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 Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila (Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Yellow Swainson-pea - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005ly) [Internet].
SA:Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012 (Pobke, K., 2007) [State Recovery Plan].
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 126 - Twelve threatened Swainson-peas and Darling-peas (Swainsona species) (Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE), 2003ak) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013)
SA: Listed as Rare (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): Rare species: June 2011)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Swainsona pyrophila [56344]
Family Fabaceae:Fabales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Joy Thomps.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Telopea 4(2) (1991) 359.
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: Swainsona pyrophila

Common name: Yellow Swainson-pea


As the type specimens of Swainsona laxa were found to be specimens of Swainsona rigida, a new name for the plants previously known as S. laxa was required. Swainsona pyrophila was the name assigned (Thompson 1991). Details of this species are found under Swainsona laxa in Leigh and colleagues (1984).

The Yellow Swainson-pea is a short-lived, soft-wooded shrub, growing to 1 m in height (Jeanes 1996; Tonkinson & Robertson 2010a). Leaves are pinnate, with 15—20 oblong leaflets, 5—25 mm long and 4—12 mm wide. The flowers are approximately 10 mm long and 12 mm wide and held in erect racemes of 15—20 flowers (Tomkinson & Robertson 2010a). Seed pods are crescent-shaped to ellipsoid, 20—30 mm long and 10—15 mm wide, with up to 14 small brown seeds to 2 mm long.

The Yellow Swainson-pea occurs in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

New South Wales

In NSW, Yellow Swainson-pea has only been recorded a few times, mainly at Mt Hope, Euston and Menindee. In 1988, it was also recorded from Nanya Station (approximately 150 km south of Broken Hill) (NSW undated). The Yellow Swainson-pea has also been found at Mallee Cliffs and possibly at Tarrawee (NSW NPWS 2000 pers. comm.).

Victoria

In Victoria, Yellow Swainson-pea is known only from the far north-west (Jeanes 1996), for example, 18 km west of Carwarp (private property), North Hattah, between Hattah and Nowingi, Pink Lakes State Park, Manangatang, Kooloonong, Walpeup, 36 km south of Bambill, and 24 km south-east of Morkalla (MEL collection records). Reserved populations occur in the Sunset Reference Area and the Pink Lakes State Park; however, it may have disappeared from many known sites, even within reserves (Scarlett & Parsons 1993).

South Australia

In SA, there are approximately 100 year old records from from Rogue's Gully on Yorke Peninsula, and Waikerie on the Murray River. In the 1950s and 1960s it was recorded from the Middleback Range (1960), Pinkawillinie Conservation Park (1959) and Hambridge Conservation Park on the Eyre Peninsula (1966, type locality) (Leigh et al. 1984). In 1979 a few plants were found on a roadside south-east of Kingston in the south-east of the state (Spooner pers. comm. in Leigh et al. 1984). Individuals are known to occur at Hegaton Conservation Reserve (33 20'47"S, 136 33'01"E) collected by Denzel Murfet 7/11/98, and Yumbra Conservation Reserve in South Australia (Bates 2000 pers. comm.; Davies 2000 pers. comm.; Lang & Kraehenbuhl 2000 pers. comm.).

Population estimates for the Yellow Swainson-pea are variable but estimated to be in the order of 100 000 individuals in Victoria (Victorian Workshop Participants 2000, pers. comm.).

The Yellow Swainson-pea grows in mallee scrub on sandy or loamy soil and is usually found to germinate only after fire and subsequent rain (Jeanes 1996; Tonkinson & Robertson 2010a), although scraping of seed via soil disturbances such as grading can also stimulate germination. The species has been found after fires in a range of areas in South Australia where not previously seen (Bates 2000, pers. comm.; Davies 2000, pers. comm.; Lang and Kraehenbuhl 2000 pers. comm.).

The Yellow Swainson-pea is short-lived and sets seed for only one or two years after germination (Scarlett & Parsons 1993). It mainly flowers between July to October (Tonkinson & Robertson 2010a).

Surveys for this species should be carried out in suitable habitat after a fire event (and ideally after a subsequent rainfall event). The ideal period for surveys is the first flowering period after germination. This would be in July to October following a fire event (Tonkinson & Robertson 2010a).

It is possible for Swainsona pyrophila to be confused with Swainsona laxa. However, S. laxa has much smaller leaflets (12 mm long and 7 mm wide) (Tonkinson & Robertson 2010a).

The development of land for farming is likely to have greatly reduced the pre-European extent of Yellow Swainson-pea. Much of its' previous distribution is now cleared and cropped for wheat (Victorian Workshop Participants 2000, pers. comm.). The rate of deterioration of seed in the soil is unknown (Scarlett & Parsons 1993). Other threats include grazing by domestic stock and rabbits and habitat invasion by introduced pasture species and other weeds (Leigh et al. 1984). The species is susceptible to competition from a range of introduced herbivores due to grazing pressure (Leigh et al. 1984).

Inappropriate fire regimes are also a probable current threat to the survival of this species. However, the most appropriate management of this species is problematic due to the apparently conflicting fire-frequency requirements of other native species in this habitat (Scarlett & Parsons 1993).

Management documents relevant for the Yellow Swainson-pea can be found at the start of the profile.

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:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila (Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Swainsona pyrophila in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006vc) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila (Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila (Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat modification through open cut mining/quarrying activities National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila (Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Swainsona pyrophila in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006vc) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Swainsona pyrophila in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006vc) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in New South Wales (Coutts-Smith, A.J., P.S. Mahon, M. Letnic & P.O. Downey, 2007) [Management Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Swainsona pyrophila in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006vc) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila (Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].

Bates, R.J. (2000). Personal Communication.

Davies, R.J.P. (2000). Personal Communication.

Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G. & T.J. Entwisle, eds. Flora of Victoria. 3:663-829. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

Lang, P. & D. Kraehenbuhl (2000). Personal Communication.

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

MEL (undated). National Herbarium of Victoria Specimens. [Online]. Available from: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/research_and_conservation/herbarium.

NSW Herbarium (undated). New South Wales National Herbarium specimens.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000). Personal communication. Sydney: NSW NPWS.

Scarlett, N.H. & R.F. Parsons (1993). Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria. In: Foreman, D.B. & N.G. Walsh, eds. Flora of Victoria. 1:227-255. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Thompson, J. (1993). A revision of the genus Swainsona (Fabaceae). Telopea. 5(3):427-581.

Thompson, J. (1991). Swainsona pyrophila (Fabaceae), a new name and synonymisation. Telopea. 4:359.

Tonkinson, D. & G. Robertson (2010a). National Recovery Plan for Yellow Swainson-pea Swainsona pyrophila. [Online]. Melbourne, Victoria : DSE. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/swainsona-pyrophila.html.

Victorian Workshop Participants (2000). Personal communication.

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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). Swainsona pyrophila in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 19 Apr 2014 13:12:03 +1000.