National recovery plan for the Wyalkatchem Foxglove (Pityrodia scabra)
Department of Environment and Conservation, Species and Communities Branch (SCB), Kensington
- National recovery plan for the Wyalkatchem Foxglove (Pityrodia scabra) (PDF - 211 KB) | (RTF - 2 MB)
- Scientific Name: Pityrodia scabra
- Common Name: Wyalkatchem Foxglove
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Flowering Period: October to November
- DEC Region: Wheatbelt
- DEC District: Avon-Mortlock District
- Shire: Wyalkatchem
- Recovery Team: Avon-Mortlock District Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team (AMDTFCRT)
Illustrations and/or further information:
Atkins, K. (1992) Draft Interim Recovery Plan for the Wyalkatchem Foxglove (Pityrodia scabra); Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds). (1998) Western Australia’s Threatened Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth, Western Australia; George, A.S. (1967) Journal Royal Society of Western Australia. 50 (4), 103; Elliot & Jones (1997) Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants (7, 352). Munir, A.A (1979) Journal Adelaide Botanical Gardens 2(1), 39; Western Australian Herbarium (1998) FloraBase - Information on the Western Australian Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. http://www.calm.wa.gov.au/science/ .
Pityrodia scabra was declared as Rare Flora in June 1990 under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and was ranked as Vulnerable (VU) in March 1999 under World Conservation Union (IUCN 1994) Red List criterion C2a. However, following a recent reassessment it now meets Critically Endangered (CR) under IUCN 2001 criteria B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v); C1; D. The species is listed as Endangered (EN) under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The main threats are weed invasion, rail/road maintenance activities, rabbits, inappropriate fire regimes, hydrological change including salinisation, movement of stock on Road Reserve, adverse environmental conditions, (potentially) absence of pollination vectors or seed germination stimuli, habitat loss and lack of disturbance to induce recruitment.
Pityrodia scabra is a shrub to 1 m tall that is covered with sticky, branched hairs. Its linear leaves, 5 to 12 mm long, are in whorls of three. They lack stalks and are blunt at the apex, with inrolled margins. The margins have numerous small rounded teeth, and are covered with dense, coarse, short hairs, becoming rough above. Inflorescences are held in the leaf axils. Flowers are white with two upper lobes and three lower lobes (Brown et al. 1998). Additional details are available in the taxonomic description provided in Section 6.
Pityrodia scabra grows in areas of native vegetation comprising Acacia acuminata, Allocasuarina acutivalvis, Acacia beauverdiana, Melaleuca uncinata and Verticordia mitchelliana on a flat, lateritic substrate with brown to white loamy/sandy soils.
Habitat critical to the survival of the species, and important populations: The habitat critical to the survival of Pityrodia scabra comprises the area of occupancy of known populations; remnant vegetation that links populations and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the species but may have done so in the past and may be suitable for translocations. Given that this species is listed as Endangered (EPBC Act) it is considered that all known habitat for wild and translocated populations is habitat critical to their survival and that all populations, including translocated populations, are important.
Benefits to other species/ecological communities:
Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of the habitat of Pityrodia scabra will also improve the status of remnant vegetation in which it is located. The species is not located within a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC).
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. P. scabra is not specifically listed under any international treaty, and therefore this plan does not affect Australia’s obligations under any other international agreements.
Role and interests of indigenous people:
Involvement of the Indigenous community is being sought through the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) and the Department of Indigenous Affairs to assist in the identification of cultural values for land occupied by Pityrodia scabra, or indigenous groups with a cultural connection to land that is important for the species’ conservation and to determine whether there are issues or interests identified in the plan. A search of the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register has identified that there are no sites of Aboriginal significance at or near the population of the species covered by this IRP. Where no role is identified in the development of the recovery plan for the indigenous community associated with Pityrodia scabra, 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 impacts:
The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant adverse social and economic impact. However, as both known remaining active populations are located on private property, their protection may potentially affect farming activities. Actions will involve continued liaison and cooperation with all stakeholders with regards to these areas.
Stakeholders potentially affected by the implementation of this plan include the Shire of Wyalkatchem, Department of Environment and Conservation, Conservation Commission of WA, Westnet Rail and the owners of three private property locations.
Evaluation of the Plans Performance:
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) will evaluate the performance of this IRP in conjunction with the Avon-Mortlock District Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team (AMDTFCRT). In addition to annual reporting on progress with listed actions and comparison against the criteria for success and failure, the plan is to be reviewed within five years of its implementation.
Existing Recovery Actions:
The following recovery actions have been or are currently being implemented:
- Land managers have been notified of the location and threatened status of the species. A formal letter has been sent to the owners of the land on which populations 1B and 14 occur. No formal letter of notification has been sent to the landowners on which the translocated population 1T occurs, however, they were previously notified of the occurrence of population 1B at this site.
- Declared Rare Flora (DRF) markers have been installed at subpopulations 1A and 1C.
- Populations on private land have been fenced and subpopulation 1C has also been fenced. Individual plants at population 4T have had rabbit proof fencing erected and the land in which they occur is also fenced. Fencing material has been delivered to the owner of the property on which population 14 occurs. DEC will need to follow this up to see if the fence has been erected.
- Rabbit proof netting was removed from a number of plants at Cowcowing as it was inhibiting plant growth.
- Populations are regularly monitored.
- Liaison is continuing with private landholders.
- Collections of seed made in 1995 are placed in cryostorage. 119 seedlings, consisting of seven clones from three plants, were translocated to two areas. Seed has been produced by cross pollinating flowers by hand, with almost 100% viability.
- The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) currently have 6 plants in their nursery and have seedling cultures in vitro.
- The AMDTFCRT is overseeing the implementation of this IRP and will include information on progress in their annual report to DEC's Corporate Executive and funding bodies.
- Surveys have been carried out in surrounding areas.
- Information sheets have been distributed and resulted in the discovery of population 14.
- Scarification and smoke treatment has been carried out at sites within subpopulation 1A where Pityrodia scabra was previously known to occur.
- Hand weeding has been conducted around individual plants at population 14.
- Reserve 22176 has had its purpose amended to Conservation Site for Re-establishing Native Plant Species.
The objective of this IRP is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the species in the wild.
Criteria for success:
The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations has increased by 10 percent or more over the five year term of this plan.
Criteria for failure:
The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations has decreased by 10 percent or more over the five year term of this plan.
- Coordinate recovery actions.
- Map habitat critical to survival.
- Liaise with relevant land managers
- Collect seed and cutting material
- Develop and implement a third Translocation.
- Obtain biological and ecological information.
- Monitor populations.
- Stimulate the germination of soil-stored seed.
- Conduct further surveys surrounding population 14.
- Implement fire management strategy
- Undertake weed control and follow up with regular monitoring and additional weed control if required
- Control rabbits
- Promote awareness and maintain regular contact (including updates) with landowners
- Purchase land and transfer care, control and management to Conservation Commission
- Review the need for a full Recovery Plan.