In July 2006, project staff set up a base camp in the Fitzgerald River National



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by Jenna Brooker

Flora Management Course becomes

nationally recognised



by Val English 

DEC’s Flora Management Course was

first presented in 2003 in Busselton, was

run at Jurien in 2004-05, and at Albany

in September 2006.

Topics covered include a large variety of

issues from conservation of genetic

diversity and legislation pertaining to

flora conservation, through to

management of landscape-scale issues

such as hydrological change and dieback

disease to achieve protection of flora and

ecological communities.

The course is available to all Department

staff, with 21 people attending this year.

In 2006, the course was aligned to Unit

of Competency ‘Monitor Biodiversity’

and will contribute to a Certificate IV in

Conservation and Land Management.

This was made possible by the efforts of

DEC’s Training Centre in ensuring the

course meets the Australian Quality

Training Framework Standards for

Registered Training  Organisations.

Increased time spent on outcome-based

field work, and greater focus on

taxonomy and monitoring techniques

were included in the 2006 course. DEC

Albany office staff selected a monitoring

site in the Stirling Range that provided a

spectacular backdrop for participants to

set up detailed baseline monitoring of

the numbers, height and reproductive

status of serotinous species (plants that

hold seed in the canopy and where the

fruit requires heat from a fire to open

and release the seed) in four plots.

A complete floristic survey of each plot

was also undertaken.The South Coast

Region and Albany District will use this

monitoring data to identify appropriate

fire intervals for the plant communities

selected. Knowledge of the canopy

stored seed reserve will contribute to

determining potential recovery of

serotinous species, in particular, following

any controlled burn undertaken in an

area in a specified year. Detailed

monitoring information from this work

is invaluable for informing management

in fire-sensitive plant communities.

The Flora Management Course has been

very well subscribed during its four years

of operation, and the course continues to

evolve based on the feedback received

from participants.The course would not

be possible without the help of the many

DEC staff who agree to provide their

valuable time to impart expertise to

participants each year, or to provide

administrative or other support.

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Status check:

Conospermum toddii

by Wendy Thompson

Conospermum toddii (Victoria Desert

smokebush) is a spreading shrub up to

two metres tall with long, thread-like

leaves and small white flowers.

It is known primarily to occur on yellow

sand dunes in and around Queen

Victoria Springs Nature Reserve where

it has been said that it grows everywhere.

However, as C. toddii is currently listed as

a declared rare flora (DRF) species in the

Goldfields Region, surveys were required

to verify this and surveying and

population monitoring is underway. In

addition to further understanding of the

geographic distribution and population

dynamics, the region is keen to have the

species potentially down-listed from a

DRF to a priority species, if the

proposed surveys show that the species is

not as rare as originally thought.

In September 2006, DEC staff visited the

nature reserve area for further survey,

monitoring and to establish additional

vegetation plots. Before the 2006 survey,

DEC’s records indicated there were an

estimated 915 known plants. DEC staff

recorded new populations in and around

the nature reserve and revisited known

populations.The results of the trip

included recording an estimated 6280

additional plants.

There are reports of significant range

extensions of C. toddii following

discussion with AngloGold Ashanti

Environmental Officers.These reports

would extend the known population by

more than 100 km. DEC is awaiting

lodgement of specimens for confirmation.

Further surveys of Plumridge Lakes

Nature Reserve and Queen Victoria

Springs Nature Reserve were held in

November and December 2006.

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Course monitoring in the Stirling Range.

Photo – Val English

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Conospermum toddii, Queen Victoria

Springs Nature Reserve. Photo – Wendy Thompson



The conservation of Baudin’s cockatoo

and the management of fruit damage by

this species poses a considerable

challenge for DEC and the pome fruit

growing industry.

Endemic to WA’s south-west, Baudin’s

cockatoo is, at the same time, a declared

threatened species and a declared pest of

agriculture. In bygone days, growers

could shoot cockatoos to protect their

crops but this is now illegal.

A grower survey was conducted by DEC

to collect information on damage to

pome fruit crops by Baudin’s cockatoo

in south-west WA during and after the

2004/2005 season. Of the 277 surveys

that were posted to fruit growers

registered as apple and pear growers with

the WAFGA, 86 (31 per cent) were

returned. Some of the key results of the

survey are presented in this article and a

paper on the results of the survey has

been submitted to a scientific journal for

publication.

Most growers (94 per cent) had

previously incurred fruit damage by

Baudin’s cockatoo and 89 per cent

reported that Baudin’s cockatoo had

damaged their crop in the previous 12

months.While Baudin’s cockatoo was

clearly a common pest in orchards, it

was not the only pest bird of pome fruit.

The survey showed that other damage

causing species in these orchards include

the Australian ringneck, red-capped

parrot and other parrots.

The average farmgate value of the fruit

per grower was estimated at $208,018.

Growers estimated fruit loss due to

damage at an average of $12,453 per

property, which equates to six per cent

of average farmgate income. Damage

most commonly occurred in February,

March and April and for all varieties

combined, the most commonly listed

damage category was ‘low’ or less than

10 per cent of fruit lost.The most

severely damaged varieties were Pink

Lady, followed by Granny Smith,

sundowner and Lady Williams apples.

A high proportion of growers, 77 out of

the 86 that completed the survey,

reported that they had previously used

pest control to prevent damage by

Baudin’s cockatoo. Growers spent an

average of $5041 on damage control per

property and this represents two per

cent of average farmgate income during

the 2004/2005 season.

The common perception among growers

that non-lethal damage control techniques

are not effective for Baudin’s cockatoo

was not evident in the survey results.

Combinations of damage control

techniques were highly effective.The most

effective techniques were motor cycle

(harassment) and/or shooting to scare.

Shooting of Baudin’s cockatoo to

protect pome fruit in commercial

orchards is unlawful and the survey

demonstrated that it can not be justified in

terms of the damage the cockatoos cause

or the costs of damage control to growers.

The survey showed that scaring techniques

are cost-effective and are likely to be a

highly effective, non-lethal alternative to

shooting, provided they are employed as

part of a well planned, executed and

evaluated damage control program.

DEC has an obligation to the WA

community to protect Baudin’s cockatoo

from threatening processes and thus aims

to eliminate illegal shooting.To meet

this goal, DEC will continue to provide

advice to pome growers to help them

protect their crops from damage and to

produce fruit in a sustainable manner.

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Baudin’s cockatoo 

Calyptorhynchus baudinii:

an endangered species and a pest of the pome fruit industry

in south-west Western Australia 

by Dr Tamra Chapman

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Abboovvee Baudin’s cockatoo (



Calyptorhynchus

baudinii). Photo – Tony Kirkby

LLeefftt Fruit damage. Photo – Rick Dawson


The New Avon-Mortlock District: 

Partnerships form for threatened species recovery



by Joel Collins

DEC’s Wheatbelt Region has recently

undergone a boundary realignment that

has seen the formation of the new Avon-

Mortlock District, based at Northam.

The realignment has also seen the

amalgamation of the old Narrogin and

Katanning Districts into the Great

Southern District and the former

Merredin District, which has now

picked up additional Unallocated Crown

Land (UCL) to the east, being renamed

Yilgarn District.

The Avon-Mortlock District contains 13

shires and includes local government

authorities (LGA) previously outside the

Wheatbelt Region.These are the Shire

of Victoria Plains (formerly Midwest

Region) and sections of the York and

Northam Shires (formerly Swan

Region). Other LGAs making up the

district include the Shires of

Goomalling,Wongan-Ballidu,

Dalwallinu, Koorda,Tammin,

Cunderdin,Wyalkatchem, Quairading,

Beverley and Dowerin.

With the new boundary changes comes

a new threatened flora list for the Avon-

Mortlock District, which now includes

67 declared rare flora species comprised

of 26 critically endangered, 22

endangered and 19 vulnerable species. A

total of 310 priority flora species have

been recorded in the Avon-Mortlock

District.They include 53 priority 1, 64

priority 2, 116 priority 3 and 75

priority 4 taxa.

Boundary changes have been in response

to improving the Department’s service

delivery in the region, in particular to

the external funding provider the Avon

Catchment Council (ACC).The ACC

has provided funding to a range of

conservation projects in the Avon Basin,

starting in October 2005.

This funding has been allocated to a

range of stakeholders within the new

Avon Natural Diversity Alliance

(ANDA). Members of the alliance

include DEC (Wheatbelt Region),

WWF Australia, Greening Australia and

the Department of Water. Funding will

be provided over a three year period.

Threatened species and communities

funding has been received by the

Department’s Wheatbelt  Region

through a project titled 

Back from the

Edge: Saving Native Species and

Communities Most at Risk.The aim of

this project is to develop a strategic

approach to threatened species and

community management and carry out

urgent recovery actions. As part of this

project the Avon-Mortlock District is

continuing to implement a range of rare

flora recovery actions.These include

threatened flora surveys, fencing of rare

flora populations, weed control,

community awareness and engagement,

rare flora translocations and recruitment

trials.

Specific projects currently being



implemented in the Avon-Mortlock

District include the proposed

translocation of Acacia subflexuosa subsp.

capillata (hairy-stemmed zig zag wattle),

the community awareness project Have

you seen this plant? letter drop to

landholders for the species Gastrolobium



hamulosum (hook-point poison),

Eremophila pinnatifida (Dalwallinu

eremophila) and Cyphanthera odgersii

subsp. occidentalis (western cyphanthera),

surveys for new populations of



Guichenotia seorsiflora and Pityrodia scabra

(Wyalkatchem foxglove) and the

establishment of a threatened flora

herbarium for the Shire of Wongan-

Ballidu.

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foxglove (

Pityrodia scabra).

Photo – Joel Collins

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Editors: Jill Pryde, Mia Morley

DEC Species and Communites Branch

Department of Environment and Conservation

Western Australia

Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, Bentley WA 6983

Email: jill.pryde@dec.wa.gov.au or mia.morley@dec.wa.gov.au

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m  ffaarr  lleefftt Emma Clingan (AWU, Moora district) and Don



Williams (Property owner) using a post hole digger to prepare

a hole to install a pitfall trap. Photo – Kathy Himbeck; a feral

bee (

Apia mellifera) on Conostylis sp. Photo – Jennifer Jackson;



Ted Middelton planting Albany Banksia (

Banksia verticillate)

seed. Photo – Nikki Rouse; and 

Caladenia graniticola. 

Photo – Andrew Brown

2006479-0107-1

The Department of Conservation and Land Management merged

with the Department of Environment, forming the new Department

of Environment and Conservation (DEC) on 1 July 2006. 

One national recovery plan, three interim recovery plans that include two updated plans and a regional threatened flora management

program have recently been endorsed by DEC’s Director of Nature Conservation.

Some of these plans have been updated to include new information. All the plans were written with the assistance of the Commonwealth

Department of Environment and Heritage’s Natural Heritage Trust program.

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Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora 

Roger W. Hearn, Rachel Meissner, Andrew P. Brown,

Warren 

in the Warren Region 2006



Terry D. Macfarlane and Tony R. Annels

National 

*Recovery Plan for the Gouldian Finch 

by Colleen O'Malley in collaboration with the national 

Kimberley Region,

Plan


(Erythrura gouldiae) 2007-2011

Gouldian Finch Recovery Team

NT and Qld

IRP 228


Slender Andersonia (Andersonia gracilis

Gillian Stack, Heather Taylor, Leigh Sage,

Midwest, Swan

IRP 228 2006-2011

Rebecca Evans, Gina Broun and Val English

IRP 229


Rose Mallee, (Eucalyptus rhodantha) Kathy 

Himbeck


Midwest

IRP 229 2006-2011 

(replaces Recovery Plan WMP14)

IRP 230


Shrublands and Woodlands on the eastern side

Rachel Meissner,Val English and Jill Pryde

Swan

of the Swan Coastal Plain (Community type



20C) 2006-2011 (replaces IRP No. 58)

*This plan should be cited as follows:

O’Malley, C. (2006). Recovery plan for the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae).WWF-Australia, Sydney and Parks and Wildlife NT,

Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, NT Government, Palmerston.

Translocation of threatened fauna and flora

Four translocation proposals were approved during 2006.

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Noisy-scrub-bird, Atrichornis clamosus

Noisy-scrub-birds sourced from Mermaid-Waychinicup  

Sarah Comer, Alan Danks, DEC

area to Bakers Junction Nature Reserve, Porongurup National  

Park and Gull Rock Reserve, South Coast Region.

Winged-fruited Lasiopetalum,

From three sources within Serpentine National Park to  

Vanessa Clarke, DEC



Lasiopetalum pterocarpum

sites within 3 km of this source, Perth Hills District.

Prickly honeysuckle, Lambertia echinata Not an actual translocation but the establishment of a  

Emma Adams, Sarah Barrett,

subsp. echinata

seed orchard.

Anne Cochrane, Leonie Monks, DEC

Mogumber bell, Darwinia carnea

Material sourced from the only extant population 

Gillian Stack, Maria Lee, DEC

(northern end of its range) to Udamung Nature Reserve,

Perth Hills District.

Recovery plans approved

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