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 Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
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].
 
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Acacia anomala [8153]
Family Fabaceae:Fabales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author C.A.Gardner ex Court
Infraspecies author  
Reference Court, A.B. (1978) Three new species of Acacia (Mimosaceae) from Western Australia. Nuytsia 2(4): 168, figs. 1, 4 [tax. nov.]
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.dec.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/3219

The Grass Wattle is an erect, spindly, rush-like shrub, 0.2-0.45 m high (Kelly & Coates 1991; Brown et al. 1998; Orchard & Wilson 2001). The tiny yellow flowers are arranged in cylindrical spikes up to 3 cm long (Kelly & Coates 1991).

This species occurs on the western slopes of the Darling Range, east of Perth, WA (Kelly & Coates 1991; Brown et al. 1998). It grows from near Chittering south to Pickering Brook (Orchard & Wilson 2001)

There are three disjunct localities over a 45 km range (Kelly & Coates 1991). These are:
1. The Kalamunda/Bickley populations are 22 km east-south-east of Perth (Court 1978; Leigh et al. 1984), distributed over 1-2 km² (Coates 1988). Plants are mostly in a relatively undisturbed reserve, with a few individuals extending on to nearby private land and road verge (Kelly et al. 1990).
2. The Chittering/Bullsbrook/Muchea region is 40 km north-north-east of Perth (Court 1978). Populations are distributed over 20 km² (Coates 1988). The species is largely confined to private land, with small populations occurring on road verges and in a recreation reserve (Kelly et al 1990; Kelly & Coates 1991).
3. The Pickering Brook populations are located relatively close to the Kalamunda/Bickley populations (Kelly & Coates 1991).

In 1998, Atkins reported 13 populations with a total of 10 965 individuals. Of these, most were on forestry land (the vast majority in state forest in the Pickering Brook region), but there were167 within national parks and nature reserves, 55 in shire land (including road verges and recreation reserves), and 187 on private property (Atkins 1998b).


Population details as in Atkins (1998)*:

PopulationLand Tenure / PurposeYear of survey/
number of plants
1aPrivate property / other1991 - u
1bPrivate property / other1992 - u
1cShire / recreation, conservation of flora and fauna1994 - 15
2Private property / other1988 - 17
3aPrivate property / other1994 - 31
3bShire / recreation1994 - 22
4Private property / other1994 - 1
5Private property / other1994 - 5
6aPrivate property / other1991 - 100
6bShire / road verge1987 - u
6cPrivate property / other1986 - 3
7aNational park / conservation of flora and fauna1991 - 7
7bNational park / conservation of flora and fauna1987 - 80
7cNational park / conservation of flora and fauna1991 - 80
8APrivate property / other1988 - u
8bPrivate property / other1996 - 20
8cShire / road verge1995 - u
8dShire / road verge1994 - 3
8eShire/ road verge1987 - u
9aPrivate property / other1985 - 10
9bShire / road verge1985 - 12
10Private property / other1988 - u
11aLands and Forestry Commission / forestry1997 - 7000
11bLands and Forestry Commission / forestry1994 - 0
11cLands and Forestry Commission / forestry1993 - 14
11dLands and Forestry Commission / forestry1997 - 3500
11eLands and Forestry Commission / forestry1991 - 42
12Shire / road verge1992 - 3
13aShire / road verge1993 - u
13bPrivate property / u1993 - u

* - 'u' denotes unknown

Some dieback has been noted in Population 11 (Atkins 1998).

The species grows over laterite in shallow sand, loam, clay or gravel that is brown, yellow or grey (Court 1978; Leigh et al. 1984; Kelly et al. 1990; Kelly & Coates 1991; Atkins 1998; Brown et al. 1998; Orchard & Wilson 2001). It grows on ridges, slopes and low plains (Atkins 1998). Chittering soils are shallow grey sands. Kalamunda soils are shallow loam and Pickering Brook soils are yellow-brown sands (Kelly & Coates 1991).

The species grows entangled amongst other low shrubs in dense vegetation (Kelly et al. 1990; Kelly & Coates 1991; Atkins 1998). It grows in low open woodland or forest dominated by Eucalyptus marginata, E. wandoo, E. accedens and Corymbia calophylla (Leigh et al. 1984; Coates 1988; Kelly & Coates 1991; Brown et al. 1998). Understorey heath is dominated by Grevilllea, Dryandra, Hakea and Acacia species (Kelly et al. 1990; Atkins 1998; Brown et al. 1998).

The region experiences a warm Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The average rainfall ranges from 832 mm at lower Chittering, to 1221 mm near Pickering Brook. Over half of the rain falls June-Aug. (Kelly & Coates 1991).

The species has a very short flowering period of about three weeks in late Aug. and early Sept. (Kelly & Coates 1991; Brown et al. 1998).

Flower production varies between years (Kelly & Coates 1991). Flowers are insect pollinated and are primarily outcrossed. Due to population fragmentation, pollinator movement and gene flow are severely restricted. Ants may play a key role in seed dispersal and in facilitating germination (Coates 1988).

Populations at the different localities exhibit contrasting modes of reproduction (i.e. sexual versus vegetative) and so have different requirements for the conservation of their genetic resources (Kelly & Coates 1991). The northern populations near Chittering reproduce primarily by seed whereas the, populations at Kalamunda and probably also those at Pickering Brook are clonal and spread via slender underground rhizomes (Kelly & Coates 1991). A single clone may extend over 100 m and has sterile pollen, indicating that no seed is produced (Buist et al. 2002).

Despite their small size and isolated nature, the Chittering populations show high genetic diversity. Nevertheless, the clonal populations at Kalamunda are more highly differentiated from one another than are the Chittering populations. In situ conservation of the species' genetic resources, requires all Kalamunda populations to be maintained, but only a few larger Chitttering populations to be protected (Coates 1988).

The species regeneration response to disturbance is unclear. The species may 'tolerate some disturbance, judging by the discovery of 100 plants in a disused section of a gravel pit at Muchea' (Leigh et al. 1984). However, the species does not appear to be a disturbance opportunist (Kelly & Coates 1991). An entire population was destroyed by fire in June 1992, but the species regenerated and regained its former 'wheatfield' density by Sept. 1995 (Atkins 1998). At Chittering, fire appears to promote germination (Kelly & Coates 1991).

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:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to firewood collection Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].
Pollution:Garbage and Solid Waste:Dumping of household and industrial waste Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Acacia anomala (Grass Wattle) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ae) [Conservation Advice].

Atkins, K.J. (1998). Conservation Statements for threatened flora within the regional forest agreement region for Western Australia. Page(s) 1-95. Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Atkins, K.J. (1998b). Final report to the RFA on the projects: A - Distribution of species of special interest; B - Assessment of the conservation status of insufficiently known flora and ecological communities and threatened taxa and ecological communities. Page(s) 1-20. CALM, WA.

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

Coates, D.J. (1988). Genetic Diversity and Population Genetic Structure in the rare Chittering Grass Wattle, Acacia anomala Court. Australian Journal of Botany. 36:273-286.

Court, A.B. (1978). Three new species of Acacia (Mimosaceae) from Western Australia. Nuytsia. 2(4):168-177.

Kelly, A.E. & Coates, D.J. (1991). Recovery Plan for the Grass Wattle (Acacia anomala). CALM, WA. Unpubl. report to ANPWS.

Kelly, A.E., D.J. Coates, I. Hereford, S.D. Hopper, M. O'Donoghue & L. Robson (1990). Declared Rare Flora and Other Plants in need of Special Protection in the Northern Forest Region. Perth: Department of Conservation & Land Management.

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

Orchard, A.E. & A.J.G. Wilson (eds) (2001). Flora of Australia, Volume 11A, Mimosaceae, Acacia Part 1.

Register of the National Estate Database (RNEDB) (2001). Register of the National Estate Database.

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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). Acacia anomala in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:30:39 +1000.