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 Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418)
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006ad) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8148) NT Herbarium (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008yi) [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
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (43) (14/08/2006) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2006g) [Legislative Instrument] as Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418).
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Threatened Species Information Sheet, Toechima sp. East Alligator (Kerrigan, R. & I. Cowie, 2006) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Endangered (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012 list) as Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418)
Scientific name Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418) [81627]
Family Sapindaceae:Sapindales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author NT Herbarium
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Toechima sp. East Alligator (DNA D55598) [79226]
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: Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418)

Toechima sp. East Alligator is a small, multi-stemmed, slender-branched tree growing to five metres high. The bark is light grey-brown and almost smooth (NT DIPE 2004).

Toechima sp. East Alligator is endemic to the Northern Territory. This taxon is known from only one very small population in an Allosyncarpia rainforest patch in Arnhem Land near the Upper East Alligator River east of Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory (Liddle et al. 1994; NT DIPE 2004).

Although there are no quantitative data on the taxon's extent of occurrence, a comprehensive regional survey of Northern Territory Allosyncarpia rainforest patches indicates that 72% of these patches are very small in size, being <10 ha in area (Russell-Smith 1992). It is, therefore, suggested that the taxon's maximum extent of occurrence is 10 ha (0.01 km²) (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

There are no quantitative data on the taxon's area of occupancy. Until further information becomes available, it is suggested that the maximum area of occupancy be regarded the same as the estimated area of occurrence, that is 10 ha (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

Although the Arnhem Land plateau is remote and difficult to access, a relatively high proportion of the Northern Territory Herbarium collections comes from the Arnhem Land/Kakadu area. There are 1391 plant records from an area of approximately 625 km2 where Toechima sp. East Alligator has been found.  Despite a lack of species specific surveys of this taxon, the comprehensive rainforest surveys, carried out in the 1980s (Liddle et al. 1994), and the relatively high level of collection in the area of potential habitat indicate that current knowledge accurately reflects the taxon's restricted distribution and abundance (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

There are no quantitative data available on population size, other than J. Russell-Smith's collection indicating that the population is 'very small'. Population studies of Northern Territory rainforest patches, being < 2.5 ha in size, indicate that most populations, including that of this taxon, are represented by less than 50 adults in 81% of such patches (Russell-Smith 1992; Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

The single known population of Toechima sp. East Alligator occurs on Aboriginal Freehold Land within the Northern Land Council region (NT DIPE 2004) outside of Kakadu National Park (Liddle et al. 1994; NT DIPE 2004).

Toechima sp. East Alligator occurs in a very sheltered and deep sandstone gorge in an Allosyncarpia monsoon rainforest in association with Podocarpus sp. (native pines) (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

Toechima sp. East Alligator is only known from sterile material and is able to regenerate as a coppice from rhizomes. Although fruiting material has not been seen, species within this genus have arillate seeds (with an outer covering) (Hyland et al. 2002) suggesting animal dispersal vectors (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

Threats to Toechima sp. East Alligator are difficult to identify or quantify given its occurrence in a deep sandstone gorge in Arnhem Land (Kerrigan & Cowie 2006). 

Whilst there is evidence to indicate that monsoon rainforests are generally vulnerable to disturbance from cattle (Bos taurus), the Buffalo (Bubalus arnee), the Pig (Sus scrofa) and dry-season wildfires (Russell-Smith & Bowman 1992), collection notes for Toechima sp. East Alligator document that the known population is growing in a very deep gorge that is well protected from such threats (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

Given that this taxon may not be sexually reproducing, or that this population cannot cross with other populations, the long-term genetic viability of this taxon is likely to be compromised (Kerrigan 2005 pers. comm.).

Research priorities identified by Northern Territory Herbarium staff are to provide (Kerrigan & Cowie 2006):

  • a more detailed assessment of its distribution, habitat requirements and population size, and
  • an assessment of threats to its survival and/or factors limiting its distribution. 

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
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006ad) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006ad) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006ad) [Listing Advice].

Hyland, B.P.M., T. Whiffin, D.C. Christophel, B. Gray & R.W. Elick (2002). Australian Tropical Rain Forest Plants: Trees, Shrubs and Vines. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

Kerrigan, R. (2005). Personal Communication. NT Herbarium, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, Darwin.

Kerrigan, R. & I. Cowie (2006). Threatened Species Information Sheet, Toechima sp. East Alligator. [Online]. Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts. Available from: http://lrm.nt.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species/specieslist.

Liddle, D.T., J. Russell-Smith, J. Brock, G.J. Leach & G.T. Connors (1994). Atlas of the vascular rainforest plants of the Northern Territory. Flora of Australia Supplementary Series No. 3, ABRS, Canberra.

Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment (NT DIPE) (2004). Holtze. Darwin Herbarium specimen database.

Russell-Smith, J. (1992). Plant populations and Monsoon Rain Forest in the Northern Territory, Australia. Biotropica. 24(4):471-487.

Russell-Smith, J. & D.M.J.S. Bowman (1992). Conservation of monsoon rainforest isolates in the Northern Territory, Australia. Biological Conservation. 59:51-63.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2006ad). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/toechima-sp-east-alligator.html.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008yi). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8148) NT Herbarium. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/81627-conservation-advice.pdf.

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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). Toechima sp. East Alligator (J.Russell-Smith 8418) in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:05:13 +1000.