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 as Caladenia barbarella
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bi) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (17/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by rabbits (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008adh) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008adi) [Threat Abatement 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
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] as Drakonorchis barbarella.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (86) (17/11/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009f) [Legislative Instrument] as Caladenia barbarella.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Declared Rare or Poorly Known Flora in the Geraldton District (Patrick, S.J., 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013) as Caladenia barbarella
Scientific name Caladenia barbarella [68686]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Hopper & A.P.Brown
Infraspecies author  
Reference Hopper, S.D. & Brown, A.P. (2001) Nuytsia 14(1/2): 162, figs 34A-F, 35A
Other names Drakonorchis barbarella [56721]
Drakonorchis barbarella Hopper & Brown ms. [67287]
Drakonorchis barbarella Hopper & A.P.Brown ms. [67376]
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
http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/19218

Scientific name: Caladenia barbarella

Common name: Small Dragon Orchid

The species is conventionally accepted as Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Hopper & Brown 2001). The species was previously considered to belong to the genus Drakonorchis. However, molecular studies have identified that this species belongs in the genus Caladenia, in subgenus Drakonorchis (CHAH 2005).

The Small Dragon Orchid is a tuberous, terrestrial orchid (Western Australian Herbarium 2006) growing from 8–25 cm high. It has a single leaf, 3–6 mm wide and 3–8 cm long, which lies fairly close to the ground. Flowering occurs from late August to September (Brown et al. 1998; Hoffman & Brown 1992). There is one flower, approximately 2 cm long and 2 cm broad, on each flowering stalk. The green labellum has shining purple calli (glands) at its base and is covered in long purple hairs that attract the pollinators, male thynnid wasps (Brown et al. 1998).

The Small Dragon Orchid is endemic to Western Australia. It is known from 14 populations east and north-east of Kalbarri in the Geraldton Sandplains Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia bioregion and the Northern Agricultural and Rangelands Natural Resource Management Region (WA DEC 2008; Western Australian Herbarium 2006).

The extent of occurrence of the Small Dragon Orchid is estimated to be between 1300 km² and 2000 km² (WA DEC 2008). The exact extent of occurrence and area of occupancy of the species is currently unknown (WA DEC 2008).

Recent examination of aerial photographs indicates there may be additional areas of suitable habitat that may support this species. However, due to the remoteness of these areas, they have not yet been surveyed (WA DEC 2008).

Two populations of the Small Dragon Orchid occur on active pastoral stations and one small population occurs across both Kalbarri National Park and unallocated crown land (WA DEC 2008). Two populations occur within conservation estate (Kalbarri National Park and Cooloomia Nature Reserve) managed by the Western Australian Government, and nine populations, including the three largest populations, which contain 73% of the total number of individual plants, occur on a pastoral lease which is managed for conservation by Bush Heritage Australia (WA DEC 2008). Therefore, the majority of individual plants occur on land managed for conservation.

Based on surveys undertaken between 1983 and 2008, the total population size of the Small Dragon Orchid is estimated to be approximately 490 mature plants (WA DEC 2008).

The populations of Small Dragon Orchid have not been surveyed over a sufficient period of time to establish whether the species as a whole is declining, or whether the species is likely to continue to decline in the future (TSSC 2009bh).

The six populations of the Small Dragon Orchid that have been surveyed over a period of more than 10 years, have demonstrated a general decline in the number of individual plants. Two populations have shown a marked increase in population size, although these populations have been surveyed over a period of less than 10 years. The remaining six populations have only been surveyed once and therefore trends in these populations cannot be assessed (WA DEC 2008).

The Small Dragon Orchid grows singularly or in small, dense clumps consisting of two or three plants, in lateritic sandy clay loam or clay soil. The species generally occurs along seasonal creek lines and swamps, or more rarely on rocky ledges. The Small Dragon Orchid typically inhabits areas of dense heath or tall scrub of Melaleuca uncinata or Acacia spp., and grows alongside Brachysema aphylla and Hakea preissii (WA DEC 2008).

The age of sexual maturity and life expectancy are unknown. The species flowers from August to September, with poor flowering occurring in dry years (Western Australian Herbarium 2006).

Threats affecting the Small Dragon Orchid include grazing, habitat degradation, weed infestations, population fragmentation, fire and climate change.

Grazing
Grazing by rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a threat to the Small Dragon Orchid. Grazing by feral goats (Capra hircus) is considered to be a potential threat to the populations occurring on Eurardy Station (WA DEC 2008). However, efforts are being made to bait and shoot rabbits and to fence off known populations to limit grazing by feral goats and rabbits at this site (WA CALM 2006c). As this threat is being actively managed, it is not clear whether it is still having a substantial impact on the species as some populations are increasing in numbers and some are decreasing in numbers (WA DEC 2008).

Habitat degradation
The population within Kalbarri National Park shows evidence of damage caused by vehicles and camping activity (WA CALM 2006c).

Weeds
Weed infestation poses a threat to the population within Kalbarri National Park (WA DEC 2008).

Fragmentation
The species is fragmented due to its specific habitat requirements and each isolated population is vulnerable to stochastic events such as wildfire (WA CALM 2006c).

Fire
Frequent fire events during the species' active growing period have the potential to kill plants and reduce the size of populations. However, fire is considered to be an uncommon event in the area in which the species occurs and is not considered to be a major threat (WA CALM 2006c).

Climate change
Climate change is also a potential threat to the Small Dragon Orchid. Climate change and associated processes are expected to affect biodiversity in Western Australian in the next several decades (WA CALM 2004b). As the Small Dragon Orchid occurs in small fragmented populations and has specific habitat requirements, changes in climatic conditions that alter particular parameters of the habitat may threaten the species. However, the specific effects climate change may have on this species and the degree of severity, are unknown (WA CALM 2006c).

Minister's Reasons for Recovery Plan decision:
The approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats. Therefore, a recovery plan is not considered to be necessary at this time.

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (TSSC 2009bi) outlines the following research priorities:

  • Design and implement a monitoring program, or if appropriate, support and enhance existing programs.
  • More precisely assess population size, distribution, ecological requirements and the relative impacts of threatening processes.
  • Undertake survey work in suitable habitat and potential habitat during the flowering period (late August to September) to locate any additional populations/occurrences/remnants and more precisely assess population size.
  • Undertake seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the requirements for successful establishment, including mycorrhizal association trials.
  • Undertake further research into the species' pollination system.

In addition, the Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (TSSC 2009bi) outlines the following priority actions:

  • Regularly monitor known populations to identify key threats.
  • Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary.
  • Manage any changes to hydrology that may result in changes to water table levels and/or increased run-off, salinity, sedimentation or pollution.
  • Manage any disruptions to water flows.
  • Suitably control and manage access on private land and other land tenure.
  • Control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land.
  • Ensure development or other activities involving substrate or vegetation disturbance in areas where the Small Dragon Orchid occurs do not adversely impact on known populations.
  • Minimise adverse impacts from land use at known sites.
  • Investigate formal conservation arrangements, management agreements and covenants on private land, and for crown and private land investigate inclusion in reserve tenure if possible.
  • Implement the Threat Abatement Plans for the control and eradication of feral goats and rabbits.
  • Monitor known sites to ensure appropriate grazing regimes occur.
  • Where appropriate, manage total grazing pressure at important/significant sites through exclusion fencing or other barriers.
  • Identify and remove weeds in the local area, which could become a threat to the Small Dragon Orchid, using appropriate methods.
  • Manage sites to prevent introduction of invasive weeds, which could become a threat to the Small Dragon Orchid, using appropriate methods.
  • Ensure chemicals or other mechanisms used to eradicate weeds do not have a significant adverse impact on the Small Dragon Orchid.
  • Develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy for the Small Dragon Orchid.
  • Where appropriate, provide maps of known occurrences to local and state Rural Fire Services and seek inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plans, risk register and/or operation maps.
  • Raise awareness of the Small Dragon Orchid within the local community, through fact sheets, the organisation of field days and through liaison with community interest groups such as the Wildflower Society.
  • Maintain liaison with private landholders and land managers of land on which populations occur.
  • Undertake appropriate seed and mycorrhizal fungi collection and storage.
  • Investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations.
  • Implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al. 2004) if establishing additional populations is considered necessary and feasible.

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (TSSC 2009bi) provides a brief biological overview and management recommendations. The Declared rare and poorly known flora in the Geraldton District (Patrick 2001), the Threat Abatement Plan for Competetion and Land Degradation by Feral Goats (DEWHA 2008adi) and the Threat Abatement Plan for Comeptition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits (DEWHA 2008adh) are also available.

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 NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Soil disturbance and/or trampling due to bushwalking Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:camping NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009bh) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Drakonorchis barbarella (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008mt) [Conservation Advice].

Brown, A., C. Thomson-Dans & N. Marchant, eds. (1998). Western Australia's Threatened Flora. Como, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2005). 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/.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008adh). Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by rabbits. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/rabbits08.html.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008adi). Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/goats08.html.

Hoffman, N. & A. Brown (1992). Orchids of South-west Australia 2nd edn. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press.

Hopper, S.D. & A.P. Brown (2001). Western Australian Orchidology: 2 Caladenia. Nuytsia. 14:162-166.

Patrick, S.J. (2001). Declared Rare or Poorly Known Flora in the Geraldton District. [Online]. Wildlife Management Program No 26. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from: http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species-and-communities/threatened-plants.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009bh). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/68686-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009bi). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Caladenia barbarella (Small Dragon Orchid). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/68686-conservation-advice.pdf.

Vallee, L., T. Hogbin, L. Monks, B. Makinson, M. Matthes & M. Rossetto (2004). Guidelines for the translocation of threatened plants in Australia - Second Edition. Canberra, ACT: Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management (WA CALM) (2004b). Towards a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for Western Australia: Discussion Paper. Perth, Western Australia: WA CALM.

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

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC) (2008). Records held in DEC's Declared Flora Database and rare flora files. Perth, Western Australia: WA DEC.

Western Australian Herbarium (2006). Florabase - The Western Australian Flora. [Online]. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from: http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/.

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 barbarella in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:42:05 +1000.