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 as Chamelaucium sp. C Coastal Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Chamelaucium<>/i> sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872) (Royce's Waxflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014dj) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (29/04/2014).
 
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 Chamelaucium roycei.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (11/04/2007) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007f) [Legislative Instrument] as Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872).
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178, 181 and 183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (160) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014h) [Legislative Instrument] as Chamelaucium sp. C Coastal Plain (R.D.Royce 4872).
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list) as Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)
Scientific name Chamelaucium sp. C Coastal Plain (R.D.Royce 4872) [86887]
Family Myrtaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author WA Herbarium
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Chamelaucium roycei [56751]
Chamaelaucium roycei Marchant & Keighery ms. [67277]
Chamaelaucium roycei N.G.Marchant & Keighery ms. [67372]
Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872) [82023]
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 species was previously known as Chamelaucium sp. South Coastal Plain and its manuscript name is Chamelaucium roycei (Brown et al. 1998).

Royce's Waxflower forms an intricately branched spreading shrub up to 120 cm tall and 60 cm across. It has inconspicuous greenish-white flowers and young branches are coloured fawn to reddish (Brown et al. 1998; Smith 1994).

This species occurs on the Southern Swan Coastal Plain below the Whicher Range, near Busselton, Western Australia (Brown et al. 1998). There are a number of populations, many in close proximity, scattered between Capel, Busselton, Tutunup and Ambergate (Williams et al. 2001). Royce's Waxflower is confined mainly to remnant heathland along the abandoned Nannup-Busselton Railway (in the Tutunup-Ruabon area). A small population also occurs along a narrow road verge about 15 km south-west of the main population, near the Vasse River (Lindburg Road population). Royce's Waxflower is mainly found on land vested for the purposes of a railway, with much smaller areas on road reserves, a drainage reserve and in a nature reserve (Smith 1994).

The extent of occurrence is calculated to be 5 km². The extent of occurrence was calculated by drawing a boundary around all the known subpopulations to create a polygon. The computer program Arcview GIS and a dataset taken from the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation's (DEC) Threatened Flora Database (which contains a single GPS coordinate for each subpopulation) was used to determine the area of the polygon. There is no data to indicate a decline in extent of occurrence of this restricted species (DEC 2007a).

The area of occupancy is approximately 0.0244 km² (or approximately 2.44 hectares) according to on-ground area of occupancy estimates for all subpopulations. There is no data to indicate a decline in area of occupancy of this species. There is no data to indicate future changes in area of occupancy (DEC 2007a).

Royce's Waxflower is known from 18 locations in the Busselton area (DEC 2007a).

There are no translocated populations for this species (DEC 2007a).

The species distribution is considered to be fragmented as the known subpopulations are scattered with considerable distances between them (DEC 2007a).

Royce's Waxflower has been surveyed opportunistically by DEC staff since 1987. Surveys of the known subpopulations were also made in June 1997.


Subpopulation Survey History Number of Plants Recorded Area
1a 24/10/1987
12/06/1992
77
111
0.1 ha (includes 1b, 1c)
1b 12/06/1992 Not recorded See 1a
1c 13/06/1991
15/12/1995
1
26
See 1a
2a 31/10/1987
09/05/1991
27/06/1997
21/12/2004

975
100s
100+
0.5 ha (includes 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h)
Not recorded
2b 17/12/1992
27/06/1997
  See 2a
2c 09/15/1991
22/04/2004

150+ (includes 2d)
See 2a
Not recorded
2d 31/10/1987
10/06/1994
14/05/1991
27/06/1997
22/04/2004


300

see 2c
See 2a



See 2c
2e 17/12/1992
10/06/1994
27/06/1997
12/01/2000
600


100
See 2a
2f 14/05/1991
10/06/1994
37 See 2a
2g 17/12/1992
27/06/1997

25
See 2a
2h 09/05/1991
27/06/1997

25
See 2a
3a 16/11/1998
12/05/1992
15/09/1993
02/07/2003

39
60
13
0.2 ha
3b 29/06/1992
15/09/1993

Not recorded
0.1ha
4 13/12/1998
17/12/1992
27/06/1997

400
60
0.5 ha
5 02/04/1993 141 0.2 ha
6 02/04/1993 205 0.1 ha
7 03/11/1993
27/12/1995

0
0.1 ha
8 21/07/1994
27/12/1995
15
10
0.2 ha
9a 16/10/1995 50 0.2 ha (includes 9b)
9b 16/10/1995 Not recorded See 9a
10 29/06/1997
02/07/2003
14
0
0.1 ha
11 29/08/1997 40 0.1 ha
12 10/09/1997 3 0.01 ha
13 20/08/1997 20 0.01 ha
14 23/09/1997 4 0.01 ha
15 23/09/1997
10/09/1999
31
27
0.1 ha
16 02/01/1998 15 0.1 ha
17a 28/08/2001
06/02/2003
3
20 (includes 17b)
0.1 ha (includes 17b)
17b 28/08/2001
06/02/2003
20
See 17a
See 17a
18 26/06/2002
01/11/2006
8
60
0.1 ha
(DEC 2007a)

The total population size for this species is estimated to be 1 025 mature plants. However, this is an estimated count from population monitoring that occurred up to a decade ago for some subpopulations and is therefore likely to be inaccurate (DEC 2007a).

The species is known from 18 locations (the species was not recorded at two of these locations at the last survey). Many of these populations are split into subpopulations. Subpopulations are defined by differences in land tenure and management, as well as location.

Based on the information available, the population trend for Royce's Waxflower appears to be stable. There is no data to indicate past declines or future changes in size (DEC 2007a).

The species' generation length is probably less than 20 years (DEC 2007a).

As all the subpopulations for this species occur in a restricted area and are subject to serious threats, all known subpopulations are important for the species recovery and long-term survival (DEC 2007a).

No cross breeding has been recorded for this species.

Subpopulations 1a and 16 occur within nature reserves which are part of the DEC conservation estate. Most of the remaining subpopulations occur on Crown Land including shire road reserves, water reserve, rail reserves and state forest.

Royce's Waxflower is confined to swamp margins (Hopper et al. 1990) in open Dryandra shrubland in winter-wet sandy clay sites on a coastal plain (Brown et al. 1998). It occurs in low woodlands of Eucalyptus rudis, Melaleuca rhaphiophylla, Astartea fascicularis, or Proteaceous heaths (Williams et al. 2001).

Royce's Waxflower is found in heathland growing on sandy loams or loams over laterite hardpan at depths of less than 50 cm. The two main populations of Royce's Waxflower at Tutunup and Ruabon occur in a wet heathland (<2 m) or shrubland (>2 m) vegetation type. Species in common between populations are Grevillea diversifolia, Jacksonia furcellata, Pericalymma ellipticum and Synaphea reticulata (Smith 1994).

Subpopulations 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 16, 17 and 18 occur adjacent to or within the EPBC listed 'Shrublands on southern Swan Coastal Plain Ironstones' (Endangered) ecological community (Gibson et al. 1994). These ironstone soils are highly restricted in distribution.

At these locations, the species is also associated with six other listed threatened flora: Gastrolobium papilio, Lambertia echinata subsp. occidentalis, Petrophile latericola, Dryandra nivea subsp. uliginosa, Dryandra squarrosa subsp. argillacea and Darwinia sp. Williamson (DEC 2007a).

Royce's Waxflower is an obligate seeder and is invariably killed by fire but regenerates from seed after fire (if the propagules survive the fire). This was observed after a wildfire event in January 2005. The fire was intense and a large number of germinates were observed after the fire event. It can also germinate in the absence of fire in favourable situations. It is a pioneer of disturbed areas. Shoot growth in this species starts in June and extends through to late January, and flower formation tends to coincide with shoot growth. It flowers from early November to December, and shoot and reproductive growth appears to be closely linked with the rise of the watertable in the area (Smith 1994).

Royce's Waxflower has the typical characteristics of an insect pollinated species (abundant, small, white, moderately scented flowers). Originally it may have been pollinated by native bees or wasps as are many species of the Myrtaceae. Introduced honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been observed feeding on the nectar of flowers, but it is not known whether they can effect successful pollination (Smith 1994).

This species has a very low seed set (<1.5 % of flowers had apparently viable seeds). One apparently viable seed was found in each of two fruits out of 200 fruits examined. The rest of the ovaries contained brown, undeveloped or degenerate ovules (Smith 1994).

Royce's Waxflower is recognised by its inconspicuous greenish-white flowers and narrow leaves 4-10 mm long and 0.3-0.9 mm wide (Brown et al. 1998).

This species is best detected when in flower (DEC 2007a).

Subpopulation Number Current Condition Past Present Potential Future
1a     Phytophthora dieback  
1b        
1c     Road maintenance activities  
2a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h   Weed spraying Phytophthora dieback, firebreak construction and maintenance, road and rail edge effects, weeds, prescribed burning Road, rail and firebreak maintenance activities, edge effects, weeds.
2d,e     Phytophthora dieback, firebreak construction and maintenance, weeds, prescribed burning, trampling by horses. Drainage works
3a     Weeds Grazing
3b        
4     Firebreaks, disease, grazing, burning  
5        
6        
7        
8     Firebreaks, disease, burning  
9a     Phytophthora dieback, grazing by sheep  
9b     Phytophthora dieback, grazing by sheep  
10       Weeds, roadworks
11       Weeds
12       Weeds, grazing
13       Weeds
14   Fire, weed spraying    
15   Fire, weed spraying    
16        
17a        
17b        
18 Healthy   Weeds Mining
(DEC 2007a)

This is a typical insect-pollinated plant but its isolation in a reserve surrounded by farmland may have resulted in a diminution in its natural pollinators; the introduced bees observed visiting its flowers may be ineffective (Smith 1994).

This species is at substantial risk because few of its natural populations occur within conservation reserves. Because it is an obligate seeder, it depends on being able to produce sufficient seed to replace plants killed by drought or fire. Even on mature plants producing 300 or more flowers annually, only three or four viable seeds may be produced (Smith 1994).

This species is subject to continuing human disturbances and these are having a detrimental effect on population numbers.

At subpopulations 14 and 15 numbers have fallen from 140 adults and 50 seedlings in 1988, to about 15 adults and no seedlings in 1994. At Ruabon, the main population consisted of about 3 500 adults in 1991; at least 3 000 of these died as a result of a hazard reduction burn in 1993. In 1991, over 500 died in another fire and spraying of herbicide is likely to have accounted for another 55 (Smith 1994).

Fuel reduction burns on the roadsides at subpopulations 14 and 15 have been carried out at least every two or three years since the population was discovered. A substantial area of the populations at Ruabon and Tutunup was burned in 1991 and a large area of the Tutunup population in 1993.

Machinery used to construct firebreaks destroyed some plants in 1991 and 1993, and widening of a firebreak destroyed several plants in 1993.

Training of trotting horses regularly takes place along the firebreaks on the south side of Wonnerup Road at Ruabon and some trampling of plants (subpopulations 2d and e) has occurred.

The edges of the narrow reserve along which the Ruabon-Tutunup populations grow exposes a large proportion of the plants to increased levels of wind and light because it is bounded on the north and south by predominantly cleared paddocks (Smith 1994).

Weeds (especially Watsonia) threaten many of the subpopulations. The development of species-specific herbicide (e.g. 2-2-DPA) has allowed the control of invasive weeds such as Watsonia with minimal risk and disturbance to native species. The application of the chemical during 2005 provided excellent results and it should be a valuable tool for future control.

Phytophthora cinnamomi has been found on the roadside in the Tutunup-Ruabon area in the past although it does not currently appear to have affected much of the heathland (DEC 2007a).

A management plan for the Wonnerup Road rail and road reserves (which is where the majority of Royce's Waxflower is located) is being produced that will provide guidance on prescribed burning and follow-up weed control for use by landholders and agency staff in managing the reserves so that biodiversity values are protected.

The Ruabon-Tutunup Rail Preservation Group (a local community group) has undertaken the development of a management plan with assistance and contribution from other stakeholders (DEC and Shire of Busselton). The management plan will address environmental factors and community issues regarding any management actions such as weed control, hygiene management and fuel reduction. The development of this plan has meant that the value of specific species and vegetation associations, and their survival for the long-term has been identified and highlighted, particularly concerning the Ruabon-Tutunup road site (DEC 2007a).

Cuttings were taken from subpopulations 3 and 8 on 28 June 1991 (Williams et al. 2001) and used by the Western Australian Department of Agriculture in propagation trials for the horticulture industry. The species is now available through some commercial nurseries.

Smith, R.S. (1994) The ecology of two rare Chamelaucium species (Myrtaceae) from Southwestern Australia Masters thesis.

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:Ecosystem Degradation:Wind damage Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Vegetation and habitat loss caused by dieback Phytophthora cinnamomi Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
Pollution:Agricultural Effluents:Herbicide application Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
Species Stresses:Species Stresses:unspecified Chamelaucium sp. C Coast Plain (R.D.Royce 4872)in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ez) [Internet].

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

Department of Environment and Conservation (WA) (DEC) (2007a). Records held in the DEC's Declared Flora Database and rare flora files. Western Australia, Department of Environment and Conservation.

Gibson, N., B.J. Keighery, G.J. Keighery, A.H. Burbidge & M.N. Lyons (1994). A floristic survey of the Southern Swan Coastal Plain. Unpublished report for the Australian Heritage Commission. Prepared by the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Conservation Council of Western Australia (Inc.).

Hopper, S.D., S. van Leeuwen, A.P. Brown & S.J. Patrick (1990). Western Australia's Endangered Flora and other plants under consideration for declaration. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Consrvation and Land Management.

Smith, R.S. (1994). The Ecology of Two Rare Chamelaucium species (Myrtaceae) from Southwestern Australia. M.Sc. Thesis. Murdoch University.

Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb (2001). Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2. [Online]. Western Australian Wildlife Management Program No. 33. Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from: http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species-and-communities/threatened-plants.

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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). Chamelaucium sp. C Coastal Plain (R.D.Royce 4872) in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Tue, 2 Sep 2014 20:36:24 +1000.