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 Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, the species is known from only three locations, has a very small number of mature individuals, and is subject to a number of land-use threats, which can be better managed with a recovery plan in place (14/11/2008).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Flora Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Threatened Orchids 2006-2010 (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2006a) [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 (59) (14/11/2008) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008m) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Threatened Species Listing Statement-Golfer's Leek-orchid Prasophyllum incorrectum (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (TAS DIPWE), 2009aa) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Prasophyllum incorrectum (Golfers Leek-orchid): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014au) [State Action Plan].
TAS:Flowering Times of Tasmanian Orchids: A Practical Guide for Field Botanists (Wapstra, M., N. Roberts, H. Wapstra & A. Wapstra, 2008) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Scientific name Prasophyllum incorrectum [78898]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author D.L.Jones
Infraspecies author  
Reference Muelleria 18;107-108 (2003); http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/attachments/sros-6vj4pl/$file/prasophyllum%20incorrectum%20listing%20statement.pdf
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: Prasophyllum incorrectum

Common Name: Golfers Leek-orchid

The Golfers Leek-orchid from Campbell Town (Tasmania) was included under the name of the Gaping Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum correctum) until 2003. However findings show that the two species are distinct at a molecular level (Jones 2003; Orthia et al. 2003).

The Golfers Leek-orchid is a small terrestrial orchid. It produces a dark green leaf growing to 30 cm in length with a purple base (TSS 2009). The species has a narrow, uncrowded spike of 5–10 cm in length, from which 10–20 reddish-brown (rarely dark red) fragrant and wide opening flowers grow. Flowers are 1.2–1.5 cm in length and 0.7–0.9 cm in width. Lateral sepals are partly joined throughout or free, petals are 7–9 mm in length, 1–1.2 mm in width and upswept to widely spreading. The labellum has entire or slightly irregular margins, is shortly stalked and abruptly recurved at a right angle (near the center). Its apex reaches the lateral sepals or protrudes through them. The labellum has a green (rarely red) callus that extends nearly to the tip (Jones 2003; Jones et al. 1999; TSS 2009).

The Golfers Leek-orchid was first discovered in Tasmania in 1995, but was originally identified as Gaping Leek-orchid until official recognition as a separate species in 2003 (Jones 2003; Orthia et al. 2003). The orchid is known to be endemic to Tasmania. It is restricted to three subpopulations in the State's Northern Midlands region (North Natural Resource Management Region). These subpopulations are thought to represent the remnants of a historically widespread population, fragmented due to clearance of native grassland habitat. The primary subpopulation occurs in the 'rough' of the Campbell Town Golf Course. Only 1–2 individuals have been recorded from each of the other two subpopulations, both occurring on private property to the north of the primary subpopulation (TSSC 2008adi; 2008adv).

The geographic distribution of the Golfers Leek-orchid is very restricted, occurring at only three sites, with a linear extent of 27 km. The extent of occurrence of this species is 60 km² (TSS 2009; TSSC 2008adi).

The estimated area of occupancy of the Golfers Leek-orchid is 0.03 km² (TSS 2009; TSSC 2008adi).

The three known subpopulations of Golfers Leek-orchid were identified during surveys carried out in Tasmania’s Northern Midlands in 1995 and 1999. Despite extensive surveys being undertaken in the last 20 years, particularly focusing on orchids, additional populations of the species have not been found (Fensham 1989; Gilfedder & Kirkpatrick 1993 cited in TSSC 2008adv; Kirkpatrick et al. 1988). This may be due to the extensive clearing and conversion of native grasslands to exotic pasture in Tasmania’s Midlands that has occurred since European settlement. Private property (along with roadsides, rail reserves and rural cemeteries) largely escaped this alteration and thus the species is confined to such areas (Kirkpatrick et al. 1988; McDougall & Kirkpatrick 1994). It is unlikely that populations of the Golfers Leek-orchid will be found outside its current extent (TSSC 2008adv).

The total number of mature Golfers Leek-orchids estimated to occur at the known sites decreased by 500 from 1995–1999 (1500 to 1000 respectively). This large decrease in numbers is attributed to seasonal conditions (DPIWE unpubl. data 2005 cited in TSSC 2008adi). The orchid may not appear every year, and may survive in a dormant state underground for up to 5 years (Coates et al. 1999). More recently, however, the primary subpopulation at Campbell Town Golf Course was estimated to be approximately 1500 mature plants (TSS 2009).

The following table summarises known population information for the Golfers Leek-orchid on private land (TSS 2009).

Subpopulation  Tenure  NRM region  1:25000 map sheet  Year last (first) seen  Area of occupancy (ha) No. of mature plants 
Campbell Town Golf Course Private - Conservation Covenant North  Campbell Town 2008 (1995) Approximately 1500
Wanstead Private North Conara 1999 (1999) 0.00001 1
Buffalo Plains Private North Stanhope 2005 (2005) 0.00001 1

The total number of mature Golfers Leek-orchid individuals is likely to be low and its geographic distribution is precarious. As a result of a range of potential threats, numbers are likely to continue on a downward trend (TSSC 2008adv). There is, however, a lack of historical quantitative data to indicate past trends in population sizes of the species, nor any current information on the likelihood or rate of future decline. It is difficult to determine whether the changes in population size are indicative of longer term trends or simply a reflection of natural fluctuations in above-ground population sizes (TSSC 2008adv).

Studies of the closely related Gaping Leek-orchid have given cause to expect year to year fluctuations in the number of flowering plants. This is thought to be a response to unidentified environmental triggers and life cycle characteristics (Jones et al. 1999).

This species is not protected within reserves. However, of the three private land sites where the species occurs, the Golfers Leek-orchid is protected at the golf course site by a Conservation Covenant under the Tasmanian Nature Conservation Act 2002. This prohibits any activity considered detrimental to the area's native grasslands and threatened plants (DPIWE 2000 cited in TSS 2009; TSSC 2008adv).

The species is known to occupy areas of relatively damp native grasslands dominated by Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass), on well drained grey sandy loam soils at approximately 200 m above sea level (Jones 2006). In addition, the Golfers Leek-orchid is found in grassy woodland in association with eucalypts and Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) (Jones 2003; TSSC 2008adi).

The longevity and reproductive maturity of the Golfers Leek-orchid are yet to be determined. Complicating the research is that it is virtually impossible to link life history stages with plant age for the related Gaping Leek-orchid. This is due to a difficulty in observing seeding recruitment and the reversion of the species to a sterile, juvenile plant state after flowering the previous year (Coates et al. 1999; TSSC 2008adv). Flowering, however, is known to occur in October and November (Jones 2003).

The Golfers Leek-orchid and the Crowded Leek-orchid (P. crebriflorum- the allied Tasmanian endemic) may be distinguished from other Tasmanian leek orchids by their widely gaping flowers. Furthermore, the Golfers Leek-orchid can be distinguished from the Crowded Leek-orchid by the former’s noncrowded flowers, longer labellum tail, thick rough labellum callus and its earlier flowering period (Jones 2003 cited in TSS 2009).

The Golfers Leek-orchid can be distinguished from the closely allied Gaping Leek-orchid on the basis of flower colour. While the Golfers Leek-orchid has reddish-brown flowers, the flowers of the Gaping Leek-orchid are yellowish-green (TSSC 2008adv).

More generally, the species is recognised during flowering periods by its coloured flowers, wrinkled callus and its labellum which is very broad at the base but then narrows and tapers to a short tail (Jones 2006).

Historically, the major threat to the Golfers Leek-orchid has been the agricultural development of Tasmania’s Northern Midlands. Clearance, destruction and mismanagement of habitat remain the primary threat to the species (Jones et al. 1999; TSS 2009).

Identified Threats

The main identified threats to the Golfers Leek-orchid include land clearing and conversion of grasslands to exotic pasture (TSSC 2008adi). 

Potential Threats

The most serious potential threat to the species is accidental damage associated with management of the primary subpopulation’s habitat; the native grasslands that comprise the 'roughs' at the Campbell Town golf course (Jones et al. 1999, Nicholson 2000). The species has persisted at this site due to a combination of regular slashing, lack of fertiliser application and a relatively light grazing regime. Herbs require light and space to grow, and orchids may be shaded out in tussock grasslands that are allowed to grow rank without some form of disturbance. Therefore any changes in management practices are the most serious potential threat to the species; particularly burning, grazing and slashing regimes, herbicide use, the use of recycled effluent for irrigation and fertiliser use and/or fertiliser spray drift (Coates et al. 1999; Jones et al. 1999; TSS 2009; TSSC 2008adi). Despite the ability to lay dormant, the longer the period without flowering and fresh seed production, the greater the threat to the species (Jones et al. 1999).

The status of the other two subpopulations is unclear. However, at least one of the more northerly subpopulations (with a single plant) is believed to have been degraded in the past through light top-dressing with fertilisers which change the soil usually to the orchid’s detriment. This reaction may be a result of their mycorrhizal fungus taking up phosphorus and quickly concentrating phosphates to a toxic level (DPIWE 2000 cited in TSS 2009; Jones et al. 1999; TSS 2009; TSSC 2008adv).

The restricted nature of Golfers Leek-orchid habitat means that any habitat declines or fluctuations in population structure and geographic distribution (as a result of these potential threats) are a serious threat to the species’ survival (TSSC 2008adv).

The main objectives for the recovery of the Golfers Leek-orchid are to: prevent the loss or degradation of known subpopulations; promote conditions for the species' successful recruitment; and increase the number of known subpopulations through survey (TSS 2009).

The Golfers Leek-orchid was included in a grassland recovery project in the late 1990s, aiming to manage and recover Tasmanian grassland orchids. Extension surveys were undertaken under this project, carried out in 1999 and resulted in the discovery of the ‘Wanstead’ subpopulation (TSS 2009).

The Campbell Town Golf Course subpopulation, is subject to a Conservation Covenant (under the Tasmanian Nature Conservation Act 2002) and a management plan aiming to address the conservation of the species (Nicholson 2000). Monitoring plots were established at the golf course site in late 2008 to gauge species responses to slashing and fire regimes (TSS 2009).

Commonwealth Conservation Advice

Refer to the Commonwealth Conservation Advice (TSSC 2008adi) for information on research and monitoring priorities and recovery priority actions to mitigate the threat of mismanagement including the appropriate use of burning, grazing or slashing regimes and chemicals and other mechanisms. Raising awareness of the species and enabling recovery and establishment of additional populations are also encouraged in the Advice.

Description studies for the Golfers Leek-orchid include:

  • Genetic comparison between Victorian and Tasmanian populations of Prasophyllum correctum D. L. Jones (Orchidaceae) suggests separate species (Orthia et al. 2003).
  • A revisionary treatment of four species of Prasophyllum R.Br. (Orchidaceae) loosely related to P. correctum D.L.Jones (Jones 2003).

Studies on closely allied Gaping Leek-orchid in Victoria may also be of some relevance (Coates & Duncan 2007; Coates et al. 2006; Huynh 1999; Huynh & Coates 1999).

Management documents for the Golfers Leek-orchid can be found at the start of this 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:Fertiliser application Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Habitat degradation caused by intensive grazing/feedlots Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat loss and modification due to clearance of native vegetation and pasture improvements Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [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 Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation caused by exotic pasture species Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Agricultural Effluents:Environmental impacts due to application of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Agricultural Effluents:Herbicide application Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008adv) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Fertiliser drift Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Herbicide drift Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Pollution:Household Sewage and Urban Waste Water:Waste treatment plant discharge Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008adi) [Conservation Advice].

Coates, F. & M. Duncan (2007). Population dynamics and management of Prasophyllum correctum (Gaping leek-orchid) at Munro Rail Reserve 1992-2006. Victoria: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Coates, F., I. Lunt & H. Wapstra (1999). Draft Recovery Plan 2000-2002 Prasophyllum correctum D.L. Jones (Gaping Leek-orchid). Environment Australia.

Coates, F., I.D. Lunt & R.L. Tremblay (2006). Effects of disturbance on population dynamics of the threatened orchid Prasophyllum correctum and implications for grassland management in south-eastern Australia. Biological Conservation. 129:59-69.

Fensham, R.J. (1989). The pre-European vegetation of the Midlands, Tasmania: a floristic and historical analysis of vegetation patterns. Journal of Biogeography. 16:29-45.

Gilfedder, L. & J.B. Kirkpatrick (1993). Factors influencing the condition of natural vegetation remnants in subhumid Tasmania. Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Save the Bush Research Program Publisher.

Huynh, T. (1999). In vitro propagation of the endangered Gaping Leek Orchid, Prasophyllum correctum. Hons. Thesis. Melbourne: RMIT University.

Huynh, T. & F. Coates (1999). Propagation and seed viability of the endangered orchid Prasophyllum correctum D.L. Jones (Gaping Leek-orchid). Final report to the Australian Flora Foundation. Project 97/98-14. Sydney, Australian Flora Foundation.

Jones, D.L. (2003). A revisionary treatment of four species of Prasophyllum R.Br. (Orchidaceae) loosely related to P. correctum D.L.Jones. Muelleria. 18:99-109.

Jones, D.L. (2006). A complete guide to Native Orchids of Australia, including the island Territories. Sydney, NSW: New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Jones, D.L., H. Wapstra, P. Tonelli & S. Harris (1999). The Orchids of Tasmania. Carlton South, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Kirkpatrick, J., L. Gilfedder & R. Fensham (1988). City Parks and Cemeteries: Tasmania's remnant grasslands and grassy woodlands. Hobart, Tasmanian Conservation Trust.

McDougall, K. & Kirkpatrick, J.B. (eds) (1994). Conservation of lowland native grasslands in south-eastern Australia. World Wide Fund for Nature Australia.

Nicholson, R. (2000). Rarities in the Rough: playing golf amongst rare and endangered plants. Management plan for the Campbell Town golf course. Nature Conservation Branch, Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Hobart.

Orthia, L.A., R.C. Garrick & E.A. James (2003). Genetic comparison between Victorian and Tasmanian populations of Prasophyllum correctum D.L.Jones (Orchidaceae) suggests separate species. Muelleria. 18:79-88.

Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (TAS DIPWE) (2009aa). Threatened Species Listing Statement-Golfer's Leek-orchid Prasophyllum incorrectum. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/SROS-6VJ4PL/$FILE/Prasophyllum%20incorrectum%20listing%20statement.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008adi). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/78898-conservation-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008adv). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Prasophyllum incorrectum. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/78898-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Section (TSS) (2000a). Prasophyllum correctum Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 nomination. Hobart, Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.

TSS (2009). Listing Statement for Prasophyllum incorrectum (Golfers Leek-orchid). [Online]. Hobart: Threatened Species Section, Department of Primary Industries and Water. Available from: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/attachments/sros-6vj4pl/$file/prasophyllum%20incorrectum%20listing%20statement.pdf.

Wapstra, M., N. Roberts, H. Wapstra & A. Wapstra (2008). Flowering Times of Tasmanian Orchids: A Practical Guide for Field Botanists. [Online]. Self-published by the authors (April 2008 version). Available from: http://www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/LJEM-7DX2BN?open.

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). Prasophyllum incorrectum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 2 Oct 2014 21:50:39 +1000.