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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 11 Critically Endangered Species (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003o) [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].
 
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].
 
Scientific name Euphorbia norfolkiana [65887]
Family Euphorbiaceae:Euphorbiales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Boiss.
Infraspecies author  
Reference in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodromus 15(2): 110 (1862).
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.

Other illustrations Google Images
http://www.anbg.gov.au/images/photo_cd/519816120330/022.html
http://www.anbg.gov.au/images/photo_cd/519816120330/021.html

Scientific name: Euphorbia norfolkiana

Common name: Norfolk Island Euphorbia


Norfolk Island Euphorbia is very similar to E. kanalensis of New Caledonia and may be the same species (Green 1994).

Norfolk Island Euphorbia is a dense, low shrub, usually 1 m, sometimes 3 m, tall. The narrow leaves are 6–10 cm long and 1–1.5 cm wide, and contain a milky white latex. The flowers are greenish (Green 1994; Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Norfolk Island Euphorbia is endemic to Norfolk Island (TSSC 2003o).

This species occurrs as three subpopulations. One population is in the part of the Ball Bay Reserve previously known as Bucks Point. A second subpopulation occurs in the Creswell Bay area, in the Bumbora Reserve (DEH 2004b, 2004c; Gilmour & Helman 1989; Sykes & Atkinson 1988). The Bumbora population covers a flat area of 12 m by 15 m, south of the Rocky Point stream at Creswell Bay, and extends onto steep slopes north of the stream. In 1988, there were many juvenile plants on these slopes but a portion of the population on freehold land contained few seedlings (Sykes & Atkinson 1988). The third subpopulation is found in the Anson Bay Reserve (NIPFS 2003a).

The distribution of Norfolk Island Euphorbia is considered to be highly fragmented as the species occurs only as small and relatively isolated subpopulations.

Sykes and Atkinson (1988) conducted a survey of the rare and endangered plants of Norfolk Island in 1987. They found 50 individuals of Norfolk Island Euphorbia in Bumbora Reserve and 53 individuals at Ball Bay.

In 2003, there were 38 mature plants surviving in the wild (TSSC 2003o).

There are three known subpopulations of Norfolk Island Euphorbia: at Ball Bay Reserve, Anson Bay Reserve, and Bumbora Reserve (also extending outside the Reserve) (NIPFS 2003a, 2003b, 2003c). Only one mature plant of Norfolk Island Euphorbia is known at the Anson Bay Reserve (NIPFS 2003a). There are estimated to be less than 10 individuals of Norfolk Island Euphorbia in Bumbora Reserve, and a small population on adjoining land that is not included in the Reserve (NIPFS 2003c). The population in the Ball Bay Reserve is also small (NIPFS 2003b).

The population of this species seems to be declining, as there were 103 plants recorded in 1987 and only 38 in 2003 (Sykes & Atkinson 1988; TSSC 2003o).

All subpopulations of this species are found in Reserves. The primary remaining habitat for Norfolk Island Euphorbia is located at Bumbora Reserve (Norfolk Island Administration 2003). Areas within the Reserves containing populations of the species are specifically managed for the conservation of Norfolk Island Euphorbia (NIPFS 2003a, 2003b, 2003c).

Norfolk Island Euphorbia occurs in open areas, in light shade amidst coastal cliff vegetation (Green 1994; Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

In Bumbora Reserve, the species forms part of the understorey beneath tall Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) and White Oaks (Lagunaria patersonia subsp. patersonia). These trees are the remnants of the original coastal forest that once covered much of the Reserve area and surrounding ridges (DEH 2004b; Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

At Ball Bay, Norfolk Island Euphorbia grows in a small gully with Smooth Treefern (Cyathea brownii) amidst coastal forest of Norfolk Island Pines and White Oaks (DEH 2004c; Gilmour & Helman 1989).

At the Anson Bay Reserve, the species is found in remnant coastal forest in protected areas along the cliff (NIPFS 2003a).

Plants flower and fruit prolifically (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Although the species will grow on bare, loose soil, it may require partial shade for most effective establishment (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Weeds are a major threat to Norfolk Island Euphorbia. Kikuyu Grass (Pennisetum clandestinium) appears to be preventing the further establishment of Norfolk Island Euphorbia, and in some places grows to a height of 1.1 m within Euphorbia bushes (Sykes & Atkinson 1988). The Ball Bay site is badly infested with weeds, particularly Red Guava (Psidium cattleianum) (Gilmour & Helman 1989). The Anson Bay site has occurrences of African Olive (Olea europaea subsp africana), Hawaiian Holly (Schinus terebinthifolius), Tobacco (Solanum mauritianum), Lantana (Lamtana camara) and Morning Glory (Ipomoea cairica) (NIPFS 2003a).

Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans) and Black Rats (Rattus rattus) destroy seeds and seedlings of this species (NIPFS 2003a). Norfolk Island Euphorbia may be damaged by cattle (NIPFS 2003a; Sykes & Atkinson 1988).

Heavy salt deposition from dry cyclonic storms may also threaten this species (Sykes & Atkinson 1988).


Norfolk Island is known to experience occasional cyclones, particularly in the early months of the year (BoM 2008).

Weed removal is being undertaken on the Island, including weed removal specifically designed to benefit populations of Norfolk Island Euphorbia (Norfolk Island Administration 2003). Weed removal has been found to be most effective when the area is replanted with native species (Mosley 2001). The principle weed species threatening Norfolk Island Euphorbia can be controlled with herbicides, and some can also be removed manually (Ziesing 1997).

A rat control program also is being conducted on Norfolk Island to reduce the damage to native plants (Director of National Parks 2008; NIPFS 2003a).

The management plan for Anson Bay Reserve states that habitat rehabilitation and regular population monitoring will be undertaken to aid the recovery of Norfolk Island Euphorbia (NIPFS 2003a). Fencing has been put in place to exclude cattle from the Bumbora Reserve and parts of Anson Bay Reserve (NIPFS 2003a). The management plan for Ball Bay Reserve outlines actions for the recovery of Norfolk Island Euphorbia, including regular monitoring, pest species management, rehabilitation of vegetation and weed removal. The Park management will also attempt to increase the size of the species' population by direct seeding and planting seedlings of Norfolk Island Euphorbia grown from seed collected from the population in the Reserve (NIPFS 2003b, 2003c).

Guidelines relevant to the conservation of Norfolk Island Euphorbia 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)

  • Anson Bay Reserve Plan of Management (NIPFS 2003a)

  • Ball Bay Reserve Plan of Management (NIPFS 2003b)

  • Bumbora Reserve Plan of Management (NIPFS 2003c).

  • 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) 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 Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu) 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 Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (Olive, African Olive, Wild Olive) 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 Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
    Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 11 Critically Endangered Species (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003o) [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) (2004b). Australian Heritage Database - Bumbora Reserve. [Online]. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra. Available from: http://www.ahc.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detailsearch=place_name%3Dbumbora%3Bstate%3DEXT%3Bkeyword_PD%3Don%3Bkeyword_SS%3Don%3Bkeyword_PH%3Don%3Blatitude_1dir%3DS%3Blongitude_1dir%3DE%3Blongitude_2dir%3DE%3Blatitude_2dir%3DS%3Bin_region%3D.

    Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2004c). Australian Heritage Database - Ball Bay Reserve. [Online]. Dept of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra. Available from: http://www.ahc.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detailsearch=place_name%3Dball%2520bay%3Bstate%3DEXT%3Bkeyword_PD%3Don%3Bkeyword_SS%3Don%3Bkeyword_PH%3Don%3Blatitude_1dir%3DS%3Blongitude_1dir%3DE%3Blongitude_2dir%3DE%3Blatitude_2dir%3DS%3Bin_regi..

    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.

    Gilmour, P.M. & C.E. Helman (1989). A survey of quality plant communities of Norfolk Island outside the national park. Page(s) 47. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

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

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

    Norfolk Island Administration (2003). Norfolk Island Heritage Act 2002 Heritage Register. [Online]. Norfolk Island Administration. Available from: http://www.info.gov.nf/land&env/Heritage%20Register.pdf.

    Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service (NIPFS) (2003a). Anson Bay Reserve Plan of Management Part B Section One. [Online]. Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service. Available from: http://www.info.gov.nf/land&env/01%20-%20Anson%20Bay.pdf.

    Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service (NIPFS) (2003b). Ball Bay Reserve Plan of Management Part B Section Two. [Online]. Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service. Available from: http://www.info.gov.nf/land&env/02%20-%20Ball%20Bay.pdf.

    Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service (NIPFS) (2003c). Bumbora Reserve Plan of Management Part B Section Three. [Online]. Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service. Available from: http://www.info.gov.nf/land&env/03%20-%20Bumbora.pdf.

    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) (2003o). Commonwealth Listing Advice for Norfolk Island Flora - 11 Critically Endangered Species. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/norfolk-island-flora-critically.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).

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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). Euphorbia norfolkiana in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:25:18 +1000.