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 on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, most populations of the Carbunup King Spider Orchid occur on local road reserves and private property and are subject to a number of land use threats (19/12/2008).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Caladenia procera Interim Recovery Plan 2011-2016. Interim Recovery Plan No. 316 (Department of Environment and Conservation (Western Australia), 2011) [Recovery Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
 
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 (69) (19/12/2008) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008d) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Critically Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Caladenia procera [68679]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Hopper & A.P.Brown
Infraspecies author  
Reference Hopper, S.D. & Brown, A.P. (2001) Nuytsia 14: 141-143
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

The current conservation status of Carbunup King Spider Orchid, Caladenia procera, under Australian and State Government legislation and international conventions, is as follows:

National: Listed as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Western Australia: Listed as Declared Rare Flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

International: Listed under Appendix II of the Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Scientific name: Caladenia procera

Common name: Carbunup King Spider Orchid

This species was previously considered a subspecies of C. pectinata (Hopper & Brown 2001b; Stack & English 2004).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is a perennial herb that dies back to a dormant tuber during summer. It grows to 70 cm tall, and has a single, pale green leaf that is 10–30 cm long and 6–10 mm wide. Each plant has 1–3 spider-like flowers. The stiffly-held petals and sepals of the flowers are greenish lemon yellow with lines and spots of dark maroon to pink (Hoffman & Brown 1998; Stack & English 2004; TSSC 2008aek).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is endemic to a small area (linear range of less than 15 km) south-west of Busselton, south-west Western Australia (Hopper & Brown 2001b; Stack & English 2004). All subpopulations occur within the South West Natural Resource Management Region. The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is highly restricted, however, in its known range it is locally common (Hopper & Brown 2001b). This species is known from five subpopulations.

The extent of occurrence of the Carbunup King Spider Orchid is approximately 100 km². This figure was estimated by drawing a boundary around known locations to create a polygon. Known locations were taken from the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation's (WA DEC, formerly known as the Department of Conservation and Land Management) Threatened Flora Database (WA CALM 2006). There is insufficient data to indicate a historic decline in this species range, however, land clearing is likely to have reduced the occurrence of this species. Residential subdivision has the potential to reduce occurrence in the immediate future (WA CALM 2006).

The area of occupancy of the Carbunup King Spider Orchid is unknown but is likely to be much smaller than its extent of occurrence. It is most likely that the area of occupancy is less than 15 km², which is the extent of occurrence of subpopulations 1–4 (not including subpopulation 5 which contains one plant) (TSSC 2008aek). Historic area of occupancy has declined as a result of clearing and inappropriate fire regimes, and future declines may occur as a result of further land clearing (WA CALM 2006).

Seed material has been collected and stored by staff from the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA). A number of Caladenia plants (some of which are believed to be the Carbunup King Spider Orchid), that were imminently threatened by clearing for residential development, were potted and maintained by the BGPA. The status (and taxonomic certainty) of these plants is unknown, however, it was proposed that the plants would be translocated to a suitable site (WA CALM 2006). The status of this program is unknown.

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is severely fragmented due to clearing for agriculture and residential development. A portion of remaining habitat (at subpopulations 2 and 4) is threatened by development for residential and associated purposes (Stack & English 2004).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid has been extensively surveyed by WA DEC in conjunction with the Western Australia Native Orchid Study and Conservation Group. Monitoring continues to be undertaken by WA DEC (Stack & English 2004). This species' known locations have been surveyed and mapped by environmental consultants in relation to a residential development and associated applications to 'take' individual plants (WA CALM 2006). It is unlikely that further surveys will discover new populations (WA CALM 2006).

The most up-to-date surveys of the Carbunup King Spider Orchid estimate approximately 92 mature individuals; however, this survey was not conducted during flowering so an appropriate estimate is 276 plants (TSSC 2008aek). This species is known from five subpopulations (WA CALM 2006).

There is very little repeat survey data to indicate population trends although available data indicates that subpopulations are stable (the increase in the number of plants at subpopulation 2 is due to a more detailed survey rather than recruitment of additional plants). Also, population numbers are known to fluctuate from year-to-year depending on seasonal conditions. Threats associated with residential developments in, and adjacent to, some subpopulations (2 and 4), indicate future potential subpopulation decline (WA CALM 2006). These development proposals are likely to cause the loss of 154 individuals or 56% of the total population size (TSSC 2008aek).

The following table presents survey records for the Carbunup King Spider Orchid subpopulations (WA CALM 2006):

Subpopulation Date surveyed Number of plants
1a 17/10/86
18/09/01
24/09/02
13/08/03
43
43
61
Not recorded (area burnt and species not flowering)
1b 04/10/99
05/10/00
18/09/01
24/09/02
13/08/03
22/10/03
13
4
Not recorded
61
Not recorded
9
2 13/11/00
04/10/01
24/09/02
6
48
79
3a 07/09/00
24/09/01
24/09/02
13/08/03
2
22
25
Not recorded (species not flowering)
3b 24/09/01 3
4 24/09/01
04/02/02
24/09/02
01/06/05
100
133
107
Not recorded
5 14/10/05 1

The generation length of the Carbunup King Spider Orchid is unknown. Individuals are thought to take two to six years to reach sexual maturity (Stack & English 2004), thus generation length is greater. Plants of Caladenia huegelii, which is closely related, live for up to 19 years (WA CALM 2006).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is known to hybridise with Forest Mantis Orchid (Caladenia attingens) (Hopper & Brown 2001b); this may reduce a population's genetic diversity (TSSC 2008aek).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid subpopulation 1b occurs within a shire reserve (Carbunup Reserve, Reserve No. 38582): subpopulation 1a occurs on vacant crown land adjacent to the reserve (Elscot 2002). Negotiations have occurred to reserve a portion of subpopulations 2 and 4 as part of development plans (Stack & English 2004), however, the status of this development is unknown. Carbunup Reserve is subject to frequent burning as a consequence of its proximity to residential development. This is likely to adversely impact orchid populations.

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid grows in Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), Marri (Corymbia calophylla) and Peppermint (Agonis flexuosa) woodland on alluvial sandy-clay loam flats amongst dense heath and sedges or low dense shrubs. Acacia stenoptera, Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) and Pimelea sylvestris are associated species (Hopper & Brown 2001b; Stack & English 2004).

Bussell's Spider-orchid (Caladenia busselliana) and the Dunsborough Spider-orchid (Caladenia viridescens) (listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act) occurs in the habitat of subpopulation 1. In addition, the habitat at this site is classified as 'Eucalyptus calophylla woodlands on heavy soils of the southern Swan Coastal Plain', which is classified as vulnerable under Western Australia criteria (Gibson et al. 1994).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is thought to take two to six years to reach sexual maturity (Stack & English 2004). The species is a herbaceous perennial that resprouts annually from an underground tuber. Plants are capable of living for many years provided populations are not affected by drought, grazing or disease (WA CALM 2006).

The above ground growing phase extends from March to late November with flowering occurring between September and October (Hoffman & Brown 1998). During the dry summer period, Caladenia species occur as dormant underground tubers. Following the break of the season, a single leaf emerges above ground and mycorrhizal fungi (soil-inhabiting, apparently symbiotic) associations are active. As Caladenia species have no roots, the infection point for mycorrhizal associations is in the collar (immediately above the tuber). During winter the replacement tuber, which is essential for survival during the following year, is initiated and continues to develop until late in the growing season. Not all plants in a population will produce flowers annually. Generally, for every plant in flower, a number of immature vegetative plants are present. The proportion of flowering to non-flowering individuals is influenced by environmental conditions, including the presence or absence of summer fire and the amount of rainfall received during winter and spring (Stack & English 2004).

Flowering individuals produce a bud early in the growing season that continues to develop until flowering. Plants flower for approximately two weeks, or until pollination occurs (by Thynid wasps), after which flowers collapse and, if pollination was successful, a seed capsule develops. The capsule swells as the seed matures, taking from six to eight weeks to develop depending on climatic conditions. If temperatures are higher than average, seeds may mature faster. Prior to seeds being released the capsule turns yellow and then brown. Small slits develop in the capsule from which the seed is dispersed by the wind (Stack & English 2004).

Seeds remain dormant in the soil over summer until the break of the season the following year. Once wet, the seeds imbibe water and the seed coat splits. At this point, infection by a suitable fungus is required for germination to occur. A protocorm will then form and, if conditions are right, develop into a small seedling by forming a dropper tuber and leaf. Not all germinants will mature and those that fail to produce a tuber will not survive dry summer conditions. If no fungus is present, the seeds remain dormant and quickly lose their viability (Batty et al. 2000).

Carbunup King Spider Orchid seedlings are very small for the first growing season and are difficult to locate. Leaves are typically less than 20 mm long and only a few millimetres wide. Typically, it appears that leaf and tuber size increase over the next four to five years until adult plants, capable of flowering, are present. However, under ideal conditions, plants can sometimes flower within two years of germination (Stack & English 2004).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is closely related to the Caladenia pectinata (which may be currently known as Arachnorchis pectinata) and the Esperance King Spider Orchid (Caladenia decora), but differs from both in its consistently greenish yellow sepals, petals and basal labellum lamina, and its somewhat taller scapes. The Carbunup King Spider Orchid also differs from the Esperance King Spider Orchid in its consistently ascending petals lacking an osmophore, and its broader more acute column wings. The Esperance King Spider Orchid has a taller, broader and somewhat longer labellum than Caladenia pectinata (Hoffman & Brown 1998; Hopper & Brown 2001b).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is dormant for part of the year, which makes it difficult to locate and identify in its vegetative phase. Thus, surveys for this species should be carried out during the flowering season from September to late October (Hoffman & Brown 1998; Hopper & Brown 2001b; Stack & English 2004).

The Carbunup King Spider Orchid is ranked as critically endangered due to its limited distribution, limited number of plants, the threat of continued decline in the number of plants, and the extent and quality of habitat (TSSC 2008aek). The main threats to this species are clearing for development, road and firebreak maintenance, weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes, grazing and impacts from recreational activities (Stack & English 2004). Drought conditions may also threaten individual populations as a result of fewer flowering individuals (WA CALM 2006). Fragmentation of populations may result in loss of pollinator availability (WA CALM 2006).

There has been development at subpopulations 2, 4 and 5, with permits issued to take Declared Rare Flora. In the case of subpopulation 4, the permit was issued to salvage up to 32 plants and translocate them to a proposed conservation area within the same location. The permit for subpopulation 5 was for the potential removal of soil-stored seed and subterranean tubers during the construction of a gas pipeline. The area where subpopulation 2 occurs has been proposed for subdivision. The status of these proposals is uncertain as their approval (by WA DEC) occurred prior to the listing of this species under the EPBC Act (Stack & English 2004).

The following table provides a description of threats (Stack & English 2004):

Threat Actual/potential Description
Land clearing Actual Development is a threat to subpopulations 2 and 4.
Road and firebreak maintenance Potential Road maintenance may threaten subpopulation 1a and 3a through grading, chemical spraying, construction of drainage channels and the mowing of roadside vegetation. These activities can also encourage weed invasion.
Weed invasion Potential Weeds are a minor threat at all subpopulations. They suppress early plant growth (by competing with orchids for moisture, nutrients and light), increase fire hazard and exacerbate grazing pressure.
Inappropriate fire regimes Potential Inappropriate fire regimes affect the viability of all subpopulations. Undergrowth vegetation gets excessively dense and competes with orchids if an area remains unburnt. However, fire that occurs when the orchid has above-ground growth will prevent seedset and also has the potential to kill the tuber if sufficient starch reserves have not built up. Dormancy periods may be affected by fire. Subpopulation 1a was burnt in 2003.
Grazing Actual Rabbits, kangaroos and domestic stock have impacted on all subpopulations (3b in particular). High levels of palatable weeds attract herbivores.
Recreational impacts Potential Activities such as trampling by walkers and BMX riders are a potential threat to subpopulations 2 and 4; these sites are subject to residential development.

Minister's reasons for recovery plan decision

Most populations of the Carbunup King Spider Orchid occur on local road reserves and private property and are subject to a number of land use threats. These threats can be better managed with a recovery plan in place.

Recovery actions

The following recovery actions have been undertaken and are outlined in the Carbunup King Spider Orchid (Caladenia procera) Interim Recovery Plan 2004–2009 (Stack & English 2004):

  • Land managers who have subpopulations of this species on their property have been notified by WA DEC and advised of their legislative responsibilities to protect the plants. Legislative protection occurs under the Wildlife Conservation Act (1950) (Western Australia), Environmental Protection Act (1986) (Western Australia) and EPBC Act.
  • Declared rare flora markers have been installed to mark subpopulations in road reserves to help prevent road maintenance damage. Markers have also been placed on internal firebreaks within the habitat of subpopulation 2.
  • Negotiations have taken place between WA DEC, and the appropriate land manager, to create a Nature Reserve in part of the subpopulation 2 site.
  • Negotiations are ongoing between WA DEC, and the appropriate land manager, to create a Conservation Reserve in part of the subpopulation 4 site. Up to 94 plants have been salvaged for translocation into the proposed Conservation Reserve.
  • Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority staff have collected seed and mycorrhiza from subpopulation 1.
  • Regular monitoring is carried out by WA DEC.
  • Orchid enthusiasts and WA DEC have undertaken extensive surveys for new populations in likely habitat.

The following future recovery actions are outlined in the Carbunup King Spider Orchid (Caladenia procera) Interim Recovery Plan 2004–2009 (Stack & English 2004) and the Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (TSSC 2008afm):

  • Seek further long-term protection of habitat.
  • Undertake seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the requirements for successful establishment, including mycorrhizal association trials.
  • Develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy.
  • Obtain further biological and ecological information.
  • Monitor germination and flowering during and after burning to help determine the effects of fire associated variables.
  • Promote public awareness.
  • Identify and remove weeds in the local area, which could become a threat to the species, using appropriate methods.
  • Ensure road widening and maintenance activities (or other infrastructure or development activities) involving substrate or vegetation disturbance in areas where the species occurs do not adversely impact on known populations.
  • Assess success of any existing translocations and continue translocations if appropriate.

Recovery actions for this species are described in Interim Recovery Plan No. 175 Carbunup King Spider Orchid (Caladenia procera) 2004-2009 (Stack & English 2004) and the Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (TSSC 2008afm).

The Carbunup Reserve Management Plan (Elscot 2002) recommends acquisitions of vacant crown land adjacent to this reserve.

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 Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Habitat degradation caused by firebreak construction and/or maintenance Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Species Stresses (suggest Reproductive Resilience?):Indirect Species Effects:Reduction of genetic intergrity of a species due to hybridisation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afm) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Habitat modification due to construction and maintenance of gas pipeline easement Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Listing Advice].

Batty, A.L., K.W. Dixon & K. Sivasithamparam (2000). Soil seed-bank dynamics of terrestrial orchids. Lindleyana. 15:227-236.

Elscot, S. (2002). Carbunup Reserve Management Plan. [Online]. Prepared for the Shire of Busselton. Green Iguana, Environmental and Heritage Research. Available from: http://www.busselton.wa.gov.au/files/carbunup_reserve_management_plan.pdf.

Gibson, N., B.J. Keighery, G.J. Keighery, A.H. Burbidge & M.N. Lyons (1994). A floristic survey of the Southern Swan Coastal Plain. Unpublished report for the Australian Heritage Commission. Prepared by the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Conservation Council of Western Australia (Inc.).

Hoffman, N. & A. Brown (1998). Orchids of South-west Australia Rev. 2nd edn. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press.

Hopper, S.D. & A.P. Brown (2001b). Contributions to Western Australian orchidology: 2. New taxa and circumscriptions in Caladenia (Spider, Fairy and Dragon Orchids of Western Australia). Nuytsia. 14(1/2):27-314. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Conservation & Land Management.

Stack, G. & V. English (2004). Carbunup King Spider Orchid (Caladenia procera) Interim Recovery Plan 2004-2009. Wannero: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008aek). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia procera. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/68679-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008afm). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia procera. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/68679-conservation-advice.pdf.

Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management (WA CALM) (2006). Records held in CALM's Declared Flora Database and rare flora files. Perth, Western Australia: WA CALM.

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). Caladenia procera in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sun, 13 Jul 2014 06:12:15 +1000.