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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ai) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009aj) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against threats (26/05/2009).
 
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 (77) (26/05/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009k) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Critically Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Isopogon robustus [82646]
Family Proteaceae:Proteales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Foreman ex N.Gibson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Gibson, N. (2005) Muelleria 21: 97-99, Fig. 1
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: Isopogon robustus

Common name: Robust Coneflower

Synonym: Isopogon robusta

The Robust Coneflower is an open shrub and grows to 1.5 m high. Branchlets are red-brown to grey-brown in colour and minutely pubescent (clothed with soft, short hairs), and hairs are also present on leaves. Solitary flower heads are 38 mm in diameter, pink in colour and surrounded by long, narrow leaves in a cone-like formation (TSSC 2009ai). Flowers are pink and appear in September to October (Western Australia, Herbarium 2006).

The Robust Coneflower is known from a single population in the Parker Range, approximately 200 km south-west from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, in the Avon Natural Resource Management Region (Western Australian Herbarium 2006). This species was first collected in 1994 (Gibson 2005).

In 2008, the Robust Coneflower has an area of occurrence of 2.5 ha (WA CALM 2006b; WA DEC 2008). There is insufficient data to suggest a previous decline or predict future trends (WA CALM 2006b).

Robust Coneflower's extent of occupancy is 0.0298 km². There is no data to indicate a previous decline or predict future trends. There are some known threats that, if unmitigated, may lead to a future decline (WA CALM 2006b).

The Robust Coneflower is known from a single population (WA CALM 2006b).

Since its discovery, the Robust Coneflower, and its preferred habitat, has been well surveyed. Since the 1980s, thorough regional flora and vegetation surveys have been undertaken in the eastern Goldfields Ranges, and no further subpopulations have been discovered (WA DEC 2008).

Various surveys have been made of the greenstone landforms in the Marvel Loch and Parker Range area. Greenstones are metamorphosed volcanic rocks such as basalt or tuff and generally occur in 10 km wide belts and provide specific soil types. These land forms often support unique species and communities that are restricted to those sites. They are usually high in minerals (such as gold), which is why they are often subject to intense mineral exploration (WA CALM 2006b).

The total population size for the Robust Coneflower is estimated to be approximately 203 mature plants when surveyed in October 2006 (WA DEC 2008). The following table presents subpopulation information (WA CALM 2006b):

Subpopulation Survey date Number of mature plants Number of seedlings Number of dead plants
1 14/12/2001
02/08/2003
11/10/2006
120
269
203
7
Not recorded
14
1
Not recorded
0

During the 2003 survey, it was recommended that six discrete subpopulations be recognised, however, this recommendation has not been used in later surveys. In 2003, the numbers of plants in each subpopulation were as follows: 1a, 50 plants, 1b, 60+ plants, 1c, 43 plants, 1d, 70 plants, 1e, 7 plants and 1f, 39 plants (note, this is 2003 data) (WA CALM 2006b).

As there is only a single, small population, the entire population is essential for the species recovery and long-term survival (WA CALM 2006b).

The single known population occurs on Unallocated Crown Land. The area in which the Robust Coneflower occurs (Parker Range) has a number characteristics that make it suitable for future inclusion in the reserve system (WA CALM 2006b).

Robust Coneflower occurs in very open shrubland. Associated species include White Cypress-pine (Callitris columellaris) and Broom Honey-myrtle (Melaleuca uncinata). The species occurs on a decomposing laterite shelf and grows in grey skeletal sandy loam over laterite (Western Australian Herbarium 2006).

There is very little known about the species' biology and ecology (WA CALM 2006b). The details of the Robust Coneflower's ages of sexual maturity, life expectancy and natural mortality are unknown (WA CALM 2006b).

The flowering period for this species is from September to October. The pollination biology of the species has not been studied. It is unknown if the species requires a disturbance regime to reproduce (WA CALM 2006b).

Detection of the Robust Coneflower would be optimum during its flowering period from September to October (WA CALM 2006b).

The single known population of the Robust Coneflower occurs in an area that is at risk from mining development and exploration activity. Areas of vegetation on Parker Range have been significantly impacted by mining exploration in the past (Gibson & Lyons 1998). Prior to the species being listed under the EPBC Act, the subpopulation was dissected by a drill line, however, the number of plants that have been damaged or affected by mining exploration is unknown (WA DEC 2008). If future mining exploration occurs, roads may be developed and plants can be damaged or killed and population fragmentation could occur (WA DEC 2008).

The impacts of fire on the Robust Coneflower is unknown, although it is likely that too frequent fire kills juveniles, depletes the soil seed bank and could lead to localised extinction (WA CALM 2006b).

Climate change and the associated processes such as sea level rise and increases in carbon dioxide levels are expected to affect biodiversity in Western Australia during the next few decades (WA CALM 2004). It is of particular threat to rare highly specialised species that are often already occurring in small fragmented populations (WA CALM 2004).

Minister's reason not to have a recovery plan
A recovery plan for this species is not considered to be necessary at this time as the approved conservation advice provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against threats (2009).

Undertaken recovery actions
The Western Australia Department of Land and Administration and mining companies with mining tenements in Parker Range have been advised of the location of the Robust Coneflower (WA CALM 2006b).

Future recovery actions
Rare flora markers should be installed at the site to reduce the risk of accidental damage/destruction from mining activity. In 2008, markers had not been installed at the subpopulation (WA DEC 2008).

Research priorities identified in the Conservation Advice for Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (TSSC 2009aj) include:

  • Design and implement a monitoring program or, if appropriate, support and enhance existing programs.
  • More precisely assess ecological requirements and the relative impacts of threatening processes.
  • Undertake seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the requirements for successful establishment.
  • Assess ecological requirements and demographic information including the species' response to disturbance (e.g. fire).

Priority actions identified in the Conservation Advice for Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (TSSC 2009aj) include:

  • Monitor the population to identify key threats.
  • Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary.
  • Investigate inclusion in reserve tenure if possible.
  • Manage any other known, potential or emerging threats such as mineral exploration in the area where the species occurs.
  • Identify appropriate intensity and interval of fire to promote seed germination.
  • Where appropriate provide maps of known occurrences to local and state Rural Fire Services and seek inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plan(s), risk register and/or operation maps.
  • Raise awareness of the Robust Coneflower within the local community.
  • Investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations.
  • Implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al. 2004) if establishing additional populations is considered necessary and feasible.
  • Undertake appropriate seed or germplasm collection and storage.

The Conservation Advice for Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (TSSC 2009aj) includes recovery actions for this species. A state interim recovery plan may be developed (WA CALM 2006b).

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
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat damage caused by exploration drilling Commonwealth Listing Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ai) [Listing Advice].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009aj) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ai) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009aj) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Road construction Commonwealth Listing Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ai) [Listing Advice].

Gibson, N. (2005). A new species of Isopogon (Proteaceae) from southwest Western Australia. Muelleria. 21:97-99.

Gibson, N. & M.N. Lyons (1998). Flora and Vegetation of the Eatern Goldfields Ranges. Part 3: Parker Range. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 81:119-129.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009ai). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/82646-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009aj). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isopogon robustus (Robust Coneflower). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/82646-conservation-advice.pdf.

Vallee, L., T. Hogbin, L. Monks, B. Makinson, M. Matthes & M. Rossetto (2004). Guidelines for the translocation of threatened plants in Australia - Second Edition. Canberra, ACT: Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management (WA CALM) (2006b). Records held in CALM's Declared Flora Database and rare flora files. Perth, Western Australia: WA CALM.

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC) (2008). Records held in DEC's Declared Flora Database and rare flora files. Perth, Western Australia: WA DEC.

Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (WA CALM) (2004). Towards a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for Western Australia Discussion Paper. Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Western Australian Herbarium (2006). Florabase - The Western Australian Flora. [Online]. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from: http://florabase.calm.wa.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). Isopogon robustus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:56:07 +1000.