Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered as Streblus pendulinus
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 16 Endangered Species (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003z) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010) [Recovery Plan] as Streblus pendulinus.
 
Information Sheets What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2004i) [Information Sheet].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (03/11/2003) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2003a) [Legislative Instrument] as Streblus pendulinus.
 
Scientific name Streblus pendulinus [21618]
Family Moraceae:Urticales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (Endl.) F.Muell.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 192 (1868).
Other names Pseudomorus brunoniana [13264]
Pseudomorus pendulina [41735]
Morus pendulina [47864]
Streblus brunonianus [2899]
Pseudomorus brunoniana var. pendulina [78823]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/carr/streblus.htm
http://www.hear.org/starr/hiplants/images/thumbnails/html/streblus_pendulinus_thumbnails.htm

National: Streblus pendulinus is listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This listing applies to the species across its entire range (including mainland Australia and Norfolk Island populations).

When listed in 2003, Streblus pendulinus was considered to occur on Norfolk Island and islands of the Pacific Ocean. At this time, mainland populations were treated as a separate species (Streblus brunonianus). The taxonomy of the species has been reviewed and Streblus brunonianus is now considered a synonym of Streblus pendulinus. This taxonomic change was adopted by the Council of Heads of Australiasian Herbaria in 2007 (APC 2007) and Queensland accepted change in November 2012 (e.g. Queensland Herbarium 2013).

Advice to proponents: The listing status of Streblus pendulinus under Commonwealth legislation applies on mainland Australia. Proposed actions likely to have a significant impact on this MNES should be referred to the department for assessment and approval.

Scientific name: Streblus pendulinus

Common name: Siah's Backbone

Other common names: Sia's Backbone, Isaac Wood, Prickly Fig, Grey Handlewood, White Handlewood, Whalebone Tree, Hawaiian Roughbush or A'ia'i (in Hawaii), Axe-handle Wood, Ragwood, Waddywood.

This species is conventionally accepted as Streblus pendulinus (CHAH 2010). The EPBC Act listing of S. pendulinus treated the species as endemic to Norfolk Island and islands of the Pacific Ocean (TSSC 2003z). Subsequently, the mainland species S. brunonianus has been included with S. pendulinus (ATRP 2010; CHAH 2010; Jessup 2003).

Siah’s Backbone is a tree or large shrub that grows to 6 m in height. The leaves are elliptic or egg-shaped to lanceolate, usually 5–8 cm long and 1–4 cm wide, with margins that are regularly toothed. The upper surface of the leaves may be either rough or smooth, whilst the underside is always rough. Leaves are attached by a stalk (petiole) 3–8 mm long. Juvenile leaves are approximately 15 cm long, often narrow and lobed at the base. The species exudes milky white latex when damaged, or when stalks are snapped off. The species has male and female flowers produced on separate plants (dioecious). The male flowers are in catkins (cylindrical flower clusters) recorded up to 20 cm long, with individual flowers 10–50 mm long. The female flowers are solitary or few in a spike 5–10 mm long; the style and stigma lobe are slender and tapering. The fruit is fleshy, red and about 5–8 mm long (ATRP 2010; DEH 2004i; DNP 2010; Green 1994).

Siah's Backbone occurs from Cape York Peninsula to Milton, south-east New South Wales (NSW), as well as Norfolk Island (ATRP 2010; Jessup 2003; The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust 2011).

In 2003, Siah’s Backbone was thought to occur at one location (Norfolk Island) and consist of a population of 200 (TSSC 2003z). In 2012, a taxonomic change occurred and the species now includes mainland populations that were previously included with Streblus brunonianus. Floyd (1989) states that Streblus brunonianus is “fairly common” and the Flora of Australia (George 1989a) doesn’t comment on the species abundance (as Streblus brunonianus). Although there is no published information on the status of the mainland populations, approximately 900 post-1990 Streblus pendulinus records are registered on the Atlas of Living Australia across a broad area of eastern Australia (ALA 2014). Of these, more than 200 records have been made in each of the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Queensland IBRA bioregion's, 27 have occurred in each of the New England Tablelands and Wet Tropics bioregion's and less than 10 have occurred in each of the Cape York Peninsula, Brigalow Belt South, Brigalow Belt North, Nandewar and Central Mackay Coast bioregion's (ALA 2014).

On Norfolk Island, the species is recorded within (DNP 2010):

  • Norfolk Island National Park (167 mature individuals in 2003)
  • Mission Road rainforest remnants
  • near Steels Point
  • Ball Bay Reserve
  • Cascade Reserve.

Outside of Australia, the species is found in Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Rapa and Hawaii (DEH 2004i; Green 1994).

On Norfolk Island, Siah’s Backbone has 187 recorded individuals (DNP 2010).

On the Australian mainland, Siah’s Backbone is found in warmer rainforests, chiefly along watercourses. The altitudinal range is from near sea level to 800 m above sea level. The species grows in well developed rainforest, gallery forest and drier, more seasonal rainforest (ATRP 2010).

On Norfolk Island, the species is found in a variety of forest types, though it is rare (DNP 2010).

Siah's Backbone is dioecious (plants are either male or female) (DNP 2010) with fruit ripe in January–April (The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust 2011).

Competition from weeds and grazing by cattle are the main threats to Siah’s Backbone, as the species is recorded as very palatable to stock. On Norfolk Island, a parasite appears to be preventing seed set in many individuals, and many of the mature trees are male and cannot produce seed (DNP 2010).

For the population on Norfolk Island, the National Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (DNP 2010) provides specific actions for Siah’s Backbone, including:

  • weed control
  • forest revegetation
  • quarantine control to reduce the impact of alien diseases getting into the population
  • engage the community to help protect the species
  • determine the best method of treating the parasite that is affecting seed viability of Siah’s Backbone.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 16 Endangered Species (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003z) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Infection by parasites Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 16 Endangered Species (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003z) [Listing Advice].

Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) (2014). Atlas of Living Australia. [Online]. Available from: http://www.ala.org.au/.

Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants (ATRP) (2010). Streblus pendulinus. [Online]. Available from: http://keys.trin.org.au:8080/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-430d-8004-060d07080d04/media/Html/taxon/Streblus_pendulinus.htm.

Chew, W.-L. (1989a). Moraceae. In: Flora of Australia. 3:15-68. Canberra: AGPS.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2007). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2010). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2004i). What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/norfolk-island/pubs/norfolk-island.pdf.

Director of National Parks (DNP) (2010). Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan. [Online]. Canberra, Director of National Parks Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/norfolk-island.html.

Floyd, A.G. (1989). Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Green, P.S. (1994). Norfolk Island & Lord Howe Island. In: Flora of Australia. 49:1-681. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government Publishing Service.

Jessup, L.W. (2003). Flora of South-eastern Queensland: Volume 1: Changes to names or status of taxa. [Online]. Queensland Herbarium. Toowong, Queensland: Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency. Available from: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/register/p00721aa.pdf.

Queensland Herbarium (2009e). Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides. Threatened flora of Queensland database. Queensland Herbarium, Environment Protection Agency.

Queensland Herbarium (2013). Census of the Queensland Flora 2013. [Online]. Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts: Brisbane. https://data.qld.gov.au/dataset/census-of-the-queensland-flora-2013.

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust (2011). PlantNET. [Online]. The Plant Information Network System of The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia (version 2). Available from: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2003z). Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 16 Endangered Species. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/norfolk-island-flora-endangered.html.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Streblus pendulinus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:42:48 +1000.