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 Helicteres macrothrix
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013du) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice for Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (a shrub) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013dx) [Listing 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] as Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280).
 
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 Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.B.Byrnes 1280).
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (156) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013y) [Legislative Instrument] as Helicteres macrothrix.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (Cowie, I., R. Kerrigan & B. Stuckey, 2012) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Endangered (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012) as Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.B.Byrnes 1280)
Scientific name Helicteres macrothrix [86586]
Family Malvaceae:Malvales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Cowie
Infraspecies author  
Reference Cowie, I.D., (2011) New taxa and notes on Helicteres. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 27: 46-47, Figs 4, 7A-E, 13, 14 [tax. nov.]
Other names Helicteres sp. 1 (D2164) [24592]
Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) [56739]
Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.B.Byrnes 1280) [81628]
Helicteres sp. (N. Byrnes 1280; Glenluckie Creek) [67298]
Helicteres sp. D2164 Glenluckie Creek [67467]
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

The Mt Bundey population has longer inflorescences then the Glenluckie Creek population and may warrant recognition at the subspecific level (Cowie et al. 2012).

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is an erect, multi-stemmed shrub growing to about 40 cm (and occasionally up to 60 cm) high. The above ground parts of the plant are annual, the rootstock is perennial. The flowers are a pink-purple colour; the fruits green and woolly-hairy (Cowie et al. 2012).

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is endemic to the NT. The species is recorded from three populations - near Mt Bundey, Batchelor/Glenluckie Creek and Lake Bennett (Cowie et al. 2012; Holtze 2004). While it is possible that extensive targeted searches may uncover additional populations, there is a high degree of confidence that the species is restricted to its current general area (Cowie et al. 2012).

The extent of occurrence of Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is estimated to be 915 km² (Cowie et al. 2012; Holtze 2004). The population of Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek at Glenluckie Creek and Lake Bennett are estimated to occupy a combined area of 10 ha. The population at Mt Bundey occurs over about 50 ha (Cowie et al. 2012). Thus, the area of occupancy of the species is likely to be around 60 ha (0.60 km2).

The two most distant populations are approximately 60 km apart (Holze 2004). Whilst no genetic analysis has been carried out, it is considered unlikely that genetic dispersal between the populations would occur. Thus, the distribution is considered fragmented.

The distribution of Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is considered to be adequately surveyed (Kerrigan & Cowie 2006).

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek has a total population of at least 200 000 (Cowie et al. 2012).

In 2002, surveys at Glenluckie Creek and Lake Bennett indicated that populations were localised but abundant over an area of 10 hectares. An average density of 2.55 plants/m² was recorded, which suggests at least 100 000 plants in the area (Cowie et al. 2012).

In 2012, surveys at Mt Bundey recorded an average density of 0.1877 plants/m², which indicates approximately 94 000 plants over an area of 50 hectares (Cowie et al. 2012). Of these, approximately 40 000 plants are present in Mary River National park. There is potential suitable habitat in the area that has not been surveyed where further plants may occur (Cowie et al. 2012).

A population is known from Mary River National Park (Cowie et al. 2012).

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek occurs in woodland dominated by Darwin Box (Eucalyptus tectifica), Darwin Stringybark (E. tetrodonta) and Darwin Woollybutt (E. miniata) on sandy loam on rocky siltstone slopes (in the (Glenluckie Creek - Lake Bennett area) or granitic rocks (Mt Bundey area) (Cowie et al. 2012). The species is absent from the laterite country predominant in the region. The fine-grained sedimentary rocks and syenite/granite this species occurs on have a limited geographic distribution in the north-west NT (Needham & Stuart-Smith 1984).

Flowering of Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek has mostly been recorded in January and September to November, and fruiting in January, March, October and November (Cowie et al. 2012). Flowering has also been recorded in September in an area where the species was resprouting after fire (Holtze 2004). Resprouting occurs vigorously after fire (Cowie et al. 2012).

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is readily detectable in the field and distinguished from other species of Helicteres by its erect growth habit, height to approximately 60 cm and densely clustered axillary inflorescences (Cowie 2005 pers. comm.). Plants tends to die back to underground storage organs during extended dry periods, so it is preferable to carry out survey work during the tropical wet season or early dry season (i.e. from about November through to May) (Cowie 2005 pers. comm.).

Development

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is potentially threatened by clearing for subdivision (Northern Territory Government 2000a). Most of the land around the Lake Bennett and Glenluckie Creek is freehold land currently zoned for rural living (Kerrigan & Cowie 2002). The Mt Bundey population is located partly within a proposed quarry (EcOz Environmental Services 2012). Land clearing can increase the risk of weed invasion and associated fire (Cowie 2005 pers. comm.).

The Mt Bundey population appears to have been dissected by the construction of the Arnhem Highway, the Batchelor population is likely to have lost some individuals due to construction of a railway and the Lake Bennett population is likely to have been affected by land clearing (Cowie 2005 pers. comm.).

Weeds and fire risk

Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek is threatened by Gamba Grass (Andropogon gayanus) and Perennial Mission Grass (Pennisetum polystachyon). Habitat disturbance increases an area's susceptibility to invasion and these grasses are likely to smother plants, alter fire intensity and frequency, and potentially impact on recruitment. Gamba Grass and Perennial Mission Grass support fuel loads far greater than the natural fuel load levels (Barrow 1995; Panton 1993). Although both species of weed are known to invade undisturbed bushland, they are more prevalent on disturbed land and along roadsides. However, while soil disturbance appears to favour the establishment of Mission Grass (Cowie & Werner 1988), invasion can also occur where there is little, if any, disturbance (Cowie 2005 pers. comm). The high prevalence of these weeds on freehold land may also reflect the dense road network and high levels of vehicle movement (Kean & Price 2003).

The following research priorities have been recommended for Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (Cowie et al. 2012; TSSC 2006bc):

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

Further surveys may yield additional populations. The species is likely to require habitat protection on private lands and state lands if further clearing occurs (Cowie et al. 2012).

Management documents relevant to Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek are at the start of the 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
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006m) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Pennisetum polystachion (Mission Grass, Perennial Mission Grass, Missiongrass, Feathery Pennisetum, Feather Pennisetum, Thin Napier Grass, West Indian Pennisetum, Blue Buffel Grass) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006m) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006m) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008yy) [Conservation Advice].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:unspecified Commonwealth Listing Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006m) [Listing Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Transportation and Service Corridors:Road and rail maintenance works Commonwealth Listing Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2006m) [Listing Advice].

Barrow, P. (1995). The Ecology and Management of Gamba Grass (Andropogon gayanus Kunth.). Final Report to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency. Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries.

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

Cowie, I., R. Kerrigan & B. Stuckey (2012). Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek. [Online]. Available from: http://lrm.nt.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species/specieslist.

Cowie, I.D. & P.A. Werner (1988). Weeds in Kakadu National Park - a survey of alien plants - Phase II. CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research, Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, Darwin.

EcOz Environmental Services (2012). Response to Request for Preliminary Documentation - McKinlay Quarry - Stage 2.

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

Kean, L. & O. Price (2003). The extent of Mission grasses and Gamba Grass in the Darwin region of Australia's Northern Territory. Pacific Conservation Biology. 8:281-290.

Kerrigan, R.A. & I.D. Cowie (2002). Survey of Helicteres Glenluckie. Unpublished data. Darwin Herbarium. Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment. Northern Territory Government.

Kerrigan, R.A. & I.D. Cowie (2006). Threatened Species Information Sheet: Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek. [Online]. Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts. Available from: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/threatened/pdf/plants/Helicteres_sp.GlenluckieCk_EN.pdf.

Needham, R.S. & P.G. Stuart-Smith (1984). Geology of the Pine Creek Geosyncline. 1:500,000 scale map. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Canberra.

Northern Territory Government (2000a). Coomalie Planning Concepts and Land Use Objectives 2000. Northern Territory Government, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment.

Panton, W.J. (1993). Changes in post World War II Distribution and status of Monsoon Rainforests in the Darwin Area. Australian Geographer. 24(2):50-59.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2006bc). NON-APPROVED Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Helicteres sp. Glenluckie Creek (N.Byrnes 1280) Cowie. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/helicteres-sp-glenluckie-ck.html.

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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). Helicteres macrothrix in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:48:05 +1000.