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 Critically Endangered as Wikstroemia australis
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice for Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003u) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Predation by exotic rats on Australian offshore islands of less than 1000 km2 (100,000 ha) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006a) [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 Wikstroemia australis.
 
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 Wikstroemia australis.
 
Scientific name Wikstroemia australis [42074]
Family Thymelaeaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Endl.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Prodromus Florae Norfolkicae: 47 (1833).
Other names Wikstroemia cunninghamii [78834]
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

Scientific Name: Wikstroemia australis

Common Name: Kurrajong


This species was previously known as Wikstroemia cunninghamii Meisn.

Kurrajong is a shrub or small tree to 4 m or more tall, with blackish stems and very tough, fibrous bark. The tubular flowers are greenish yellow and occur in groups of three to ten. The leaves are hairless, 3–7 cm long and 2–3 cm wide (DEH 2003b; Green 1994; Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Endemic to Norfolk Island, the species has been recorded from Mt Bates and Mt Pitt (Green 1994). It was formerly common at lower altitudes outside the Norfolk Island National Park. However, it appears to have suffered a sudden decline and is now largely restricted to the National Park (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

The extent of occurrence of Kurrajong is 2.892kmē (TSSC 2003u).

The population size and distribution of this species have been declining, and this decline is predicted to continue (TSSC 2003u).

This species occurs only as small and isolated subpopulations, with no population containing more than 50 individuals (TSSC 2003u). The distribution of Kurrajong is therefore considered to be severely fragmented.

In 1987, Sykes and Atkinson conducted a survey of the rare and endangered flora of the Norfolk Island Group (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

In 2003, there were 155 mature plants surviving in the wild (TSSC 2003u).

A survey in 1987 showed very few juvenile plants (i.e. those less than 2 m high) (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Kurrajong is found in forests (Green 1994). Sykes and Atkinson (1988) noted that it is widely distributed on ridges and upper sides of valleys. Kurrajong is most often found growing in canopy gaps or alongside tracks and roads (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

The species appears to require high light for its establishment (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

More than 30% of the surveyed population in 1987 had trunks pocked with many small holes (5–15 mm long) and associated tissue decay. This cause of this disease was unknown, but bacterial disease was suspected (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Kurrajong is also threatened by competition with the weed Red Guava (Pisidium cattleianum var. cattleianum) and seed predation by rats (Sykes & Atkinson 1988; TSSC 2003u).

Norfolk Island is known to experience cyclones, and the soil around Mt Pitt is susceptible to landslip after heavy rain (BoM 2008; Hyder Consulting 2008). This poses a threat to Kurrajong as the plant grows in this area.

Kurrajong is potentially threatened by habitat alterations due to changed land use. These changes may result in the suppression of the desirable mycorrhizal fungi associated with the plant. They may also increse the vulnerability of Kurrajong to soil-based fungi and bacterial pathogens (TSSC 2003u).

A rat control program had been implemented within Norfolk Island National Park (Director of National Parks 2008; TSSC 2006a).

The Park management is also working to control invasive weeds within the Park. Weed infestations have been reduced by removing weeds and replanting the area with native species (Mosley 2001). Red Guava can be controlled with the use of herbicides (Ziesing 1997).

A study of the land use patterns and impacts on Norfolk Island has been recommended by Mosley; this could lead to improved land use practices that may benefit Kurrajong (Mosley 2001).

Principles relevant to the conservation of Kurrajong can be found in:

  • Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Management Plan 2008–2018 (Director of National Parks 2008)
  • Island on the Brink: a conservation strategy for Norfolk Island (Mosley 2001)
  • Norfolk Island Weed Control Manual (Ziesing 1997).

    There is a draft national recovery plan in preparation for Kurrajong.

  • 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
    Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Commonwealth Listing Advice for Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003u) [Listing Advice].
    Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice for Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003u) [Listing Advice].
    Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Psidium cattleianum (Cherry Guava, Strawberry Guava) 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:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Prasophyllum wallum in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006aaz) [Internet].
    Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by rats Commonwealth Listing Advice for Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003u) [Listing Advice].
    Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
    Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment 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 Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003u) [Listing Advice].
    Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Population senescnce and lack of recruitment Commonwealth Listing Advice for Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003u) [Listing Advice].

    Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) (2008). Climate of Norfolk Island. [Online]. Commonwealth of Australia. Available from: http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/norfolk/climate.shtml.

    Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2003b). What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders - Consultation Draft. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/norfolk-island/index.html.

    Director of National Parks (2008). Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Management Plan 2008-2018. [Online]. Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications/norfolk/pubs/management-plan.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.

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

    Hyder Consulting (2008). The Impacts and Management Implications of Climate Change for the Australian Government's Protected Areas. [Online]. Department of Climate Change. Available from: http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/impacts/publications/pubs/protected-areas.pdf.

    Mosley, J.G. (2001). Island on the Brink: A Conservation Strategy for Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island Conservation Society, Melbourne, Victoria.

    Sykes, W.R. & I.A.E. Atkinson (1988). Rare and endangered plants of Norfolk Island. New Zealand: Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

    Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2003u). Commonwealth Listing Advice for Wikstroemia australis - (Kurrajong). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/w-australis.html.

    Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2006a). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Predation by exotic rats on Australian offshore islands of less than 1000 km2 (100,000 ha). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/ktp/island-rats.html.

    Ziesing, P.D. (1997). Norfolk Island Weed Control Manual: for selected weeds occurring in Norfolk Island National Park. Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group, Parks Australia (South).

    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). Wikstroemia australis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:48:25 +1000.