There is little evidence to suggest that the natural range of Magenta Lilly Pilly was historically
greater than it is today. Herbarium or reliable observational records from localities outside of the
species’ currently accepted distributional limits are lacking. Notwithstanding this, potential
habitat exists to the north of the current range of the species, which may support individuals.
There is evidence to suggest that the abundance of Magenta Lilly Pilly within its natural range
has been markedly reduced since European settlement, and that a number of subpopulations
may have been entirely eliminated. For example, there are fewer trees on the Kurnell Peninsula
today than there were in 1770 when Cook and Solander were reported to have provided an
abundance of fruits to their fellow explorers (Robinson 1991). Additionally, Mills (1996)
postulates that Magenta Lilly Pilly was lost from the northern Illawarra as a result of large-scale
disturbance of local sand dune systems.
Magenta Lilly Pilly mostly occupies a near-coastal distribution in specific, restricted habitats.
Much littoral rainforest has been cleared and now exists only in small fragments, many of which
remain vulnerable to further clearing and modification (Floyd 1990a, 1990b). The clearing of
valley floor vegetation, including lowland rainforest and riparian gallery forest for agriculture, has
almost certainly led to a contraction in the area of habitat available to the species, and a
N S W O f f i c e o f E n v i r o n m e n t a n d H e r i t a g e
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Magenta Lilly Pilly
reduction in species numbers within extant subpopulations. Even where Magenta Lilly Pilly still
exists in riparian remnants, underscrubbing of habitat and grazing by livestock has reduced the
ability of the species to regenerate through seedling recruitment (Payne 1991). In more recent
times, urban expansion has encroached upon agricultural areas, exacerbating habitat loss.
Of the 44 naturally occurring Magenta Lilly Pilly subpopulations currently verified, 18 occur
partly or wholly within conservation reserves. Sixteen of these are located within a NSW
national park, nature reserve or state conservation area, and the other two occur within the
Commonwealth’s Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay. Ten subpopulations occur entirely on
private property, with the remainder located on other publicly-managed land or straddling public-
private property boundaries. A summary of the general locations and underlying tenures of each
subpopulation is presented in Table 2.
Magenta Lilly Pilly has been reported to occur on sandy soil or stabilised sand dunes in coastal
areas (Hyland 1983), in littoral rainforest on sand or subtropical rainforest on sandy soil derived
from sandstone (Floyd 2008), in littoral or subtropical rainforest on sandy soils or stabilised
Quaternary sand dunes (Quinn et al 1995), or in subtropical and littoral rainforest on sandy soils
or stabilized dunes near the sea (Wilson 2002).
The species has been recorded growing mainly on flat to gently sloping sites on floodplains,
creek banks, perched sand dunes, in swales of hind dunes, and on old dunal ridges. It has also
been less commonly recorded on steep sites in gullies, such as in Bouddi National Park and at
Green Point Foreshore Reserve.
The majority of collection notes for the species describe the soil type as being of a sandy
nature. It has been recorded on sandy alluvium, deep sands, podsolised quartz sand,
unconsolidated and permeable deep white-yellow azonal sands, sandstone-derived alluvium,
deep silty sands (flood deposition), dark heavily littered sand; and sandy grey soil on sandstone.
Only a few records describe a non-sandy soil type. For example, the Green Point Foreshore
Reserve subpopulation at Gosford occurs on a deep medium-clay.
Most Jervis Bay subpopulations occur in littoral rainforest or depauperate subtropical rainforest.
On Beecroft Peninsula the vegetation is characterised by dominants such as Small-leaved Fig
(Ficus obliqua), Red Olive Plum (Elaeodendron australe), Plum Pine (Podocarpus elatus) and
Lilly Pilly. Some sites on Beecroft Peninsula are dominated by Magenta Lilly Pilly, which occurs
with the abovementioned overstorey species. At St Georges Basin, Magenta Lilly Pilly co-
dominates with Cheese Tree (Glochidion ferdinandi) and Lilly Pilly beneath emergent Blackbutt
(Eucalyptus pilularis) and Bangalay (E. botryoides), with an understorey including Cabbage
Palm (Livistona australis), Muttonwood (Myrsine variabilis) and Scentless Rosewood (Synoum
The Coalcliff metapopulation occurs in riverine subtropical rainforest, with associated species
including Lilly Pilly, Blue Lilly Pilly and Water Gum (Tristaniopsis laurina).
A number of the Central Coast subpopulations occur in littoral rainforest remnants, which
sometimes grade into swamp sclerophyll forest where drainage is impeded. Vegetation
associates in these areas include Blue Lilly Pilly, Hard Quandong (Elaeocarpus obovatus), Lilly
Pilly, Cabbage Palm, Black Apple (Planchonella australis), Cheese Tree, Tuckeroo
(Cupaniopsis anacardioides), Port Jackson Fig (Ficus rubiginosa), Broad-leaved Paperbark
(Melaleuca quinquenervia) and Flax-leaved Paperbark (M. linariifolia).
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Ta b le 2.
Location and tenure summary of Magenta Lilly Pilly populations
Metapopulation Subpopulation Local
Department of Defence
Long Beach South
Illawarra Escarpment SCA/
Towra Point NR
Captain Cook Drive
Wamberal Lagoon NR
Lower Ourimbah Creek
Wyong River, Deep Creek
Pulbah Island NR
Myall Lakes NP
Booti Booti NP
Note: NP – national park, NR – nature reserve, SCA – state conservation area
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Many of the subpopulations on the Central Coast also occur within riparian forest. The remnant
gallery rainforest along Ourimbah Creek comprises Jackwood (Cryptocarya glaucescens), Lilly
Pilly, Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras) and Native Tamarind (Diploglottis cunninghamii). Other
riparian forest habitat consists of an emergent stratum of eucalypts such as Sydney Blue Gum
(E. saligna) and Mountain Blue Gum (E. deanei) or Blackbutt overlying a rainforest understorey
of species such as Lilly Pilly, Brown Myrtle (Choricarpia leptopetala), Coast Canthium
(Cyclophyllum longipetalum), Blue Lilly Pilly, Lilly Pilly, and Gosford Wattle (Acacia prominens).
Some Central Coast subpopulations also occur in warm temperate rainforest gullies containing
Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), Crabapple (Schizomeria ovata), Ribbonwood
(Euroschinus falcatus), Guioa (Guioa semiglauca) and Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum
Most Karuah-Manning subpopulations occur in littoral rainforest. At Elizabeth Beach (Booti Booti
National Park) the rainforest is part of a remnant, complex mosaic of palm forest, swamp
sclerophyll forest, and drier coastal scrub. The rainforest is dominated by Yellow Tulipwood
(Drypetes deplanchei), Hard Quandong and Small-leaved Fig, with Grey Myrtle (Backhousia
myrtifolia), Myrtle Ebony (Diospyros pentamera) and Big Yellow Wood (Sarcomelicope
At Seal Rocks the rainforest is dominated by Yellow Tulipwood, Small-leaved Fig, Giant Water
Gum (Syzygium francisii), Myrtle Ebony, and Coogera (Arytera divaricata). At Upper Lansdowne
the species occurs in subtropical rainforest with Red Cedar (Toona ciliata), Bangalow Palm
(Archontophoenix cunninghamiana), Soft Corkwood (Caldcluvia paniculosa), Lilly Pilly and Blue
Thurlby (2010) found that there is extremely low genetic diversity within 11 subpopulations
sampled across the species range, with a distinct north-south genetic divide centred on the
Central Coast. Given this, all confirmed naturally occurring populations of Magenta Lilly Pilly are
considered to be important and, therefore, all habitat in which these populations occur is
considered to be critical to the survival of the species.
Life history and ecology
3.3.1 Habit, growth rate and longevity
Although generally a small tree, individual Magenta Lilly Pilly are known to grow up to 25 m tall
and 1 m in diameter at breast height (P. Gilmour pers. comm. in Eco Logical Australia 2006).
The largest specimen known, with a diameter of almost 2 m, was reported from Ourimbah
Creek (R. Payne pers. comm. in Eco Logical Australia 2006). In some of the more exposed
sites, the species tends to take the form of a low, coppiced shrub or small tree.
Large specimens such as those described above are likely to be very old trees. Exactly how old
is difficult to determine in the absence of site histories. Estimated life expectancy is in the order
of 75 to 200 years (A. Bofeldt cited in Benson & McDougall 1998).
3.3.2 Reproductive biology
As mentioned previously, Magenta Lilly Pilly is polyembryonic, producing up to nine seedlings
per seed. Recent work by Thurlby (2010) has shown the species to also be facultative
apomictic; that is, it has the ability to produce fertile seed both sexually (with fertilization) and
asexually (without fertilization). Where the species is reproducing asexually through apomixis
(i.e. producing fertile seed without fertilization), offspring are clones of the maternal plant, and
this can has important implications for conservation of the species.
Magenta Lilly Pilly has a generalised pollination strategy, exhibiting the ability to self-pollinate
and to outcross (Payne 1997). Pollination would most likely be aided, both at the local level and
between subpopulations, by visits to flowers by nectar and pollen-feeding vertebrates and
invertebrates, such as flying-foxes, possums, honeyeaters, lorikeets, introduced and native
bees, beetles, moths and butterflies.
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Magenta Lilly Pilly flowers from December to March (occasionally to May) and produces fruits
from January to May (and sometimes as late as September). Flowering has been observed in
two pulses in some Central Coast subpopulations (Payne 1997). This flowering pulse may be
the reason why fruit have been recorded over so many months of the year.
Fruit production by the species appears to be sporadic (R. Payne pers. comm. in Eco Logical
Australia 2006) but prolific where it has been observed. The seed is contained within a
succulent berry, which quickly breaks down after the fruit has ripened (P. Richards pers. comm.
in Eco Logical Australia 2006). The life expectancy of seed is thought to be less than three
months (A. Bofeldt cited in Benson & McDougall 1998). It is therefore unlikely that Magenta Lilly
Pilly populations support lasting soil seed banks.
Dispersal of seeds is likely to be achieved through several agents. Water would disperse fruits
in riparian habitats subjected to periodic flooding, such as Ourimbah Creek and Martinsville.
Gravity and animals which feed on the fruits of the species are also likely agents. The White-
headed Pigeon (Payne 1991), Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) (Buchanan 1989) and
Grey-headed Flying Fox (Eby 1995) have all been recorded feeding on the fruit of Magenta Lilly
Pilly, and it is likely that other fruit-eating birds and small native mammals also consume the fruit
Floyd (2008) reports ready and rapid germination of seed within 20 days. Payne (1997) found
that the species prefers canopy cover for in situ seed germination due to the greater availability
of moisture under closed canopy conditions. However, seedlings emerging under adult trees are
thought to be short lived (Benson & McDougall 1998). Like many rainforest species, seedling
progression may require a disturbance event, such as a tree fall or storm, which opens up the
Thurlby (2010) found that there is extremely low genetic diversity within 11 subpopulations
sampled across the species range. It was also found that, between subpopulations, there is a
distinct north-south genetic divide centred on the Central Coast somewhere near Cams Wharf
and Green Point.
In evolutionary terms, this divide suggests two main genetic units as opposed to the five
metapopulations identified on a purely geographic basis. Subpopulations sampled north of this
divide exhibit a higher level of genetic diversity than those that were sampled south of the
divide. In the case of these southern subpopulations, there was virtually zero genetic diversity
between them. Therefore, when referring to metapopulations and subpopulations in this
recovery plan, it should be taken to mean geographically distinct populations unless otherwise
Fire may be a regenerative mechanism in some Magenta Lilly Pilly subpopulations, with Payne
(1991) observing coppicing from the bases of burnt-out main trunks of trees at North Entrance.
It appears that wildfires can also kill trees (R. Payne cited in Benson & McDougall 1998), so it is
possible that only fires of low intensities induce coppicing. This response to fire is similar to that
exhibited by other species occupying drier sites and into which fire may occasionally encroach,
such as Grey Myrtle and Lilly Pilly. It is considered that Magenta Lilly Pilly would not tolerate a
frequent fire regime. Magenta Lilly Pilly is also thought to tolerate a certain amount of inundation
Magenta Lilly Pilly is widely cultivated in eastern Australia as an ornamental garden plant
(Nicholson & Nicholson 1994; Wrigley & Fagg 1996; Floyd 2008). The species is widely used in
planting schemes in many areas along the NSW coast and is known by such common names
as Magenta Cherry, Pocketless Brush Cherry, Brush Cherry, Scrub Cherry, and Creek Lilly Pilly.
A range of horticultural varieties have been developed by the nursery industry, and a number of
P a g e 1 4
registered names exist, including ‘Lillyput’, ‘Undercover’, ‘Little Lil’, ‘Orange Twist’, ‘Beachball’,
Th re a ts a n d Ma n a g e m e n t Is s u e s
Magenta Lilly Pilly subpopulations are subject to a number of active threatening processes. The
major threats are as follows:
Habitat clearing and fragmentation
Clearing can directly destroy individuals and their habitat. It can also lead to degradation of
habitat through the disruption of ecosystem processes and through the exposure of remnants to
potentially damaging agents (including strong and drying winds, high temperatures, direct and
prolonged solar radiation, chemical drift, pests, weeds, and diseases). Degradation can also
occur through the altering of the composition and structure of remnants (the latter a direct
consequence of increased edge effects).
Habitat likely to support Magenta Lilly Pilly continues to be cleared for urban expansion and
infrastructure development. This is particularly evident in the Central Coast and Jervis Bay
regions, where residential and associated developments have expanded rapidly in recent years.
A golf course complex has recently been constructed adjacent to the largest known
subpopulation at North Entrance (Central Coast metapopulation). It is unclear at this stage what
effects this development may have on the subpopulation, in terms of altering local hydrological
regimes (runoff and water use), increasing vulnerability to weed infestations, and increasing
exposure to fertilizer and pesticide drifts. Other habitat losses are threatened by highway
expansion and car park encroachments into habitat.
So far, Magenta Lilly Pilly has persisted in the wild with low genetic variation. However, this low
variation, (particularly for those subpopulations south of the Central Coast) may have long term
conservation implications for the species. Persistence of the species in the current environment
is likely due to the prolific reproduction afforded through polyembryony, as well as the fitness of
existing genotypes to the current environment (Thurlby 2010). This low genetic diversity means
that the species may have difficult adapting to future environmental change.
Inappropriate grazing regimes
The grazing and watering of livestock within riparian areas is contributing to a decline in some of
the largest subpopulations along Ourimbah Creek and along watercourses in the Martinsville
area. Although many Magenta Lilly Pilly individuals are present in both areas, there is little or no
evidence of recruitment at either location due to the effects of trampling by livestock (R. Payne
pers. comm. in Eco Logical Australia 2006).
Grazing, including physical damage to the understorey, has been identified as a threat to the
rainforest habitat of Magenta Lilly Pilly in NSW (NSW Scientific Committee 2004; DEWHA
Weeds are a threat to Magenta Lilly Pilly in that they can compete with the species for water,
nutrients and sunlight. Weeds can also suppress or prevent the early growth and development
of other rainforest species, alter nutrient cycles, increase the risk and intensity of fires, and
physically damage plants. In addition, weed infestation can severely reduce the areas available
P a g e 1 5
Numerous weeds have been identified as posing a threat to Magenta Lilly Pilly or its habitat
(see NSW Scientific Committee 2004; Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2008). In
particular, Lantana (Lantana camara) and Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp.
rotundata) have been identified as a direct threat (Coutts-Smith & Downey 2006; DEC 2006;
National Lantana Management Group 2010).
Subpopulations in Wyrrabalong National Park, Bouddi National Park and Wamberal Lagoon
Nature Reserve have been threatened by infestations of Lantana and Bitou Bush. Those at
Green Point Foreshore Reserve and Swansea have been impacted upon by Lantana, Bitou
Bush and Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica). Other littoral rainforest remnants on private property
and council-managed lands near Lake Macquarie have been threatened by Small-leaved Privet
(Ligustrum sinense) and Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica). All of these sites have
active weed management programs in place. The small Jervis Bay subpopulation at Abrahams
Bosom is currently infested with Asparagus Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus).
Magenta Lilly Pilly has been known to coppice after low intensity fire (Payne 1991). Fires
occurring at frequencies or intensities that are too high for the species to tolerate, however,
have the potential to kill or weaken plants, interfere with their reproductive mechanisms, and
alter or destroy rainforest habitat. Fire may also encourage weed invasions along remnant
Although habitat is generally located in areas where a degree of fire protection is afforded,
some patches, such as at Honeymoon Bay, Long Beach, and Duck Hole on Beecroft Peninsula
are potentially at risk from wildfires originating from nearby campsites or resulting from military
training exercises. However, Littoral rainforest on Beecroft Peninsula is excluded from hazard
reduction burning, and there have been no wildfires through the rainforest since the late 1940s
to early 1950s (M. Armstrong pers. comm.).
Habitat of several subpopulations on the Central Coast has been subjected to regular fires. For
example, approximately 33 fires were recorded in Bouddi National Park between 1968 and
1990 (McRae 1990), although there is no indication that Magenta Lilly Pilly individuals were
directly affected. The North Entrance area, however, has been subjected to wildfire that has
directly impacted upon the Magenta Lilly Pilly subpopulation, resulting in the death of 35
individuals (Benson & McDougall 1998).
Inappropriate fire regimes are recognised as posing a threat to the margins of littoral rainforest,
which provides much of the habitat for Magenta Lilly Pilly (NSW Scientific Committee 2004;
Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2008).
Steffen et al. (2009) reports that predicting the future effects of climate change on biodiversity in
Australia is complicated. Even so, rainforests and coastal ecosystems of NSW have been
identified as being particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change (NSW Inter-agency
Biodiversity and Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Working Group 2007), both of which
constitute Magenta Lilly Pilly habitat.
Although climate change impacts on the species itself are difficult to predict, impacts on habitat
through such things as sea level rise, increased storm events and altered fresh-saline hydrology
are possible. For example, the subpopulation at Towra Point is situated near the extreme high
water mark and may be at risk from sea level rise (NSW Scientific Committee 2009). Climate
change may also exacerbate existing threats such as altered fire regimes and potential new
weed threats. Human adaptive responses to things such as sea level rise may also add further
pressure on the species and its habitat. The effects of any future environmental change will be
exacerbated by the low level of genetic diversity exhibited in the species.
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For a general overview on possible impacts on ecosystems that may contain Magenta Lilly Pilly
see NSW Inter-agency Biodiversity and Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Working
Group (2007), DECC (2008a, 2008b, 2008c), DECCW (2009) and Steffen et al. (2009).
Introduced vertebrate pests
Introduced vertebrate pests such as feral deer can impact upon Magenta Lilly Pilly and its
habitat. Feral deer are known to occur in many conservation reserves, including Bouddi
National Park and Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area (NSW Scientific Committee
An exclosure experiment using planted saplings of Magenta Lilly Pilly found that exposure to
defoliation, bark stripping, stem breakages and some mortality (Keith & Pellow 2004 cited in
NSW Scientific Committee 2005). In addition to browsing and physical disturbance of
individuals, deer browse and disturb the seedlings of other species which collectively constitute
Magenta Lilly Pilly habitat. The NSW Scientific Committee (2005) reports that grazing and
trampling by deer could alter the composition and structure of littoral rainforest habitat of
Magenta Lilly Pilly.
Some subpopulations of Magenta Lilly Pilly are subjected to frequent human visitation, and are
threatened by the construction and maintenance of roads, walking tracks and car parks. For
instance, bush camping at Honeymoon Bay on Beecroft Peninsula occurs adjacent to a patch of
rainforest which contains Magenta Lilly Pilly. The picnic and recreation areas at the St Georges
Basin and Abrahams Bosom sites are used regularly, with visitors passing through the habitat of
the species (both sites have car parks within Magenta Lilly Pilly habitat). The Elizabeth Beach
subpopulation occurs adjacent to a walking track to the beach. Human visitation may impact
upon the ability of a species to regenerate, as trampling of the understorey and soil compaction
can inhibit seedling establishment.
Myrtle Rust (Uredo rangelii) is a pathogen that affects species from the family Myrtaceae that
was first detected in Australia on the NSW Central Coast in 2010. The rust is now considered to
be widespread along the eastern seaboard (Industry & Investment NSW 2011a) and Magenta
Lilly Pilly has been identified as a known host in the field (Industry & Investment NSW 2011b),
along with several other Myrtaceae species occurring in the same habitat.
The entire distribution of Magenta Lilly Pilly occurs within the known or predicted distribution of
Myrtle Rust in NSW. Although its effects on most Australian Myrtaceae species are unknown
(Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2010), Myrtle Rust is closely related to
Eucalypt/Guava Rust (Puccina psidii), a serious disease of Australian Myrtaceae growing in
North America and South America (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service 2009).
4.1.10 Changes to local water regimes through water extraction
A proposal to temporarily supplement the Central Coast’s water supply by pumping up to four
million litres per day from Ourimbah Creek was recently approved by the NSW Government.
This proposal may have significant consequences for the Ourimbah Creek subpopulations.
Such a draw down on Ourimbah Creek may lead to a reduction in the frequency of flood events
and a drop in the water table, with the likely result being a loss of remnant riparian vegetation
along much of the creek’s middle and lower reaches.
Ability of species to recover
To ensure recovery of Magenta Lilly Pilly, this recovery plan advocates recovery actions that
favour in situ management in the short to medium term. Magenta Lilly Pilly is primarily a species
P a g e 1 7
of littoral and gallery rainforests, which are themselves under considerable pressure. Large
areas have been lost to rural and urban development and the amount of habitat available to the
species is being further limited. In addition, the ability of the species to naturally recolonise
potential habitat where it does occur is often restricted by land management practices. The lack
of recruitment in several subpopulations is a concern and is likely to have an impact upon the
ability of the species to persist in some areas. Subpopulations are widespread, with a large
number occurring on public lands. The probability of random events eliminating the entire
species is therefore reduced.
The research of Thurlby (2010) on the reproductive biology and conservation genetics of
Magenta Lilly Pilly has several implications for the long term management of the species.
Reproduction by facultative apomixis, low genetic diversity within existing populations and the
genetic divide between north and south populations suggest that all subpopulations of the
species are equally important. All existing subpopulations and the full range of genetic diversity
they contain should be afforded equal protection.
In the long term, ex situ forms of conservation may be required if the species fails to adapt to
environmental change, particularly if the ability to adapt to a changing environment is
exacerbated by other threats such as weeds or Myrtle Rust. This makes ex situ conservation a
long term priority for the species’ persistence and, as a consequence, associated contingency
planning for such a situation should be an important short term consideration.
All forms of in situ and ex situ conservation must take into account the widespread horticultural
use of the species in landscape and garden plantings. As many of these are hybrids or of
unknown genetic origin, they should be excluded from all actions related to the conservation of
the species in the wild.
The TSC Act status of Magenta Lilly Pilly was reviewed in 2009 (NSW Scientific Committee
2009). As a result of this review, the status of the species on the TSC Act was changed from
vulnerable to endangered. This was due to the restricted area and small sizes of its
subpopulations, indicating that the species is undergoing a continuing decline, or likely to
undergo a future decline in abundance, and in habitat area and quality.
Research into the reproductive biology and genetic diversity of Magenta Lilly Pilly was
undertaken in 2010 (Thurlby 2010; Thurlby et al. 2011). Key findings of this research have been
reported in Sections 3.4 and 4.1 and are being used to inform management actions identified in
this recovery plan.
Research has also been undertaken into the suitability of Magenta Lilly Pilly seed for long term
storage. As part of the Rainforest Seed Project, the Botanic Gardens Trust tested seed for
tolerance to the drying that occurs for long term storage of seeds in conventional seedbanks.
The project found that Magenta Lilly Pilly seed was not tolerant to desiccation and, therefore,
cannot be seedbanked (K. Hamilton pers. com.).
Plans of management have been prepared for the majority of the NSW conservation reserves
where Magenta Lilly Pilly is known to occur. These include Booti Booti National Park, Botany
Bay National Park, Conjola National Park, Glenrock State Conservation Area, Munmorah State
Conservation Area, Myall Lakes National Park, Pulbah Island Nature Reserve, Towra Point
Nature Reserve, Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve and Wyrrabalong National Park (draft
plan). Booderee National Park has an approved Australian Government management plan and
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is jointly managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and the Australian
The natural range of Magenta Lilly Pilly is covered by the Hunter-Central Rivers, Sydney
Metropolitan, Southern Rivers and, potentially, Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment management
authorities (CMAs). These CMAs operate under catchment action plans to coordinate and guide
natural resource management and investment across their respective regions. The catchment
action plan of each of these CMAs identifies targets that relate to biodiversity and threatened
Magenta Lilly Pilly populations and habitat have been identified, surveyed and mapped under
various projects. Examples include:
australe (Myrtaceae) in the Gosford-Wyong Region
(Payne 1997) which, amongst other
collation and validation of information and records to facilitate preparation of this plan.
State Environmental Planning Policy 26 Littoral Rainforest (SEPP 26), which maps
however, and stands occur at locations not mapped under this SEPP (NSW Scientific
Populations and habitat have also been identified, surveyed and mapped as part of various
national park and state forest planning processes. During preparation of this plan, potential new
sites and unconfirmed records have been discovered. The ongoing implementation of the plan
will involve investigating the reliability of these and incorporating them into management actions
Private native forest harvesting operations across the natural range of Magenta Lilly Pilly in
NSW require approval in the form of a property vegetation plan, and must comply, or become
compliant with, one of two codes of practice – the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice for
specify that all Magenta Lilly Pilly individuals in northern and southern NSW are to be protected
during private native forest operations. The codes also specify that forest operations, excepting
the maintenance of existing roads, must not occur within rainforest, although this does not apply
to isolated clumps or linear strips of rainforest less than 0.5 hectares in size.
Weed management in known and potential Magenta Lilly Pilly habitat is undertaken on public
lands as a component of general or specific public land management programs by state
government agencies, local councils and community-based organisations. For example, in
2005, eight Landcare groups were actively restoring and managing rainforest in the Lake
Macquarie area. Private landholders are also involved in weed management activities in
suitable habitat, often as a legislative requirement or through funded programs.
The NSW Bitou Bush Threat Abatement Plan (DEC 2006) and the Plan to Protect
identifies sites for weed control where Magenta Lilly Pilly is present. Appendix 1 lists the priority
sites where Magenta Lilly Pilly is present. There is also a process underway in NSW to develop
control priorities for widespread weeds at a CMA level so that management programs can target
those areas where control will result in the best outcome for biodiversity.
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In NSW fire management strategies have been prepared for Booti Booti National Park, Botany
Bay National Park, Bouddi National Park, Conjola National Park, Glenrock State Conservation
Area, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area, Munmorah State Conservation Area,
Myall Lakes National Park, Pulbah Island Nature Reserve, Saltwater National Park, Wamberal
Lagoon Nature Reserve and Wyrrabalong National Park. A fire management plan also exists for
the Royal Australian Navy Weapons Range at Beecroft Peninsula (M. Armstrong pers. comm.).
Magenta Lilly Pilly is listed on the NSW threatened species hazard reduction list under the Bush
Fire Environmental Assessment Code (Rural Fire Service 2006). Under this Code, bush fire
hazard reduction works at sites where Magenta Lilly Pilly is present must be consistent with the
relevant conditions identified in hazard reduction list.
The management of Myrtle Rust in NSW is overseen by Department of Primary Industries. The
role of managing the effects of the rust on threatened Myrtaceae occurring in OEH estate is the
responsibility of OEH, which has prepared a Myrtle Rust management plan to try and minimise
the impact of the pathogen on conservation reserves (OEH 2011).
P e rfo rm a n c e Crite ria
The overall objective of this recovery plan is to protect known subpopulations of Magenta Lilly
Pilly from decline and to ensure that wild populations of the species remain viable in the long
Specific objectives of the recovery plan are listed below. For each of these objectives a number
A coordinated approach is essential for overseeing and assisting in the implementation of the
recovery actions outlined in this plan, in a timely, cost-effective and efficient manner.
Coordination will be effected through the incorporation of recovery actions into the Priorities
Action Statement as well as other suitable programs.
Performance criterion: OEH has coordinated the recovery actions outlined in this recovery
plan for the life of the plan.
The current known distribution of Magenta Lilly Pilly is detailed in Section 3.2. OEH will support
targeted surveys in suitable habitat to determine whether additional subpopulations of the
species exist. The following are priorities for additional survey work:
areas to the north of Port Stephens
areas in the vicinity of Martinsville and Watagans National Park
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sections of Strickland State Forest, Ourimbah State Forest and Jilliby State
Surveys are also required to determine the size, structure, and localised extent of known
subpopulations. The following subpopulations are priorities:
Martinsville. In particular, the long-term effects of water extraction on the Ourimbah
Creek subpopulations are unknown and any surveys or monitoring for this
subpopulation should be supported (also see Action 5.1).
the Jervis Bay subpopulations at Tomerong Creek and in Conjola National Park
known localities in the Sydney metropolitan area.
Records of new subpopulations will be entered into the Atlas of NSW Wildlife.
known and potential habitat of Magenta Lilly Pilly have been supported over the life of the
Although some research has been conducted into aspects of genetic structure, reproductive
biology and seed storage potential, there is a need for further research on Magenta Lilly Pilly to
guide both in situ and ex situ management. Research should target the following priorities:
assess the impact of Myrtle Rust on Magenta Lilly Pilly in the wild and investigate the
and treatment of Myrtaceae species in general). This should not be limited to the direct
effects of Myrtle Rust on the species itself but, also, the potential effects of rust on the
viability of its broader habitat.
undertake further genotyping of offspring using a larger sample size and greater
investigate the species response to disturbance, including fire.
research outcomes are used to improve in situ and ex situ management of the species.
Habitat and threat management
Objective 4: To minimise the decline of Magenta Lilly Pilly through in situ habitat
protection and management
Action 4.1: OEH will continue to implement on-ground management of Magenta Lilly Pilly and its
habitat on OEH estate, and will negotiate with relevant land managers to ameliorate threats to
Magenta Lilly Pilly on other public lands.
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Weeds, fire, infrastructure construction and maintenance, and other threats are impacting upon
Magenta Lilly Pilly subpopulations and habitat on public lands. OEH and other public land
managers already undertake management to protect the species. OEH will continue to do so on
its estate through existing plans and programs.
Ameliorative measures on other public land will also be encouraged. OEH will negotiate with
relevant land managers, with the aim of implementing actions or modifying existing site
Some site-specific actions that have been identified are:
control of Bitou Bush and Lantana at priority sites that contain Magenta Lilly Pilly
protection of the Green Point Foreshore Reserve subpopulation from fire;
relocation or modification and fencing off of a car park at Abrahams Bosom Reserve;
control of Asparagus Fern at Abrahams Bosom Reserve; and
modification of maintenance activities at Cams Wharf and Nesca Park to create
Depending on the outcomes of negotiations, project proposals may be developed for each of
the activities identified above.
Performance criteria: OEH has continued to implement on-ground management on OEH
estate over the life of the recovery plan and has negotiated ameliorative measures with relevant
public land managers over the life of the recovery plan.
Action 4.2: OEH will support funding applications for restorative and management activities in
known and potential Magenta Lilly Pilly habitats on private land.
Weed invasions, inappropriate fire and grazing regimes, and introduced vertebrate pests are
impacting on a number of known and potential Magenta Lilly Pilly habitats on private lands.
OEH will encourage the restoration and ongoing management of suitable habitats by supporting
funding applications for on-ground works including littoral rainforest expansion and
rehabilitation, fire management, protection from domestic stock and vertebrate pest control.
life of the recovery plan.
The Coalcliff and Munmorah subpopulations of Magenta Lilly Pilly occur across council, private
property and conservation reserve boundaries. OEH will investigate whether there would be a
benefit to extend the southern boundary of Munmorah State Conservation Area and whether it
would be feasible. This will only be undertaken with agreement of Wyong Shire Council and all
affected private landholders. Similarly, OEH will investigate the potential benefit and feasibility of
incorporating the Coalcliff subpopulation, with the full agreement of all affected landholders, into
the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.
entire Munmorah and Coalcliff subpopulations of Magenta Lilly Pilly into adjacent conservation
Disease and pathogens
Objective 5: To reduce impacts of Myrtle Rust on Magenta Lilly Pilly and its habitat.
Action 5.1: OEH will continue to manage the effects of Myrtle Rust on Magenta Lilly Pilly on
OEH estate via the Management Plan for Myrtle Rust on National Parks Estate (OEH 2011). For
sites that are not on OEH estate, OEH will liaise with land managers using the Management
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Plan for Myrtle Rust as a guide. This should include liaison with the Australian Government over
sites on Commonwealth land via the National Myrtle Rust Coordination Group
The OEH Management Plan for Myrtle Rust will be used to undertake management of Myrtle
Rust impacts on priority Magenta Lilly Pilly subpopulations and sites on OEH estate. Where
Magenta Lilly Pilly occurs outside OEH estate, OEH will assist with prioritising and managing
subpopulations and sites using the Management Plan for Myrtle Rust as a guide. Other threats
should also be considered when undertaking prioritisation for subpopulations (e.g. the unknown
effects of water extraction on the Ourimbah Creek subpopulations).
Ex situ conservation actions identified in Section 6.6 will also have a role in protecting Magenta
Lilly Pilly from Myrtle Rust.
Performance criteria: OEH has identified priority sites for monitoring within six months of
commencement of the recovery plan, has undertaken management if required, and has
monitored the effectiveness of treatment throughout the life of the recovery plan.
Action 5.2: Magenta Lilly Pilly sites on Commonwealth land will be monitored for signs of Myrtle
Rust and potential management coordinated via the appropriate agency in consultation with the
National Myrtle Rust Coordination Group.
A National Myrtle Rust Coordination Group has been established, chaired by the
Commonwealth with technical and policy support by state and territory agencies. The Group is
coordinating ongoing actions to respond to Myrtle Rust focusing on mitigating its impact on the
natural environment, including threatened and endangered species, and on industries that rely
on myrtaceous species (DSEWPaC 2011).
Where metapopulations of Magenta Lilly Pilly occur across NSW and Commonwealth
boundaries, coordination of prioritisation and management can be undertaken as a single unit
via the National Myrtle Rust Coordination Group.
Performance criteria: Monitoring for Myrtle Rust on Commonwealth land has been undertaken
within six months of commencement of the recovery plan and any required management has
been coordinated across the metapopulation via the National Myrtle Rust Coordination Group
throughout the life of the recovery plan.
Magenta Lilly Pilly is already in cultivation in botanic gardens located at Adelaide, Canberra,
Sydney, Melbourne, Coffs Harbour, Toowoomba and Mount Annan (Quinn et al. 1995). A check
is required to determine if collections represent wild plants of known provenance. It would be
desirable to have unrepresented populations established. Given potential climate change, long
term consideration should be given to those subpopulations most under threat from climate
change, although any prioritisation for ex situ establishment should not ignore other, more
immediate threats such as Myrtle Rust.
Magenta Lilly Pilly seed is intolerant to desiccation and unsuitable for storage in conventional
seedbanks such as the NSW Seedbank. Ex situ conservation, therefore, is limited to tree
collections, although alternative technologies for the long term ex situ storage of germplasm are
to be investigated as part of the Rainforest Seed Project at Mt Annan (K. Hamilton pers. com.).
unrepresented subpopulations identified within a year of the commencement of the plan. Ex situ
populations are maintained in appropriate botanic gardens on an ongoing basis.
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OEH will seek to secure sympathetic management of Magenta Lilly Pilly habitat from private
landholders, although the nature of these arrangements will depend on the circumstances and
cooperation of individual landholders. Liaison will commence in the first year of implementation
of the recovery plan and continue throughout the life of the plan. Local councils will be informed
of any management agreements for entry into their property information systems.
A number of mechanisms are available to help protect Magenta Lilly Pilly and its habitat,
appropriate zonings under local environmental plans
property vegetation plans under the Native Vegetation Act 2003
conservation agreements and wildlife refuges under the National Parks and Wildlife Act
significance of Magenta Lilly Pilly and its habitat and appropriate mechanisms for the
conservation of the species and its habitat are sought over the life of the plan.
Action 7.2: OEH will update and maintain information requirements for Magenta Lilly Pilly.
OEH will update the information available to the public for Magenta Lilly Pilly to provide current
information on the species. OEH will also update and maintain data associated with the species
that is utilised by tools such as the BioBanking and Native Vegetation assessment tools
Performance criterion: Information requirements for Magenta Lilly Pilly are updated and
Magenta Lilly Pilly occurs in a number of areas of cultural significance to Aboriginal people.
Prior to the commencement of on-ground recovery actions in such areas, OEH will seek to
engage Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Aboriginal communities to identify any issues that
may be of concern to Aboriginal people and to seek opportunities for involvement in the
Aboriginal communities is sought prior to the implementation of on-ground recovery actions in
areas of cultural significance to Aboriginal people throughout the life of the plan.
Implementation of recovery actions specified in this recovery plan for the period of five years
from publication are the responsibility of OEH and the Australian Government.
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S o c ia l a n d Ec o n o m ic Co n s e q u e n c e s
year period of the plan (Table 3). Some savings may be made where costs are split between
Magenta Lilly Pilly recovery and other programs or where actions costed for contingency
purposes might not required (e.g. management for Myrtle Rust in some subpopulations).
It is anticipated that there will be no significant adverse social or economic consequences
associated with the implementation of this recovery plan, and the overall benefits to society
resulting from its implementation will outweigh any potential negative consequences.
The costs required to maintain Magenta Lilly Pilly as part of Australia’s natural heritage are
small compared to the scientific, cultural and biodiversity values of the species. Increased
community awareness will enhance the profile of threatened species in general. This in turn will
lead to greater opportunities for conserving biodiversity across NSW and Australia.
Magenta Lilly Pilly occurs along a 400 kilometre stretch of the east coast of Australia. Within this
area, the interests of Indigenous people are represented by numerous groups and individuals.
Implementation of actions within this recovery plan will need to consider the roles and interests
of these groups and individuals on a case-by-case basis. Action 7.3 will require the
engagement of relevant Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Aboriginal communities prior to the
implementation of on-ground recovery actions in areas managed by Aboriginal communities or
areas of cultural significance to Aboriginal people throughout the life of the plan.
Be n e fits to o th e r s p e c ie s /e c o lo g ic a l c o m m u n itie s
that share Magenta Lilly Pilly habitat. In particular, Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of
Eastern Australia is listed as a critically endangered ecological community on the EPBC Act and
actions undertaken to conserve Magenta Lilly Pilly will assist in conserving this ecological community
where they co-occur.
This recovery plan was prepared by Ian Hanson, Ian Wilkinson, Shane Ruming and Katrina
McKay, with assistance from Peter Richards and Phil Gilmour.
The Australian Government will review this plan in five years.
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Re fe re n c e s
Atlas of NSW Wildlife 2010, ‘Internal report of all records of Syzygium paniculatum - Magenta Lilly Pilly’,
accessed 2 June 2010, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, Sydney.
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service 2009, ‘Eucalyptus/Guava Rust’, AQIS website, accessed
24 May 2010,