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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
 
Approved Conservation Advice for Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014ar) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement advice for predation, habitat degradation,competition and disease transmission by feral pigs (2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014p) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts on northern Australia's biodiversity by the five listed grasses (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2012) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
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 (43) (14/08/2006) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2006g) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Recovery plan for the threatened plants of the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory of Australia 2008-2013 (Liddle, D.T., A. Gibbons & R. Taylor, 2008) [State Recovery Plan].
NT:Species Information Sheet for Typhonium jonesii (Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (NT DIPE), 2006) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Endangered (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012 list)
Scientific name Typhonium jonesii [62412]
Family Araceae:Arales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author A.Hay
Infraspecies author  
Reference Blumea 37(2) (1993) 355, 354 fig. 354.
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: Typhonium jonesii

The taxonomy of the species is conventionally accepted as Typhonium jonesii A.Hay (CHAH 2009).

Typhonium jonesii is a perennial herb that propagates by underground bulbs or tubers which sprout and flower more than once (geophytic). The leaf blade is deeply trilobed, with a large central lobe and two smaller lobes extending outwards from the base of the leaf (hastate or auriculate). The leaf segments are linear. A pale mauve-cream spathe or bract (leaf-like organ) encloses or spreads from the base of the flower spike (spadix), emerging along with new season leaves (NT DIPE 2006).

Typhonium jonesii is endemic to the Northern Territory and is only known from the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin. It is known from three locations; one on Bathurst Island and two on Melville Island (Hay & Taylor 1996; NT DIPE 2006). Three (probably sterile) non-vouchered collections have been reported: one from near Three Ways, one on the Three Ways-Snake Bay Road on Melville Island, and one from 10 km west of Nguiu on Bathurst Island (NT DIPE 2006).

A recent targeted survey for this species was unable to relocate the known populations, nor uncover any additional populations of this species (Woinarski et al. 2003a, 2003c). However, due to the cryptic nature of the species it is expected that the three known populations still exist (TSSC 2006ae).

The extent of occurrence is estimated at 85 km². This figure is based on a minimum convex polygon of Northern Territory herbarium collections. There is no quantitative data from which to predict future changes in extent of occurrence, however, the known locations of the species overlap with potential forestry areas (NT DIPE 2006).

There is no data with which to quantify current area of occupancy. The largest known population of a closely related species, (T. mirabile) which occurs in similar habitat, was estimated to comprise around 60 individuals in one ha of area (Brock et al. 2000). Therefore, area of occupancy of Typhonium jonesii could be estimated at three ha (1 ha per known population) (NT DIPE 2006).

Typhonium jonesii material was taken to the Darwin Botanic Gardens (DBG) and Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens (RBG) for cultivation in 1995. However, none of the material has survived (R. Kerrigan 2004, pers. comm.). It is not possible to verify the identity of the material sent to RBG as no herbarium specimens are available (NT DIPE 2006).

The species was first described in 1993 from material collected in 1984 (Hay 1993).

The mapped vegetation community in which this species is recorded has been reasonably well surveyed (Woinarksi et al. 2000). Therefore, although this species is seasonally dormant and difficult to observe, it is considered to have been adequately surveyed, based on the strong survey effort in the area and the high profile of this genus amongst collectors. While more populations may exist, the paucity of collections of this species is considered to accurately reflect its very restricted distribution and abundance (NT DIPE 2006).

The number of mature individuals of Typhonium jonesii is estimated to be between 150 and 300. There is no quantitative data available to indicate past trends in the population size of the species (TSSC 2006ae).

Little is known of the ecology of Typhonium jonesii. The three known populations occur in rocky, or red, iron rich soils, and on hills in eucalypt woodlands and wet rainforests (TSSC 2006ae). Two records of the species indicate it occurs in Darwin woollybutt (Eucalyptus miniata)/Darwin Stringybark (E. tetrodonta) woodland (NT DIPE 2006).
Typhonium jonesii occurs in a similar broad habitat type and geographical area as the closely related, and EPBC Act listed, T. mirabile (NT DIPE 2006).

There is limited information on reproduction in Typhonium jonesii. All collections so far have been made during December, at which time buds and flowers have been recorded. It is most likely that pollination is by insect vectors (Mayo et al.1997). The above-ground annual shoots are seasonally dormant and die back in the dry season (TSSC 2006ae), then emerge from an underground corm (tuber) during the wet season (NT DIPE 2006).

Some of the genus Typhonium have been vegetatively propagated in cultivation by means of daughter tubers (Mayo et al. 1997), but whether this method of reproduction is applicable to Typhonium jonesii is not known (NT DIPE 2006).

Diagnostic characters for the Typhonium genus include the arrangement of flowers and the timing of emergent leaf parts relative to the emergent flower head. Detectability of the species is hampered by the species' seasonal nature, short lived inflorescence and difficulty of access during the wet season (NT DIPE 2006).

Surveys for Typhonium jonesii should take place during the wet season, or very early dry season, as the above ground annual shoots are seasonally dormant, emerging from an underground tuber during the wet season. It is difficult to distinguish between species of this genus without reproductive material, as the leaves have several forms (NT DIPE 2006).

The clearing of habitat for plantation forestry development is a potential threat to Typhonium jonesii. Currently areas within the western half of Melville Island are set aside for land clearing and plantings of Hickory Wattle (Acacia mangium) because their ecology makes them potentially suitable for forestry (Tiwi LC 2003; Woinarski et al. 2000). These designated planting areas coincide with known populations and preferred habitat of Typhonium jonesii. It is not known whether any populations have as yet been directly affected by the land clearing activities (NT DIPE 2006).

The increased clearing for planting, road development and activity in the area around known populations, may increase the invasion of exotic plant species such as Mission Grass (Pennisetum polystachion) and Gamba Grass (Andropogon gayanus) (Woinarksi et al. 2003a, 2003c).

The eucalypt forest habitats of Typhonium jonesii are being degraded by feral buffalo, cattle and horses. Pigs (Sus scrofa) are present on Bathurst Island and have recently been introduced to Melville Island. Pigs may potentially dig up and destroy the tubers of this species (NT DIPE 2006; TSSC 2006ae).

Although the underground tuber and seasonal nature of this species offers it some protection from fire, the potential effect of increased fire frequency associated with perennial grass invasions, are unknown (NT DIPE 2006).

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Typhonium jonesii (TSSC 2006az) recommends the following priority recovery and threat abatement actions for this species:

  • Surveys to provide a more detailed assessment of its distribution, habitat requirements and population size.
  • Promote eradication of feral pigs from Melville Island.
  • Protect known sites from disturbance.

A taxonomic revision of this genus (Typhonium) in Australia was undertaken by Hay (1993) and Hay and Taylor (1996).

The following documents may inform on protection and management of Typhonium jonesii:

  • Recovery plan for the threatened plants of the Tiwi islands in the Northern Territory of Australia 2004-2009 (Gibbons & Taylor 2003)
  • Biodiversity Conservation on the Tiwi Islands: Plants, vegetation types and terrestrial vertebrates on Melville Island (Woinarski et al. 2000)
  • Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (TSSC 2006ae)
  • Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Typhonium jonesii (TSSC 2006az)
  • Threat Abatement Plan for Predation, Habitat Degradation, Competition and Disease Transmission by Feral Pigs (AGDEH 2005p)

In addition, a draft National recovery plan is in preparation for this species.

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 Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Bubalus bubalis (Water Buffalo, Swamp Buffalo) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Equus caballus (Horse) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Sus scrofa (Pig) NON-APPROVED Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006az) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Bos taurus (Domestic Cattle) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2006ae) [Listing Advice].

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH) (2005p). Threat Abatement Plan for Predation, Habitat Degradation, Competition and Disease Transmission by Feral Pigs. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/pig.html.

Brock, C., I. Cowie, B. Harwood, G. Leach, D. Milne, S. Stirrat & J. Woinarksi (2000). Plantation proposal, Melville Island: assessment of biodiversity: Report to Northern Territory Department of Lands, Planning and Environment, Tiwi Land Council, and Sylvatech Australia Pty Ltd. Darwin: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2009). 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/.

Gibbons, A. & R. Taylor (2003). Recovery plan for the threatened plants of the Tiwi islands in the Northern Territory of Australia 2004 - 2009. Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment.

Hay, A. (1993). The genus Typhonium (Araceae-Areae) in Australasia. Blumea. 37:345-376.

Hay, A. & S.M. Taylor (1996). A new species of Typhonium Schott (Araceae - Areae) from the Northern Territory, with notes on the conservation status of two Areae endemic to the Tiwi Islands. Telopea. 6 (4):563-567.

Kerrigan, R. (2004). Personal Communication.

Mayo, S.J., J. Bogner & P.C. Boyce (1997). The Genera of Araceae. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (NT DIPE) (2006). Species Information Sheet for Typhonium jonesii. [Online]. Available from: http://lrm.nt.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species/specieslist.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2006ae). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Typhonium jonesii. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/typhonium-jonesii.html.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2006az). NON-APPROVED Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Typhonium jonesii. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/typhonium-jonesii.html.

Tiwi Land Council (Tiwi LC) (2003). Tiwi Land Council Annual Report. [Online]. Available from: http://www.users.bigpond.com/tiwilc/Reports/Tiwi%20Annual%20Report%202003.pdf. [Accessed: 03-Nov-2004].

Woinarski, J., K. Brennan, C. Hempel, R. Firth & F. Watt (2000). Biodiversity Conservation on the Tiwi Islands: Plants, vegetation types and terrestrial vertebrates on Melville Island. Palmerston: Parks and Wildlife Commission of Northern Territory.

Woinarski, J., K. Brennan, I. Cowie, R. Kerrigan & C. Hempel (2003a). Biodiversity conservation on the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory. Part 1. Environment and Plants. Report to National Heritage Trust, Tiwi Land Council and the Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment.

Woinarski, J., K. Brennan, I. Cowie, R. Kerrigan & C. Hempel (2003c). Biodiversity conservation on the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory. Part 3. Management and planning for biodiversity conservation. Report to National Heritage Trust, Tiwi Land Council and the Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment.

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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). Typhonium jonesii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 01:25:11 +1000.