Fitzgerald biosphere recovery plan



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Dibbler Parantechinus apicalis (Dasyuridae)

(Southern Dibbler, Dibla)



Conservation Status

  • IUCN Red List 2010: Endangered

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Endangered

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Endangered

Photo: © Tim Button (DEC)



Description

A small marsupial (<14cm length) with grizzled grey-brown pelage above and grey-white below, as well as distinctive white orbital ring and unusually tapering hairy tail. Males about 25% heavier than females and may weigh up to 100g.


Distribution and Habitat

Historically occurred throughout south-west WA and in the Eyre Peninsula, SA and was thought to be extinct until 1967. Presently it occurs naturally in the FRNP and on Boullanger and Whitlock Islands off Jurien Bay. Translocated populations are found on Escape Island, at Peniup NR near Jerramungup and Stirling Range NP.

Likely to exploit a wide range of habitats over its range but in Fitzgerald Biosphere its occurrence is associated with long-unburnt heathland, particularly with sandy or lateritic substrates, with a dense canopy >1m high.
Important Populations

Approximately 90% of the total population of Dibblers occur in the FRNP. This population is especially important as it is only remaining naturally occurring mainland population.


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The area of occupancy of the known populations; and

  • Similar habitat that currently does not contain the species but may be suitable for translocations.


Biology and Ecology

A carnivorous marsupial, it feeds primarily on invertebrates as well as small reptiles, birds and mammals. Will also consume vegetable matter and has been recorded on flowering Banksia species.

Mainly crepuscular and during inactive periods rests either above or below ground. Females may live for up to 4 yrs and male life expectancy varies from 1 to 3+ yrs depending on the incidence of ‘facultative male die-off’ which may be experienced in some populations. Sexually mature at 10-11 months and produce one litter per year in spring.
Threats

Predation by feral cats and foxes; Inappropriate fire regimes (e.g. high frequency and intensity fires); Loss of habitat; Degradation of habitat (loss of structural diversity) from the effects of Phytophthora dieback; Competition with the house mouse, Climate change.






References

DEWHA (2010) Parantechinus apicalis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat.- Accessed 1/4/2010

Friend, J.A. (2003) Dibbler Recovery Plan July 2003-2013, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Albany, Western Australia.

Friend, T., Burbidge, A. & Morris, K. 2008. Parantechinus apicalis. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org - Accessed 1/4/2010



Western Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus flaviventris (Psittacidae)

(Kyloring)



Conservation Status

  • IUCN Red List 2010: Not Listed*

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Endangered

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Critically Endangered

* IUCN assessment of conservation status pending review of this taxon’s specific status.

Photo: © Brent Barrett (DEC)



Description

A medium-small parrot with bright green plumage and long strongly graduated tail. Extensive barring on head, wings, tail and belly. Mature adults have a crimson frond. Recent taxonomic work has shown that this subspecies is sufficiently distinct from Eastern Ground Parrot (P. w. wallicus) and to be recognised as a distinct species (Murphy et al. 2010). Main distinguishing feature from P. w. wallicus is yellow hue to belly. Rarely seen except when flushed has distinctive zigzag flight on stiff wing-beats.


Distribution and Habitat

Formerly widespread in coastal heathland throughout south-west WA from Israelite Bay to near Dongara. Now confined to FRNP and Cape Arid NP (and adjacent areas of Nuytsland NR). Waychinicup NP population not recorded since 2003 and presumed extinct.

Requires long-unburnt (5-40+ yrs) near-coastal heathland with high floristic diversity. Vegetation is usually low (<1m high) with abundant sedges (>40% cover). May use more recently burnt habitat if long-unburnt habitat exists nearby.
Important Populations

Only two populations of this species are known to be extant. The FRNP populaton is the smaller of the two, having declined dramatically in recent years. This population is considered to be important.


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The current area of occupancy; and

  • Any possible other areas used as dispersal corridors; and

  • Potential habitat into which the species could disperse or be translocated.


Biology and Ecology

Generalist herbivore, consuming seeds, fruits and flowers of a range of native flora species and foraging on ground or on low shrubs. Diurnal but peak calling and flight activity before dawn and after dusk. Vocalisations distinctive series of high-pitched whistles, often combined with other discrete call types. Generally solitary but forms pairs during breeding season (July to December).


Threats

Predation by feral cats and foxes; Inappropriate fire regimes (e.g. intense and high frequency fires); Degradation of habitat from the effects of Phytophthora dieback, hard-hoofed introduced animals and weed invasion; Fragmentation of habitat through clearing of native vegetation; Altered hydrology; Stochastic events; Small population size (genetic issues) exacerbated by fragmented and isolated populations, Climate change.






References

Burbidge, A.H., Blyth, J., Danks, A., Gillen, K., Newbey, B. (1997) Western Ground Parrot Interim Recovery Plan 1996-1999. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth, Western Australia.

Gilfillan, S., Comer, S., Burbidge, A., Blyth, J., Danks, A. & Newell, J. (2009) South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Plan 2009-2018. Department of Environment and Conservation, Albany, Western Australia.

Murphy, S.A., Joseph, L., Burbidge, A.H. & Austin, J. (Unpublished) A Cryptic And Critically Endangered Species Revealed By Mitochondrial DNA Analyses – The Western Ground Parrot.



Red-tailed Phascogale Phascogale calura (Dasyuridae)

(Wambenger, Kingo)

Conservation Status

  • IUCN Red List 2010: Near Threatened

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Endangered

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Endangered

Photo: © Babs & Bert Wells (DEC)



Description

A small, arboreal marsupial, ash-grey above and cream-white below. Male body length can be up to 12.2cm, with females reaching 10.5cm in body length. The distinctive tail is reddish on its proximal half, and black and brush-like on the distal half and may reach a length of 14.5cm.


Distribution and Habitat

Formerly widespread across much of arid and semi-arid Australia from western NSW to central NT and south-west WA. Now restricted to isolated reserves and remnant bushland in the WA wheatbelt from Ravensthorpe to Beverley.

In the Fitzgerald Biosphere, it prefers Allocasuarina woodland but is also found in Moort (E. platypus) woodland. It is most abundant in areas unburnt for 20+ yrs. Tree hollows are used as refuge from fire.

Important Populations

Little is known about the populations of this species in Fitzgerald Biosphere so all known and extant populations are considered important.


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The area of occupancy of the known populations; and

  • Any possible other areas used as dispersal corridors; and

  • Potential habitat (Allocasuarina woodland and Moort (E. platypus) woodland) into which the species could disperse or be translocated.


Biology and Ecology

Opportunistic carnivores and will consume a range of invertebrates, small birds and mammals. They are nocturnal and despite their arboreal habits, will often forage on the ground.

Breeding occurs from July to October and young reach sexual maturity by May to June of following year. As with some other small dasyurids, males exhibit seasonal die-offs after the mating period and females may live up to 3 yrs. Its population dynamics are believed to be strongly correlated to rainfall within the previous 12 months, i.e. high numbers are associated with high rainfall.
Threats

Predation from feral cats and foxes; Inappropriate fire regimes (high frequency and intensity fires); Loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat associated with land clearing; Climate change effects particularly those associated with reduction in rainfall; Vehicle collision.






References

DEWHA (2010) Phascogale calura in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat - Accessed 6/4/2010

Friend, T. (2008) Phascogale calura. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org - Accessed 6/4/2010

Heath Mouse Pseudomys shortridgei (Muridae)

(Heath Rat, Dayang)


Conservation Status

  • IUCN Red List 2010: Near Threatened

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Vulnerable

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Vulnerable

Photo: © Greg Harold



Description

A small grey-brown rodent, superficially similar to more common and widespread Rattus spp., but distinguished by scales on tail which do not occur in ring formation. Its pelage is flecked with buff and black above and paler below. Tail is bicoloured (dark on top, pale below).


Distribution and Habitat

Formerly distributed in coastal heathland and mallee on the west and south coasts of WA as well as south-west VIC and south-east SA (including Kangaroo Island). The Heath Mouse was previously thought extinct in WA but was rediscovered in 1987. Currently known in WA from populations at Ravensthorpe Range, Lake Magenta NR, Dragon Rocks NR and the FRNP along with a few sites in mainland SA and VIC.

In WA, inhabits long unburnt (30+ yrs) mallee scrub and ‘mixed’ scrub (e.g. Banksia spp.) on loamy soils.
Important Populations

Little is known about the populations of this species in Fitzgerald Biosphere so all are considered important.


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The area of occupancy of the known populations; and

  • Similar habitat within 1km of all species distribution records that provides a potential habitat buffer for the species.


Biology and Ecology

Based on studies of the species in VIC, is mainly herbivorous and will feed on diverse vegetable matter (flowers, seeds, fruits etc) with a preference for leaves and stems of monocotyledonous plants. May also feed on subterranean fungi (truffles).

Breeding occurs in late spring/summer and up to two litters of usually three young are produced. Females are sexually mature at 10-12 months.
Threats

Loss and fragmentation of habitat; Inappropriate fire regimes (e.g. regime that does not create mosaics of differing fire ages); Predation by feral cats, foxes and native avian predators.






References

Cockburn A., (1995) Heath Rat Pseudomys shortridgei. The Mammals of Australia, edited by R. Strahan, pp617-618. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

DEWHA (2010) Pseudomys shortridgei in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat - Accessed 6/4/2010

Menkhorst, P. & Morris, K. (2008) Pseudomys shortridgei. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org - Accessed 6/4/2010


Acacia rhamphophylla (Fabaceae)

(Kundip Wattle)



Conservation Status

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Endangered

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Critically Endangered

Photo: © Anne Cochrane (DEC)



Description

A low spreading shrub, 200-400cm high with globular yellow flowers (2.5-3mm) and dense greyish-green phyllodes (11-17mm long) which are prominently grooved with round ends but have short points below the tips. Stems appear black due to short hairs and recurved bristly stipules. Seed pods are 10-15mm and are hard, thin, brittle and blackish in colouration.


Distribution and Habitat

Discovered in Ravensthorpe Range in 1992, the single population occupies approximately 5ha comprising c.1,500 mature plants.

Occurs in open shrub mallee vegetation on stony slopes in well-drained sandy clay. Associated geology is on or near points of contact between serpentine and banded iron formation. Most common in disturbed areas but will occur in more mature vegetation types.

Important Populations

Ravensthorpe Range population is the single known population of the species and is therefore considered important for the long-term recovery and survival of the species.


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The area of occupancy of the known population; and

  • Similar habitat within 200m of the known population that provides potential habitat for recruitment; and

  • Remnant vegetation that may link future populations; and

  • Nearby occurrences of similar habitat that currently does not contain the species but may be suitable for translocations.


Biology and Ecology

Flowers prolifically August to September. Juvenile period unknown. Regenerates well after disturbance and fire and is thought to be capable of producing large numbers of viable seed. Significant deaths of mature individuals may be linked to senescence, suggesting a need for germination stimulants (e.g. fire). Resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi is unknown although the majority of Acacia spp. is resistant.


Threats

Impacts from mining activities (e.g. loss of habitat, soil compaction, dust, introduction of weeds or pathogens, potential for introduction of poisonous chemicals); Inappropriate fire regimes; Small population size; Stochastic events; Climate change.





References

Hartley, R. & Barrett, S. (2005) Kundip Wattle (Acacia rhamphophylla) Interim Recovery Plan 2005-2010. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Albany, Western Australia.



Adenanthos dobagii (Proteaceae)

(Fitzgerald Woollybush or Jugflower)



Conservation Status

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Endangered

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Vulnerable

Photo: © Sarah Barrett (DEC)



Description

A diffuse shrub, up to 50cm high. Leaves are silvery, have three segments and are concentrated at ends of branchlets. Branches are covered in flattened hairs. Flowers small (11mm long) and cream or pale pink in groups of three. Similar to Adenanthos flavidiflorus which also occurs in the FRNP.


Distribution and Habitat

Endemic to the FRNP and restricted to seven populations in the south-central region of the park, numbering c.125,000 individual plants. The estimated area of occupancy is c.21.9km².

All populations appear to be stable in the absence of bushfire. Good regeneration observed following bushfire in 1998 and 2008.

Occurs in low-lying areas of sandy soils among low shrubby open heath or open mallee vegetation.


Important Populations

All known and extant populations as the species has a restricted range (endemic to the FRNP).


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The area of occupancy of the known populations; and

  • Similar habitat within 1km of all species distribution records that provides a potential habitat buffer for the species.


Biology and Ecology

Flowers Aug-Nov. Lacks lignotuber; is killed by fire and regenerates from seed. Thought to be susceptible to Phytophthora cinnamomi. Juvenile period is 4 yrs.


Threats

Inappropriate fire regimes (frequent and extensive fire); Degradation of habitat from track maintenance; Phytophthora dieback, Climate change.







References

Barrett, S., Comer, S., McQuoid, N., Porter, M., Tiller, C. & Utber, D. (2009) Identification and Conservation of Fire Sensitive Ecosystems and Species of the South Coast Natural Resource Management Region. Department of Environment and Conservation, South Coast Region, Western Australia.

DEWHA (2010). Adenanthos dobagii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat - Accessed 7/4/2010

Robinson, C.J. & Coates, D.J. (1995) Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District, Wildlife Management Program No 20. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth, Western Australia.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Adenanthos dobagii (Fitzgerald Woollybush). Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/21253-conservation-advice.pdf - Accessed 7/4/2010

Adenanthos ellipticus (Proteaceae)

(Oval-leaved Adenanthos)



Conservation Status

  • Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999): Vulnerable

  • Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950): Vulnerable

Photo: © Sarah Barrett (DEC)



Description

An erect, tall and open shrub that grows to 5m. Leaves 2-5cm long, 5-15mm wide, some with lobular tips. Flowers solitary, 2-5cm long, cream to orange-red in colour and held on 8mm stalks in leaf axils.


Distribution and Habitat

Endemic to the FRNP, with three known populations in the vicinity of East and West Mts Barren and Thumb Peak. Occurs over approximately 89km² although the area of occupancy is probably <0.31km² with c.40,000 mature flowering plants.

Favours shallow, siliceous humus-rich soils over quartzite outcrops and dense shrubland.
Important Populations

All known populations as the species has a restricted range (endemic to the FRNP).


Habitat Critical to Survival

  • The area of occupancy of the known populations; and

  • Similar habitat within 1km of all species distribution records that provides a potential habitat buffer for the species.


Biology and Ecology

Flowers August to January and April to May (possibly all year round). Lacks lignotuber, is killed by fire but regenerates from soil-stored seed. Juvenile period is ±4 yrs. May hybridise with A. cuneatus. Presumed susceptible to Phytophthora cinnamomi.


Threats

Inappropriate fire regimes (high frequency and/or intensity fires); Phytophthora dieback; degradation of habitat from road maintenance, Climate change.




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