, therefore, require survey of the higher reaches of river systems in the area (George River, Constable Creek, Scamander River and Avenue River). Once identified, the sites will require preparation and on-going maintenance and monitoring until the plants are well established. Interactive management may also be required to water the plants, control weeds, or prevent browsing.

A public awareness programme to highlight the plight of the endangered species should be initiated in the St. Helens area. ëAdoptioní of Phebalium daviesii as the local floral emblem by the community could also aid its long-term survival. The local community could help plant, monitor and manage the ex situ populations, especially during the critical phase in the first year after planting.


RECOVERY OBJECTIVES AND CRITERIA

The prime objectives of this Recovery Plan (Management Phase) are to prevent the extinction of this extremely rare and endangered species and to preserve the genetic diversity inherent within the species to enable the long-term viability of the species in the wild. This will enable downlisting the conservation status of the species from endangered to vulnerable or rare. To achieve this, the following specific objectives need to be achieved:

The achievement of these objectives will be measured against the following criteria:


RECOVERY ACTIONS

This section describes the actions required to satisfy the criteria, including estimated cost and duration of each action.

1. Local Community Involvement

1.1 Public awareness program

Ultimate responsibility for the long-term conservation of the species resides with the Parks and Wildlife Service. However, the local community will play a significant role in the long-term management of the extant and ex situ populations. A Phebalium daviesii Recovery Team will be convened at the beginning of the implementation of this plan. It will consist of representatives from the Parks and Wildlife Service, the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, the University of Tasmania, the two landholders of the extant population site, the Break Oí Day Council, as well as representatives from other local groups (Landcare, schools) and individuals.

A public awareness program will be initiated through local organisations such as the St. Helens Landcare Group, local schools and the Break Oí Day Council as well as the Society for Growing Australian Plants and the Tasmanian Field Naturalists. Members of the recovery team will disseminate information about the threats, ecology and biology of the species and how groups and individuals can help in the recovery process. The ëadoptioní of P. daviesii as the local floral emblem by the Break Oí Day Council will help raise the profile of this and other rare species in the region. An ex situ plantation will be planted within or close to the township of St. Helens (see action 2.2.2) to raise the profile of P. daviesii in the local population.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

1 758.6

 

1 758.6

1.2 Public involvement in plantations

This action includes involving local groups and individuals in the establishment and monitoring of the ex situ populations and searching for extant populations. It is hoped that the public awareness program will generate sufficient enthusiasm in the community that people will help in the recovery process. Part of the public awareness program will be to inform the public how they can assist in the recovery of P. daviesii. The general public could help plant, monitor or manage the ex situ populations or help in the search for additional extant populations. The cost involved in this action is negligible and will be covered by 1.1.

2. Increase Number and Range

2.1 Reproductive biology research

Further research on the reproductive biology and propagation of Phebalium daviesii is necessary. Propagation of outcrossed seed is highly desirable to facilitate an increase in the effective population size of the species. The use of cuttings (clones) is not considered to increase the effective population size. Aspects to be researched in more detail include the self-compatibility of P. daviesii flowers, the identity and effectiveness of its pollinator, and techniques to improve seed germination, seed viability and seedling survival rates. The investigations will be conducted by the Parks and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens and University of Tasmania.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

15 823.6

 

15 823.6

2.2 Establishment and maintenance of
three ex situ populations

2.2.1 Propagation P. daviesii

Cuttings from all extant adult plants will be collected and propagated. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens will be responsible for the propagation of the clones. For three conservation stands with 5 clones of each adult plant, at least 15 cuttings from each of the extant P. daviesii need to be struck. This number will be reduced if plants can be grown successfully from seed (action 2.2.1). Vegetative propagation is more expensive than propagation from seed, therefore, the propagation cost per plant is based on the cost for vegetative propagation.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

5 180.7

 

5 180.7

2.2.2 Plant P. daviesii at three ex situ sites

The higher reaches of the George and Scamander Rivers and Constable Creek, and some tributary creeks need to be surveyed for sites suitable for the establishment of three ex situ conservation stands of Phebalium daviesii. The sites should be of similar habitat (vegetation and soil type) to the extant stand and, if possible, on Crown land. One of the sites will be located near the township of St. Helens where the plants can be monitored more frequently and used for educational purposes.

Establishment of the three ex situ plantings will require preparation of the site (weed removal, digging), planting of approximately 225 seedlings, fertilising and watering, and plastic tree guards to exclude potential grazers. The location of every P. daviesii will be mapped at the three populations. An identification tag will be attached to each plant which also identifies the individual from which it was cloned.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

10 517.1

 

10 517.1

2.2.3 Protect ex situ sites from threats

Phebalium daviesii is highly susceptible to the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi (Barker 1994), so it is vital that action should be taken to prevent the fungus from entering the areas designated for the ex situ populations. Disturbance of the riparian vegetation, in particular the overstorey species, should be kept to a minimum in order to maintain low soil temperatures which can act to suppress Phytophthora cinnamomi (Barker 1994). The chance of P. cinnamomi surviving in this riparian environment is small, however, as a precaution, all people entering these areas will be required to wash their boots etc. and equipment in a solution of ABF-42 (a powerful disinfectant/fungicide) prior to entering the native vegetation surrounding these populations. Parks & Wildlife Service, St. Helens will be given a portable washdown kit with ABF-42 and will be asked to ensure that everyone visiting the ex situ sites uses the disinfectant. A record of visitors to these sites will also be kept at PWS, St. Helens.

Fuel levels and fire-risk will be assessed yearly and fuel reduction burning will be implemented if necessary. Invasion by weeds will also be monitored. Weeds will be removed where a potential adverse impact is perceived. The effectiveness of the herbivore guards will be monitored and more substantial fencing constructed if necessary. The remote location of two of the three sites on Crown Land should exclude the threat of damage by domestic stock. The site near or within St. Helens will be selected so that all these threats are also minimised. The Threatened Species Botanist at PWS should be consulted prior to any maintenance that could itself threaten the P. daviesii population (e.g. fuel reduction fires etc). The cost involved in this action is negligible. The cost of visiting the sites to assess the threats and damage will be covered by 2.2.4.

2.2.4 Monitor progress of individuals

Permanent quadrats will be established at the three ex situ populations to monitor the population dynamics of P. daviesii. Aspects of demography will be recorded, including recruitment, mortality, flower production and seed production. Each P. daviesii will be tagged, its location mapped and its health monitored. The effectiveness of current management practices will be assessed and altered if necessary. The ex situ populations should be monitored weekly for the first month, monthly for the next nine months, then quarterly for the next nine years. The quadrats will be established and monitored by the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Year

Yr 1

Yr 2

Yr 3

Yr 4

Yr 5

Yr 6

Yr 7

Yr 8

Yr 9

Total

Cost

4 373.2

4 092.6

1 551.5

1 629.0

1 710.5

1 796.0

1 885.8

1 980.1

2 079.1

21 079.8

2.2.5 Maintain numbers at ex situ sites

At each site, we hope to maintain at least the five clones of each adult P. daviesii to preserve at least the current level of genetic diversity. Any individuals that die will be replaced by either a clone of the same adult or by an individual germinated from seed. Each P. daviesii will be tagged when planted to ensure that the correct clone is replanted. The cost of this action is negligible and the cost of replanting will be covered by 2.2.4.

3. Preserve and Search for Populations

3.1 Protection of extant population

3.1.1 Protect extant site from threats

The extant population of Phebalium daviesii is endangered by a number of threats; weeds trampling by stock, fire, vegetation clearance, flood and Phytophthora cinnamomi. All issues regarding the management of the extant population will be discussed with the landholders prior to any action.

Fuel levels and fire-risk will be assessed and fuel reduction burning will be implemented if necessary. Invasion by weeds will also be monitored and removed where necessary. The Threatened Species Botanist at PWS should be consulted prior to any maintenance that could itself threaten the P. daviesii population (e.g. fuel reduction fires, herbicides etc).

Where domestic stock have access to the sub-population on the western bank of the George River, the stock have trampled some of the plants and compacted the soil. The landholder has agreed to the construction of a fence around all the native vegetation surrounding that sub-population. The fence will be constructed to minimise the chance it being destroyed in a flood (a common occurrence on the George River). There is no current need to fence the sub-population on the eastern bank of the river as there are no stock and it is unlikely that this area will be farmed.

Since P. daviesii is highly susceptible to the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi (Barker 1994), it is advisable that action should be taken to prevent the fungus from entering the area around the extant population. Disturbance of the riparian vegetation, in particular the overstorey species, should be kept to a minimum in order to maintain low soil temperatures which can act to suppress Phytophthora cinnamomi (Barker 1994). The chance of P. cinnamomi surviving in this riparian environment is small, however, as a precaution, all people entering this area will be required to wash their boots etc. and equipment in a solution of ABF-42 (a powerful disinfectant/fungicide) prior to entering the vegetation surrounding this population. Parks & Wildlife Service, St. Helens will be given a portable washdown kit with ABF-42 and will be asked to ensure that everyone visiting the extant site uses the disinfectant. A record of visitors to the site will also be kept at PWS, St. Helens.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

3 100.0

 

3 100.0

3.1.2 Co-operative management of site

While the extant population has survived under the current management regime, formal protection of the population is needed so that the site is protected under all subsequent landholders. The following options to protect the site under legislation are available to the landholders:

a) Private wildlife sanctuary: The land can be proclaimed a private wildlife sanctuary under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1970). This requires consent of the landholder and evaluation of the land's conservation value by the Parks and Wildlife Service. Status as a wildlife sanctuary restricts the activities of the public within the area to enforceable conservation area regulations. It does not restrict the activities of the landholder. The property is registered as a wildlife sanctuary on the property title and this remains in place even if the property is sold. Revocation requires the agreement of both the landholder and the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1970).

b) Management plan: A plan of management can be written by the Parks and Wildlife Service in close conjunction with the landholder or vice versa for private land formalised under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1970) as a private wildlife sanctuary. Formal approval of the plan requires the landholders consent. The plan provides extra management guidance if required and creates binding management agreements on the land title and subsequent landholders.

c) Conservation covenant: A conservation covenant is a voluntary covenant by the landholder under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1970) as amended by the Public Land (Administration and Forests) Act (1991). The covenant is binding on the property title and can only be varied or revoked by the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1970) with the consent, or at the request, of the landholder if the land no longer fulfils the purpose for which the covenant was declared. The covenant can contain management prescriptions and can be used specifically to protect species of plant or animal occurring on the land.

d) Bequeathment or donation of land: Land may be donated or bequeathed to the Parks and Wildlife Service specifically for the purpose of conservation. The landholder generally requires the land to be made a nature reserve as one of the conditions of transfer.

It is highly desirable that the land be managed specifically for the conservation of Phebalium daviesii. While the current landholders may have no plans to develop or clear the area where the species occurs, future landholders may wish to alter the management of the area. To protect the population from such a change in management, the most desirable option which retains ownership with the landholders is a conservation covenant. No cost would be incurred by the landholders if they request this option.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

1 666.3

 

1 666.3

3.1.3 Monitor progress of individuals

Permanent quadrats will be established at the extant population to monitor the population dynamics. The quadrats will be established and monitored by the Parks and Wildlife Service. Every individual P. daviesii will be tagged and its health monitored. Aspects of the demography of P. daviesii will be recorded, including recruitment and mortality. The effectiveness of current management practices will be assessed. The cost of the setting up permanent quadrats and ongoing monitoring and maintenance will be covered by 2.2.5.

3.2 Plant additional P. daviesii at site

Since the George River site is the only extant population, it is important to maintain and increase the population size at this site. Five clones of each adult plant will be planted at the extant site, though this number will be reduced if plants can be grown successfully from seed. At least 5 cuttings from each of the extant P. daviesii need to be struck. These additional P. daviesii will be monitored as part of 3.1.3.

Year

Yr 1

Yrs 2-9

Total

Cost

3 956.3

 

3 956.3

3.3 Search for new populations

The search for additional extant population(s) in the St. Helens region will be done in conjunction with the survey for sites for the ex situ conservation stands (action 2.2.3). This search will focus on areas of similar vegetation and soil type to the extant population and will not cover areas searched by Lynch (1994a). The cost involved in this action is negligible and will be covered by 2.2.2.

IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE


Task

Task Description

Priority

Feasibility

Yr 1

Yr 2

Yr 3

Yr 4

Yr 5

Yr 6

Yr 7

Yr 8

Yr 9

Total

1

Local Community Involvement

                       

1.1

Public awareness program

2

100%

1 758.6

               

1 758.6

1.2

Public involvement in plantations

2

75%

                   

2

Increase Number and Range

                       

2.1

Reproductive biology research

2

75%

15 823.6

               

15 823.6

2.2.1

Propagation of P. daviesii

1

100%

5 180.7

               

5 180.7

2.2.2

Plant P. daviesii at three ex situ sites

1

75%

10 517.1

               

10 517.1

2.2.3

Protect ex sit sites from threats

1

75%

                   

2.2.4

Monitor progress of individuals

2

100%

4 373.2

4 092.6

1 551.5

1 629.0

1 710.5

1 796.0

1 885.8

1 980.1

2 079.1

21 097.8

2.2.5

Maintain numbers at ex situ sites

1

75%

                   

3

Preserve and Search for Populations

                       

3.1.1

Protect extant site from threats

1

75%

3 100.0

               

3 100.0

3.1.2

Co-operative management of site

2

50%

1 666.3

               

1 666.3

3.1.3

Monitor progress of individuals

2

100%

                   

3.2

Plant additional P. daviesii at site

1

100%

3 956.3

               

3 956.3

3.3

Search for new populations

2

100%

                   

Total

     

46 375.8

4 092.6

1 551.5

1 629.0

1 710.5

1 796.0

1 885.8

1 980.1

2 079.1

63 100.4


BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANZECC (Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council) 1993 Threatened Australian Flora. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Endangered Flora Network. ANCA, Canberra.

Armstrong, J.A. 1979 Biotic pollination mechanisms in the Australian flora - a review. New Zealand Journal of Botany 17: 467-508.

Armstrong, J.A. 1983 Rutaceae. In Morley, B.D. & Toelken, H.R. (Eds.), pp. 194-198. Flowering Plants in Australia. Rigby, Adelaide.

Armstrong, J.A. 1989 Australian Rutaceae - horticultural potential and problems. In W.A. Department of Agriculture, pp. 1-9. The Production and Marketing of Australian Flora. Proceedings of a conference, July 1989, University of W.A.

Barker, P. 1994 Phytophthora cinnamomi: The Susceptibility and Management of Selected Tasmanian Rare Species. Forestry Tasmania & Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

Briggs J.D. & Leigh J.H. 1988 Rare or Threatened Australian Plants. Special Publication No. 14. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra.

Cropper, S.C. 1993 Management of Endangered Plants. CSIRO, East Melbourne.

Curtis, W.M. & Morris, D.I. 1975 The Student's Flora of Tasmania. Part 1 (Second Edition). Government Printer, Tasmania.

Dafni, A. 1992 Pollination Ecology: a practical approach. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Davies, J.B. & Nielson, W.A. 1987 Granite Soils in State Forests - N.E. Tasmania. A Reconnaissance Survey with Particular Reference to Erosion Problems Associated with Forestry Operations. Unpublished report to the Forestry Commission, Tasmania.

FAC (Flora Advisory Committee) 1994 Native Higher Plant Taxa which are Rare or Threatened in Tasmania. Edition 1. Species At Risk, Tasmania - Flora. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

Hamrick, J.L. & Godt, M.J.W. 1989 Allozyme diversity in plant species. In Brown, A.H.D., Clegg, M.T., Kahler, A.L. & Weir, B.S. (Eds.), pp. 43-63. Plant Population Genetics, Breeding and Genetic Resources. Sinauer, Sunderland, CA.

Harris, S. & Gilfedder, L. 1992 Ex situ flora conservation in Tasmania - a State-wide summary and a proposed strategy. In Butler, G., Meredith, L. & Richardson, M. (Eds.), pp. 89-106. Conservation of Rare or Threatened Plants in Australasia. Proceedings of a conference: 'Protective Custody? - Ex situ Plant Conservation in Australasia', March 1991. ANBG & ANPWS, Canberra.

IUCN Species Survival Commission 1994 IUCN Red List Categories (as approved by the 40th meeting of the IUCN Council Gland, Switzerland).

Jusaitis, M. 1991 Micropropagation of endangered Phebalium (Rutaceae) species in South Australia. Botanic Gardens Micropropagation News 1(4): 43-45.

Jusaitis, M. 1993 Conservation Studies on Four Endangered Plants from Kangaroo Island, South Australia. ANPWS Endangered Species Program Project No. 17. Black Hill Flora Centre, Athelstone.

Lynch, A.J.J. 1994a Aspects of the Conservation Biology and Population Genetics of Phebalium daviesii Hook.f. Davies Wax-flower. Wildlife Report 94/1. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

Lynch, A.J.J. 1994b Conservation Biology and Management of 16 Rare or Threatened FABACEAE Species in Tasmania. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Lynch, A.J.J. & Vaillancourt, R.E. 1995 Genetic diversity in the endangered Phebalium daviesii (Rutaceae) compared to two widespread congeners. Australian Journal of Botany 43(2): 181-191.

McIntyre, D.K. & Veitch, G.J. 1972 The germination of Eriostemon australasius Pers. subsp. australasius (syn. E. lanceolatus Gaertner f.) without fire. Australian Plants 6(50): 256-259.

Paynter, B.H. & Dixon, K.W. 1990 Seed viability and embryo decline in Geleznowia verrucosa Turcz. (Rutaceae). Scientia Horticulturae 45: 149-157.

Pinkard, G.J. 1980 Land Systems of Tasmania, Region 4. Department of Agriculture, Tasmania.

Smith-White, S. 1954 Chromosome numbers in the Boronieae (Rutaceae) and their bearing on the evolutionary development of the tribe in the Australian flora. Australian Journal of Botany 2(3): 287-303.

Smith-White, S. 1959 Cytological evolution in the Australian flora. Cold. Spring Harb. Sympt. Quant. Biol. 24: 273-289.

Wilson, P.G. 1970 A taxonomic revision of the genera Crowea, Eriostemon and Phebalium (Rutaceae). Nuytsia 1(1). Bulletin of the Western Australian Herbarium. Department of Agriculture of W.A.

Cover page

Before you download

Some documents are available as PDF files. You will need a PDF reader to view PDF files.
List of PDF readers 

If you are unable to access a publication, please contact us to organise a suitable alternative format.