National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus)
Geoff Nevill and Mary Camilleri, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria
The Stiff Groundsel Senecio behrianus is a small shrub that is endemic to south-eastern Australia, where it once occurred in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The species has apparently suffered a widespread decline in distribution and abundance. It is presumed extinct in South Australia and New South Wales, and is now known only from five wild and two reintroduced populations in Victoria. The species shoots from rhizomes, forming dense patches, but because of this rhizomatous habit, it is not possible to estimate numbers of genetically distinct plants. All wild populations are small, <0.25 ha in extent. The Stiff Groundsel is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Major threats include weed invasion, road and channel maintenance, altered hydrology, grazing and trampling by stock, inappropriate fire regimes and small population size. This national Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel is a revision of the first Recovery Plan for the species (Alexander 1999), and details the species’ distribution and biology, conservation status, threats, and recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure its long-term survival.