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 as Corunastylis ectopa
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brindabella Midge-orchid (Corunastylis ectopa) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005l) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan] as Corunastylis ectopa.
 
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 (13/05/2005) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005g) [Legislative Instrument] as Corunastylis ectopa.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
ACT:Brindabella Midge Orchid (Corunastylis ectopa). An endangered species (ACT Government, 2006b) [Information Sheet].
ACT:Draft Action Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid (Corunastylis ectopa) (Frawley, K., 2008) [State Recovery Plan].
State Listing Status
ACT: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1980 (Australian Capital Territory): 2013 list) as Corunastylis ectopa
Scientific name Corunastylis ectopa [78973]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (D.L.Jones) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Infraspecies author  
Reference The Orchadian 13(10): 460 (2002).
Other names Genoplesium ectopum [78974]
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: Corunastylis ectopa

Common name: Brindabella Midge-orchid

Previous name: Genoplesium ectopum
Corunastylis ectopa is conventionally accepted as a species. This species was originally described as Genoplesium ectopum. It was first collected in 1992 and was described in 1999. In 2002, a revision of the genus Genoplesium saw this species described as Corunastylis ectopa (Jones et al. 2002).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid is a terrestrial orchid that grows to between 10 and 25 centimetres, and forms a single underground tuber. The flowers are either green and reddish-purple, or wholly reddish-purple (Jones 1999).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid is endemic to the Australian Capital Territory. It is currently restricted to a single site in the Brindabella Ranges (Jones 1999).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid has an area of occupancy of approximately one hectare (0.01km2) (Jones 1999).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid is known from only one population in the Brindabella Range, numbering less than 100 plants (Jones 1999).

In 1999 the total population of the Brindabella Midge-orchid was estimated at 70 plants (Jones 1999). The most recent count in February 2004 recorded 35 plants (P.Milburn 2006, pers. comm.). The population size recorded in 2004 was less than 50% of the population in 1999. This reduction may have been due to natural variation associated with drought conditions, as the count in 2004 was conducted after bush fires and drought had affected this area (P.Milburn 2006, pers. comm.).

The population is likely to continue to decline as a result of the threats associated with the nearby road embankment (P.Milburn 2006, pers. comm.; D.Rouse 2006, pers. comm.).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid is known from a single site in the Brindabella Ranges at an altitude of 980 metres. It grows on a steep north facing slope with sparse shrub cover, in tall Eucalyptus radiata forest, extending into a road side verge. The soil is a stony brown loam over shale, derived from the Nungar Beds (Jones 1999; Canberra Geology Map SI 55-16).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid is a seasonal perennial, shooting from a dormant underground tuber after summer rain. In the absence of rain at the appropriate season the plants remain dormant. The solitary leaf is cylindrical and encloses the flowering stem for most of its length. The buds develop rapidly and flowering is in progress about six weeks after the initialising rain event, typically, from late January to mid March. The details of pollination are not known but probably it is insect mediated with other members of the genus being pollinated by small flies, usually in the Chloropidae family. Germinating seedlings require interactions with a mycorrhizal fungal host and this requirement probably persists in order for mature plants to receive adequate carbon and nutrient supply. After setting seed the aerial portion of the plant withers and the tubers remain dormant over the subsequent seasons until the next substantial summer rainfall (Jones et al. 1999; P.Milburn 2006, pers. comm.; D.Rouse 2006, pers. comm.).

The Brindabella Midge-orchid population is currently threatened by the loss of plants as a result of small land slides (Jones 1999), as the site is 10 metres from a road embankment, and plants have been lost as a result of this in the past. However the total magnitude of the loss is not known. Physical disturbance as a result of erosion of the embankment further threatens the population. This threat was increased following the lost of stabilising vegetation after the Canberra bushfire in 2003. Potential threats include physical disturbance of plants through activities such as widening or realignment of the nearby road, and bulldozing of drainage lines and firebreaks (P.Milburn 2006, pers. comm.; D.Rouse 2006, pers. comm.).

The priority recovery and threat abatement actions required to secure the survival of the Brindabella Midge-orchid are (TSSC 2005):

  • protection of the site where it is known to occur from direct physical disturbance;
  • incorporation of conservation measures into relevant Management Plans;
  • undertaking of regular monitoring and further research to collate data on recruitment, and better understand threats.

In the long term, the establishment of ex situ and/or additional populations in the wild should be considered (TSSC 2005).

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
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Illegal collection National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Habitat deterioration due to soil degradation and erosion National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brindabella Midge-orchid (Corunastylis ectopa) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005l) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Habitat degradation caused by shrub thickening National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Pollution:Airborne Agricultural pollutants:Herbicide drift National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brindabella Midge-orchid (Corunastylis ectopa) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005l) [Listing Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa (Frawley, K., 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brindabella Midge-orchid (Corunastylis ectopa) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005l) [Listing Advice].

Frawley, K. (2010a). National Recovery Plan for the Brindabella Midge Orchid Corunastylis ectopa. [Online]. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/corunastylis-ectopa.html.

Jones, D.L. (1999a). Genoplesium ectopum (Orchidaceae), an endangered new species from the Australian Capital Territory. Orchadian. 12(12):570-573.

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

Milburn, P. (2006). Personal communication.

Rouse, D. (2006). Personal communication.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2005l). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Brindabella Midge-orchid (Corunastylis ectopa). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/brindabella-midge-orchid.html.

Anonymous (1964). Canberra 250 000 series geology map SI 55-16. www.geoscience.gov.au.

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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). Corunastylis ectopa in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:57:51 +1000.