Mirranie Barker and Stephen Barry
Environmental Protection Agency, Queensland
This plan is an updated version of the previous recovery plan (Barry 2000) for the endangered plant species the Isis tamarind Alectryon ramiflorus. It provides information on the biology and ecology of the species and identifies a range of recovery actions requiring implementation. It also sets out a research and monitoring program on which to base effective management decisions for the future conservation and down listing of the species from endangered to vulnerable status.
A. ramiflorus is listed as endangered under the Queensland Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 1994 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and is listed as 2E by Briggs and Leigh (1995). A. ramiflorus is known from a main population of at least 37 plants in the Cordalba Forest Reserve and from four smaller populations of one to three plants growing in roadside or riverine remnants near Childers, Queensland.
A. ramiflorus is confined to remnant araucarian microphyll vineforest growing on undulating hillslopes, gullies and alluvial terraces with red krasnozem and poorer sandy clay loam soils. As these communities are fire sensitive, their distribution is affected by fire history patterns and the presence of natural fire barriers.
The habitat of the main population at Cordalba has been protected through the gazettal of the Zillman Scientific Area. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) will manage the area to limit any threats, principally from fire and introduced species. The species is threatened by a combination of low population size, low rates of natural regeneration, restricted habitat availability and a variety of potential environmental perturbations, e.g. fire, drought stress, grazing and weed invasion. The vulnerability of the other populations to these limiting factors is exacerbated as they occur on tenures not specifically reserved for protection of biodiversity.
The primary objective of the recovery plan is to down list A. ramiflorus from endangered to vulnerable within 15 years of the recovery plan's implementation.
- To improve the conservation of in situ populations.
- To raise awareness of this species among land managers and the general public, and incorporate into land management decisions the importance of rare and threatened species.
- To conduct further species-specific surveys to ascertain whether any additional populations can be found.
- To promote the re-establishment of native vineforest including viable populations of A. ramiflorus based on sound knowledge of the species' ecology.
- To propagate more individuals of this species, ideally from as many parent plants as possible.
- To preserve the genetic resources of the species ex situ.
- To implement a research and monitoring program, including population monitoring and research into plant propagation and cultivation, comparative morphological and genetic variability, and the ecological requirements of the species.
- The conservation of in situ populations is improved though habitat protection and site management.
- Land managers and the public are well informed about A. ramiflorus and the Isis Scrub and have access to information that promotes their long-term survival through dissemination of information and organisation of community activities.
- Further species-specific surveys are conducted. All significant vineforest remnants in the region are surveyed for the presence/absence of A. ramiflorus and known populations are protected from identified threats.
- Re-establishment of at least one patch of native vineforest including a viable population of A. ramiflorus.
- Further individuals of this species are propagated and distributed to re-establishment sites, known sites and to each of the major regional botanic gardens in southeast Queensland.
- Ex situ genetic resources preserved.
- Provide secure habitat by negotiating with landholders and managers for the placement of critical habitat under a conservation agreement or protected tenure; and actively managing sites to ameliorate threatening processes (exclusion of grazing stock, implementation of an appropriate fire regime and weed control).
- Inform and involve the public and other stakeholders in the recovery of A. ramiflorus through production of publicity material, liaison with community groups and operation of the recovery team.
- Undertake further surveys of vineforest remnants in the Childers-Bundaberg-Goodnight Scrub area to locate new populations.
- Undertake controlled cultivation and propagation ensuring representation from the full genetic range and reintroduce plants into rehabilitated areas typical of the original Isis Scrub.
- Ex situ storage of seeds and genetic material representing the full genetic range.
- Determine the ecological requirements and the genetic diversity of this species and monitor populations to detect the effects of management practices.