Interim Recovery Plan No. 185
Gillian Stack, Alanna Chant, Gina Broun and Val English
Department of Conservation and Land Management
Western Australian Threatened Species and Communities Unit WA, October 2004
About the plan
The first specimen of Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa was collected north of Three Springs in 1951, and the subspecies was described in 1991 (George 1991). Additional populations have since been located, and a total of 34 mature plants are now known from eight wild populations and one translocated population. Seven of the populations contain three mature plants or less. Population 2 has been cleared and no plants have been seen at the site since 1992. It is extremely unlikely that any V. spicata subsp. squamosa propagules remain at this site, as soil-stored Verticordia seed typically declines in viability quite rapidly. The plant at Population 3 died only recently (November 2003), so there is a chance that some seed may still remain at this site. Ginger (1999) obtained seed viability results of 0% from this solitary plant during his tests, but attempts to stimulate germination in the area should nevertheless be made. Very little of this habitat type remains uncleared in the area, as the deep sands are suitable for agriculture. Most populations occur in tiny fragments of vegetation on narrow road verges or private property.
A translocation was initiated in 2001 in an attempt to establish a larger population in habitat in good condition. The taxon is extremely difficult to propagate as it has seed with relatively low viability, low survival rates of seedlings, and a low strike rates of cuttings. In addition, setbacks have been experienced with repeated watering system failures at the translocation site. It is likely that recovery of this taxon will require plantings into the first translocation site for a number of years, and eventually planting into other sites.
An Interim Recovery Plan (IRP) was developed for the subspecies in 1999 (Phillimore and English 1999). Information collected since that plan was completed has been incorporated into this plan and this document now replaces Phillimore and English (1999).