Shrublands and woodlands on perth to gingin ironstone recovery plan



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INTERIM RECOVERY PLAN NO. 197
SHRUBLANDS AND WOODLANDS ON PERTH TO GINGIN IRONSTONE
RECOVERY PLAN

Photo: Val English

by

Rachel Meissner and Val English


Department of Environment and Conservation

Species and Communities Branch

PO Box 51, Wanneroo, WA 6946












FOREWORD

Interim Recovery Plans (IRPs) are developed within the framework laid down in Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), [now Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC)] Policy Statements Nos 44 and 50


IRPs outline the recovery actions that are required to urgently address those threatening processes most affecting the ongoing survival of threatened taxa or ecological communities, and begin the recovery process.
DEC is committed to ensuring that Critically Endangered ecological communities are conserved through the preparation and implementation of Recovery Plans or Interim Recovery Plans and by ensuring that conservation action commences as soon as possible and always within one year of endorsement of that rank by DEC's Director of Nature Conservation.
This revised Interim Recovery Plan replaces plan number 61 – ‘Shrublands and woodlands on Perth to Gingin Ironstone’, Interim Recovery Plan 2000-2003, by V. English and J. Blyth which was drafted for CALM (now DEC).
This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from 17 November 2005 but will remain in force until withdrawn or replaced. It is intended that, if the ecological community is still ranked Critically Endangered, this IRP will be replaced by a full Recovery Plan after five years.
The provision of funds identified in this Interim Recovery Plan is dependent on budgetary and other constraints affecting DEC, as well as the need to address other priorities.
This IRP was prepared with financial support from the Australian Government to be adopted as a National Recovery Plan under the provisions of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).
Information in this IRP was accurate at November 2005.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Environment Australia (now Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) funded the 1994-1996 project entitled ‘Identifying and conserving threatened ecological communities in the south west botanical province’. The community was listed as threatened as a result of that project. The Commonwealth Government in partnership with the Swan Catchment Council through the National Heritage Trust funded the 2003-2005 project entitled ‘Nine Critically Endangered Threatened Ecological Communities of the Swan Coastal Plain’. Recovery actions have been implemented through this project for the ‘shrublands and woodlands on Perth to Gingin ironstone’ community.
The following people provided valuable advice and assistance in the preparation of this Interim Recovery Plan:
Neil Gibson and Greg Keighery DEC, Wildlife Research Centre, Woodvale

David Hodby Landowner

Bronwen Keighery and Natalie Thorning Department of Environment

David Mitchell DEC Swan Region

Leigh Sage and Paul Brown DEC Swan Coastal District, Wanneroo

Henry Smolinsky Department of Agriculture


SUMMARY



Name: Shrublands and woodlands on Perth to Gingin ironstone
Description: Plant community located on seasonally inundated ironstone and heavy clay soils. The community occurs on the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain. Typical and common native species are the shrubs Melaleuca viminea, Dryandra sessilis, Acacia saligna, Grevillea curviloba subsp. incurva, Kunzea aff. recurva, Jacksonia furcellata and the herbs Rhodanthe manglesii, Tribonanthes australis and Isotropis cuneifolia subsp. glabra. The following exotic species are also currently common: Romulea rosea, Briza maxima, Trifolium dubium, Spergula arvensis and Hesperantha falcata.
DEC Region: Swan
DEC District: Swan Coastal
Shire: Gingin
Recovery Team: Swan Region Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team (SRTFCRT). Membership: representatives from DEC’s Swan Region (Chair), Swan Coastal District, Perth Hills District, Species and Communities Branch (SCB) and Science Division; and City of Gosnells, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Current status: Assessed 21 November 1995 as Critically Endangered in Western Australia. The community is also listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 under the title ‘Shrublands and Woodlands on Perth to Gingin ironstone (Perth to Gingin ironstone association) of the Swan Coastal Plain’.
Habitat requirements: The community is located on skeletal soils developed over massive ironstones and undergoes seasonal inundation with fresh water. Many of the plant species present are specifically adapted to this shallow seasonal inundation. Specifically, the herb layer present in late winter and early spring, which is a major distinguishing characteristic of this community, relies on inundation in winter. This daisy dominated herb layer does not occur on deeper soils adjoining the ironstone areas.
Habitat critical to the survival, and important occurrences: The habitat that is critical for the survival of the Perth to Gingin Ironstone community is the area of occupancy of known occurrences, and areas of similar habitat surrounding important populations, and the local catchment for the surface and groundwaters that maintain the winter-wet habitat of the community. Given that the community is listed as Critically Endangered (WA), it is considered that all known occurrences of the community, and the catchments for the surface and groundwater that support this wetland habitat are critical to the survival of the community.
Benefits to other species/ecological communities: The Declared Rare Flora Grevillea curviloba var. incurva occurs in the community. Five priority listed taxa also occur in the community, as follows: Isotropis cuneifolia subsp. glabra (Priority 2), Grevillea evanescens (P1), Haloragis tenuifolia (P3), Myriophyllum echinatum (P3) and Stylidium longitubum (P3).
International obligations: This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity and will assist in implementing Australia’s responsibilities under that Convention. This community is not specifically listed under any international treaty and therefore this plan does not affect Australia’s obligations under any other international agreements.
Role and interests of indigenous people:

Involvement of the indigenous community has been sought through the advice of the Department of Indigenous Affairs to determine whether there are any issues or interests identified in the plan. A search of the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register has no sites listed within this Ironstone community and no indigenous interests have been identified for the areas that contain the community. Where no role is identified for the indigenous community in the development of the recovery plan, opportunities may exist through cultural interpretation and awareness of the ecological community. Indigenous involvement in the implementation of recovery actions will be encouraged.


Social and economic impacts: Two occurrences occur on private land and negotiations will continue with the land managers with respect to the future management of these occurrences. The implementation of this recovery plan has the potential to have some limited social and economic impact, where occurrences are located on private property. Recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders with regard to these areas.

Affected Interests: Occurrences of the Perth to Gingin Ironstone community occur within the local government authority of the Shire of Gingin. They occur on land managed by the Shire of Gingin, DEC, and on land managed by one private land owner.
Evaluation of the Plan's Performance: DEC, in conjunction with the Swan Region Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team, will evaluate the performance of this Interim Recovery Plan. The plan is to be reviewed within five years of its implementation. Any changes to management / recovery actions will be documented accordingly.
IRP Objective: To maintain or improve the overall condition of the wetlands and the associated plant community in the known locations and reduce the level of threat, with the aim of reclassifying it from Critically Endangered to Endangered.
Criteria for success:

  • An increase in the number of occurrences held within the conservation estate and being managed for conservation.

  • Maintenance in terms of diversity and basic composition of native plant taxa (as described in Department of Environmental Protection 1996; Ecoscape Pty Ltd 2004) taking account of natural change in the community over time. This will be measured as a loss of no more than 10% of the native plant taxa in any occurrence over the life of the plan.

  • Improvement in the condition of the habitat, in terms of reduction of numbers of exotic species. This will be measured as a reduction of 10% or more in the cover of exotic plant taxa in any occurrence.

  • Groundwater levels and quality maintained within the parameters expected as a consequence of natural change, by comparison with monitoring results for the Gnangara Mound in areas remote from development.



Criteria for failure:


  • A decrease of 10% or more in the area covered by the community, and/or decline in the area and/or number of occurrences of this community under conservation management.

  • A decline in terms of diversity and basic composition of native plant taxa (as described in as described in Department of Environmental Protection 1996; Ecoscape Pty Ltd 2004) taking account of natural change of the community over time. This will be measured as a loss of more than 10% of the native plant taxa in any one occurrence over the life of the plan.

  • Decline in the condition of the habitat, in terms of increase in numbers of exotic species. This will be measured as an increase in the cover of exotic plant taxa of more than 10% in any occurrence of the community.

  • Groundwater levels and quality not maintained within the parameters expected as a consequence of natural change, by comparison with monitoring results for the Gnangara Mound in areas remote from development.


Recovery Actions:

1. Coordinate recovery actions

8. Implement program for monitoring flora

2. Monitor boundaries and condition of occurrences

9. Monitor weed populations

3. Map habitat critical to survival

10. Implement weed control, and replanting

4. Seek to exclude stock from occurrences

11. Monitor water levels and water quality

5. Liaise with relevant land managers and other groups

12. Design and conduct research

6. Develop a Fire Management Strategy

13. Report on success

7. Ensure hygiene conditions








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