A survey of Roadside Conservation Values



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A Survey of Roadside 

Conservation Values  

in the Shire of Woodanilling 

 

and Roadside Management 



Guidelines

 

 



 

 

 



1999

 - 


Roadside Conservation

 

Committee 



 

Declared Rare Flora, such as Verticordia fimbrilepis subsp. fimbrilepis 

occur along roadsides in the Shire of Woodanilling 

Photos: WA Herbarium, taken by E.A.George, N.J.Stevens, R.Smith,  



CONTENTS 

 

1.0 



Introduction 

       1 

1.1 

Flora 


and 

Fauna 


      1 

1.2 Weeds 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

2.0 



Values 

of 


Roadsides 

      5 


3.0 

Legislation 

       7 

4.0 


Assessment 

Process 


      8 

4.1 


Methods 

       8 

4.2 

Quantifying 



Conservation 

Values 


    9 

4.3 


Mapping 

Conservation 

Values 

    9 


5.0 

Survey Data Results   

 

 

 



 

 

11 



6.0 

Management 

Techniques 

     16 


6.1 

Minimal 


Disturbance 

     17 


6.2 

Code 


of 

Practice 

      17 

6.3 


Tree 

Roads 


      17 

6.4 Flora Roads and Roads Important for Conservation 

 

18 


6.5 

Special 


Environment 

Areas     18 

6.6 Special Environment Area Register 

 

 



 

19 


7.0 

Roadside Planning, Strategies and Action Plans 

 

 

20 



7.1 

Planning 

       20 

7.2 


Strategies 

       21 

7.3 

Roadside 



Action 

Plans 


     22 

References 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

24 



 

 

FIGURES 


Figure 1. 

Climate statistics 

Figure 2. 

Conservation status of roadsides in the  

Shire of Woodanilling 

Figure 3. 

Native vegetation on roadsides 

Figure 4. 

Extent of native vegetation 

Figure 5. 

Number of native species 

Figure 6. 

Weed infestation 

Figure 7. 

Value as a biological corridor 

Figure 8. 

Predominant adjoining land use 

Figure 9. 

Marking SEA sites in the field 

 

 



TABLES 

Table 1. 

Colour codes used to depict the conservation  

status of roadsides 

Table 2 

Summary of roadside conditions in the Shire  

of Woodanilling 

 

APPENDICES 



Appendix 1.  Definitions of remnant vegetation types 

Appendix 2.  Standard survey sheet 

Appendix 3.  Raw data used to calculate conservation values 

Appendix 4.  Plant species in the Shire of Woodanilling 

 


1.0  

INTRODUCTION 

 

Woodanilling is located 250 km south east of Perth in Western Australia’s south west land 



division. The Shire covers an area of 1126km

2

 and supports a population of 409 people. The 



area experiences a mediterranean climate with an average annual rainfall of 455.6 mm. 

Seasonal temperatures are characterised by warm summers, with maxima averaging in the 

high twenties, and mild winters, with maxima in the mid teens. Mean daily maximum and 

minimum temperatures and rainfalls are shown below (Figure 1). 



Monthly_average_maximum_and_minimum_temperatures_(C)_and_rainfall_(mm)_in_the__Shire_of_Woodanilling.'>Figure 1. Monthly average maximum and minimum temperatures (C) and rainfall (mm) in the 

Shire of Woodanilling.  

0

5



10

15

20



25

30

35



J

F

M



A

M

J



J

A

S



O

N

D



Month

Temperature (oC)

0

10



20

30

40



50

60

70



80

90

Rainfall (mm)

Maximum temperature (0C)

Minimum temperature (0C)

Rainfall (mm)

 

 

Typical of the region, the major agricultural pursuits are cereal crops, sheep and cattle. 

Tourism is also an important industry with the area's spectacular natural resources being a 

major attraction. Salient features of the area include a heritage trail, Wingedyne Nature 

Reserve, Martup Pool, Queerearrup Lake and the wildflowers that abound in the area.  

 

1.1   



Flora and Fauna 

Based on WA Herbarium records, almost 400 species of plants have been recorded from the 

Shire of Woodanilling. These include 14 species of Acacia, 23 species of Orchids, 21 species 

of Eucalypt and 17 species of Verticordia, see Appendix 4.  

 

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 



 

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Declared rare flora (DRF) refers to species, or populations of native plants that are of great 

significance and should be treated with special care when road and utility service, construction 

or maintenance is undertaken. Populations of DRF along roadsides are designated Special 

Environment Area’s (SEA’s), and are marked out by yellow stakes with an identification plate 

welded on, see section 6.5 and figure 9. 

 

Jacksonia velveta 

Photo-WA Herbarium, taken by C. Broex 

Based on information from the Department of 

Conservation and Land Management (DCLM), there 

are nine populations of rare and priority flora on 

roadsides in the Shire of Woodanilling. Seven of these 

locations are vested in the Shire, and two are vested 

in Main Roads WA.  

 

Species of declared rare, or priority flora, in the Shire 



include: 

 

• 



Verticordia fimbrilepis subsp. fimbrilepis 

• 

Jacksonia velveta 

• 

Verticordia fimbrilepis subsp. fimbrilepis 

• 

Conostylis drummondii 

• 

Dryandra acanthopoda 

• 

Jacksonia velveta 

 

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 



 

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Conostylis drummondii 

Photo- WA Herbarium, taken by S.D. Hopper



Dryandra acanthopoda 

Photos- WA Herbarium, taken by J.A.Cochrane, M.Hancock, M.Pieroni 



Information collected by the Department of Conservation and Land Management indicated that 

a number of threatened species of fauna have also been recorded and/or observed in the 

Shire.  

 

These include: 



 Chuditch 

Photo by Bert and Babs Wells

 

• 

Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii)  



• 

Red-tailed Phascogale 

(Phascogale calura)  

• 

Western Brush Wallaby 



(Macropus irma),  

• 

Numbat (Myrmecobius 



fasciatus),  

• 

Carpet Python (Morelia spilota 



imbricata

 

 



 

1.2  

Weeds 

 

Weed invasion along roadsides is an important issue, as they impact on many aspects and 



values of the road reserve per se. Weeds are often disturbance colonisers and as such invade 

roadsides, often increasing the fire risk, degrading biodiversity values or interfering with the 

road and its infrastructure. The effect of weed infestations on native plant populations can be 

severe, often with flow on effects for native fauna, such as diminished habitat or food 

resources. 

 

Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) is a common 



roadside weed 

Photo- WA Herbarium, taken by K.C. Richardson 

 

WA Herbarium records indicate 12 main 



weed species recorded in the Shire of 

Woodanilling, see next page.  

 

Please note - this should not be 



considered as a complete list, as 

collectors often overlook weeds as 

legitimate botanical specimens.  

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 



 

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List of exotic plants (weeds) recorded in the Shire of Woodanilling:  

 

Botanical Name  



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



Common Name 

Asparagus asparagoides 

  Bridal 

creeper 

Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. Monilifera  

Boneseed, bitou bush 



Dittrichia graveolens 

 

 



Stinkwort 

Eragrostis 

 

   Lovegrass 



Helichrysum leucopsideum 

  Common 

heliotrope 

Hordeum geniculatum 

  Mediterranean 

barley 

grass 


Ixia maculata 

   Yellow 

ixia 

Lolium perenne x rigidum 

  Ryegrass 



Monopsis 

debilis 

   

Pennisetum setaceum 

  Fountain 

grass 

Solanum hoplopetalum 

  Afghan 

thistle 

Sparaxis bulbifera 

Vaccaria hispanica 

  Cowcockle 

 

 

Pennisetum setaceum 



Photo- Western Weeds  (1997) 

Sparaxis bulbifera

 

Photo- WA Herbarium, taken by R.Randall 

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 



 

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Monopsis debilis 

Photo- Western Weeds (1997) 


 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 

 

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2.0   



VALUE OF ROADSIDES 

Since the settlement of Western Australia by Europeans, large areas of native vegetation in 

the south west of the state have been cleared to make way for agriculture and other 

development ventures. The fragmentation of the more or less continuous tracts of native 

vegetation suites by clearing has resulted in the isolation of plant and animal populations and 

communities. Populations of flora and fauna restricted to these man-made biogeographical 

islands of small remnants are prone to food shortages, disease and reduced genetic diversity.  

However, the presence of native vegetation along roadsides can often assist in alleviating this 

isolation effect by providing corridors between bush remnants, thereby facilitating the 

movement of biota across the landscape. Unfortunately the protective mantle afforded by the 

native flora has been badly depleted with now only approximately 14,367 ha, or 12.9%

 

of 



remnant vegetation remaining in the Shire of Woodanilling. (Beeston et al, 2001). 

 

Trees are good - bush is better  

 

Remnant native vegetation includes more than just trees. Trees, shrubs and ground covers 



(creepers, grasses and herbs) combine to provide valuable food and shelter for different types 

of wildlife.  Existing native vegetation will require less maintenance if left undisturbed. 

 

Native trees, shrubs and grasses on the roadside are valuable because they: 



 

-  Often are the only remaining example of original vegetation within cleared areas; 

-  Are easier to maintain and generally less fire prone than introduced vegetation; 

-  Provide habitat for many native species of plants, mammals, reptiles amphibians and 

invertebrates; 

-  Provide wildlife corridors linking other areas of native vegetation; 

-  Often contain rare and endangered plants and animals; 

-  Provide the basis for our important wildflower tourism industry; the aesthetic appeal of well-

maintained roadsides should not be overlooked and they have the potential to improve local 

tourism and provide a sense of place. As well as creating a more favourable impression of 

an area, roadsides attract tourists who visit specifically to view wildflowers. 

-  Often contain sites of historical or cultural significance;  

-  Provide windbreaks and stock shelter areas for adjoining farmland;  (This can help stabilise 

temperature and reduce evaporation, and thereby providing microhabitat more suitable to 

higher levels of productivity. Well-conserved roadsides also assist with erosion and salinity 

control. In addition, native vegetation on roadsides is generally far less of a fire threat than 

annual weeds. Undisturbed roadsides provide a benchmark for the study of soil change 

during agricultural development). 

-  Are a vital source of local seed for revegetation projects. In lieu of other alternatives and 

cognisant of limitations; road reserves can also provide a valuable source of seed for 



regeneration projects. This is especially pertinent to shrub species, as clearing and grazing 

beneath farm trees often removes this layer. Approval of the local shire and a CALM 



permit are required prior to collection.  

 

 



In a time of rapid change where the demands placed on the natural world are many, it is vital 

that there is a coordinated management of lands across all tenures to ensure the sustainability 

and integrity of the natural biota and processes, agricultural lands and service infrastructure.  It 

is somewhat ironic that the reserves established to cater for a transport system in a modern 

world are now an integral component of this coordinated management approach. 

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 



 

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Roadsides ……………………………… the vital link 

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 

 

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3.0  



LEGISLATION 

 

Uncertainty often exists in the minds of many with regard to the ‘ownership’, control and 



management of 'the roadside'.  This problem is also exacerbated by the multitude of legislative 

reference to activities within a transport corridor. 

 

The Department of Conservation and Land Management (DCLM) has the legislative 



responsibility to manage and protect all native flora and fauna in Western Australia.  It is 

important to note that all flora and fauna is protected under provisions of the Wildlife 



Conservation Act 1950 and cannot be taken unless it is taken in a lawful manner.  In addition 

to the general provisions relating to protected flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act, special 

protection is afforded to flora that is declared as rare or threatened under section 23F of the 

Wildlife Conservation Act.  

 

The legislation pertaining to the management of road reserves is complex and includes those 



listed below. 

 

State legislation: 





Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 



Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976 



Bush Fires Act 1954 



Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 



Environmental Protection Act 1986 



Heritage of WA Act 1990 



Land Act 1933 



Local Government Act 1995 



Main Roads Act 1930 



Mining Act 1978 



Soil and Land Conservation Act 1945 



State Energy Commission Supply Act 1979 



Water Authority Act 1987 



Wildlife Conservation Act 1950-1979 

 

Commonwealth legislation: 





Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 

 

It is recommended that a cautionary approach be taken when working within roadsides, and 



that the relevant authority be contacted if there is any doubt about the management or 

protection of heritage or conservation values present in the roadsides. 



 

The Environmental Protection Amendment Bill 2002 is currently before parliament and it is 

envisaged that this will require greater adherence to legislative requirements before native 

vegetation is cleared.  This legislation will provide for two types of permits which will provide 

for permission to clear native vegetation, however they will have certain conditions attached to 

them.  One of these will be to prepare, implement and adhere to a roadside or specific tenure 

management plan. Before any native vegetation clearing is undertaken it is emcumbent on the 

project manager or land manager to ensure that the proposed clearing is being carried out 

under the terms and conditions of the pending legislation, as there are transitional provisions 

within it, which are retrospective from 26

th

 June 2002. 



 

 

4.0   



ASSESSMENT PROCESS  

 

4.1  

Methods 

The methods to assess and calculate the conservation value of the roadside reserves are 

described in Jackson (2002). The process involves scoring a set of pre-selected attributes, 

which, when combined, represent a roadside's conservation status. A list of these attributes is 

presented on a standard survey sheet, see Appendix 2. This provides both a convenient and 

uniform method of scoring.  Ideally, the survey is undertaken by a group of local volunteers, 

who, aided by their knowledge of the area, are able to provide an accurate and cost effective 

method of data collection. Community participation also ensures a sense of 'ownership' of the 

end product, which increases the likelihood of its acceptance and use by the local community 

and road managers. Lamont and Blyth (1995).  

 

Fieldwork was conducted by David Lamont and RCC volunteer Siusan Campbell-Lamont 



during the months of November 1997 and April 1998.  

 

It is now hoped that the data collected will be used 



by all sectors of the community who have an 

interest in the roadside environment. 

 

 

A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 



 

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A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 

 

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4.2 Quantifying Conservation Values 



The following attributes were used to assess a quantitative measure of conservation value: 

-  native vegetation on roadside; 

-  extent of native vegetation along length of roadside; 

-  number of different native species; 

- weed 

infestation; 



-  value as a biological corridor

-  predominant adjoining land use. 

 

Each of these attributes was given a score ranging from 0 to 2 points. The combined scores 



provide a conservation score ranging from 0 to 12.  The conservation values, in the form of 

conservation status categories, are represented by the following colour codes  

 

Conservation Value 

Conservation Status 

Colour Code 

9 - 12 


High Dark 

Green


7 – 8 

Medium High

Light Green

5 – 6 


Medium Low

Dark Yellow

0 - 4 

Low 


Light Yellow

 

Table 1: Colour codes used to depict the conservation status of roadsides. 

 

The following attributes were also noted but did not contribute to the conservation value score: 



 

• 

width of road reserve; 



• 

width of vegetated roadside; 

• 

presence of utilities/disturbances; 



• 

dominant native species; 

• 

dominant weeds; 



• 

fauna observed; 

• 

general comments. 



 

It is felt that the recording of these attributes will provide a community database that would 

provide information useful in many spheres local government and community interest. 

 

4.3 Mapping Conservation Values 

A computer generated (GIS Arc Info) map, at a scale of 1:100 000, depicting the conservation 

status of the roadside vegetation and the width of the road reserves within the Shire of 

Woodanilling was produced.  The data used to produce both the map and the following figures 

and tables are presented in Appendix 3.  

 

The roadside conservation value map initially provides an inventory of the status quo of the 



condition of the roadside vegetation. This is important as quality of roadside vegetation has far 

reaching implications for sustaining biodiversity, tourism and landcare values. Moreover the 

data and map can be incorporated as a management and planning tool for managing the 

roadsides  per se, as it enables the condition of roadside vegetation to be easily assessed. 

This information can then be used to identify environmentally sensitive areas, high 

conservation roadsides or strategically important areas, and thus ensure their conservation. 

Conversely it enables degraded areas to be identified as areas important for strategic 

rehabilitation, or in need of specific fire management techniques or regimes and weed control 

programmes. 

 

The map can also be used as a reference to overlay transparencies of other information 



relevant to roadside conservation. Data obtained from MRWA, DCLM and the Department of 

Agriculture WA can been used to produce an overlay map that depicts the location of remnant 

vegetation on both the Crown estate and privately owned land. This enables the roadside 

vegetation to be assessed in the context of its importance to the shire’s overall conservation 

network. Other transparencies, such as the degree of weed infestation, or the location of 

environmentally sensitive areas or future planned developments, could also be produced as 

an aid to roadside management. 

 

As well as providing a road reserve planning and management tool, the survey data can also 



be used for: 

 

• 



Regional or district fire management plans; 

• 

Tourist routes - roads depicted as high conservation value would provide visitors to the 



district with an insight to the flora of the district; 

• 

Landcare/Bushcare projects - would be able to incorporate the information from this survey 



into 'whole of' landscape projects. 

 

 



A survey of the roadside conservation values in the Shire of Woodanilling and roadside management guidelines 

 

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