Approved Conservation Advice for



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This Conservation Advice was approved by the Minister / Delegate of the Minister on: 

16/12/2008



 

Approved Conservation Advice  

(s266B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Approved Conservation Advice for 

Verticordia pityrhops  

This Conservation Advice has been developed based on the best available information at the 

time this Conservation Advice was approved; this includes existing plans, records or 

management prescriptions for this species.  



Description 

Verticordia pityrhops, Family Myrtaceae, also known as Mount Barren Featherflower, is a 

small single stemmed shrub, growing to 60–150 cm tall and at least 30 cm across. It is 

densely branched and thick stemmed with a pine-like growth habit, which creates an 

impression of a miniature pine tree. The dark green leaves are densely crowded, very narrow 

linear, growing to 7–14 mm long. The appearance of this species rapidly changes between 

early autumn and early winter, when the foliage is completely covered with masses of tiny 

pinkish-mauve, honey-scented flowers. Flowers have finely fringed sepals and petals and 

fringed staminodes (sterile stamen). Its flowers range from white through pale pink to 

magenta-pink, or almost purple. The flowering period for this species occurs from February to 

June. This species is closely related to Autumn Featherflower (Verticordia harveyi), another 

rare species with fringed sepals, petals and staminoids, but is a more open shrub with less 

crowded leaves and marginally larger flowers that are less profuse and more scattered 

amongst the foliage (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998; DEC, 2008). 

Conservation Status 

Verticordia pityrhops is listed as endangeredThis species is eligible for listing as endangered 

under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth) (EPBC 

Act) as, prior to the commencement of the EPBC Act, it was listed as endangered under 

Schedule 1 of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (Cwlth). Verticordia pityrhops is 

also listed as declared rare flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia). 

Distribution and Habitat 

Verticordia pityrhops is known from a single population in Fitzgerald River National Park, 

below Mount Barren, where it occurs on a platform approximately 100 m above sea level in 

the Albany district of Western Australia. There is only one population recorded, which is 

divided into two subpopulations. It is estimated that there are over 420 mature plants in the 

area. One subpopulation has increased from three plants in 1997 to 26 plants in 1999 after the 

adult plants in this subpopulation were destroyed in 1989 by fire. The other subpopulation has 

declined from 1000 plants in 2002 to 400 in 2008 after 60 per cent of the population was 

burnt in a fire in 2006. The area of occupancy has been recorded for one subpopulation and is 

estimated to be between 0.02–0.05 km

2

 (DEC 2008). 



Verticordia pityrhops grows in white sand, sometimes with gravel amongst quartzite rocks, in 

open heath and shrubland. The population was burnt in 1989 and was not relocated, despite 

intensive searching, until November 1993 (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998). 

This species



 

occurs within South Coast (Western Australia) Natural Resource Management 

Region. 

The distribution of this species is not known to overlap with any EPBC Act-listed threatened 

ecological community. 

Verticordia pityrhops Conservation Advice - Page 1 of 3  


This Conservation Advice was approved by the Minister / Delegate of the Minister on: 

16/12/2008



 

Threats 

The main identified threat to Verticordia pityrhops is dieback caused by Phytophthora 



megasperma (Robinson & Coates, 1995; DEC, 2008). 

Another threat to the species is inappropriate fire regimes. After fire in 1989 this species was 

not relocated for four years. Adult plants are readily killed by fire and regeneration from seed 

is very slow (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998; DEC, 2008). 



Research Priorities 

Research priorities that would inform future regional and local priority actions include: 

 

Design and implement a monitoring program or, if appropriate, support and enhance 



existing programs.  

 



More precisely assess population size, distribution, ecological requirements and the 

relative impacts of threatening processes. 

 

Undertake survey work in suitable habitat and potential habitat to locate any additional 



populations/occurrences/remnants, particularly in similar habitat within Fitzgerald River 

National Park after this species has flowered. 

 

Undertake seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the 



requirements for successful establishment.  

 



Identify appropriate intensity and interval of fire. 

 



Undertake research to determine the impacts of Phytophthora control on this species. 

 

Regional and Local Priority Actions  

The following regional and local priority recovery and threat abatement actions can be done 

to support the recovery of V. pityrhops

Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification 

 



Monitor known populations to identify key threats.  

 



Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and 

the need to adapt them if necessary.  

 

Control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land. 



 

Identify populations of high conservation priority. 



 

Minimise adverse impacts from land use at known sites. 



Fire 

 



Develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy for V. pityrhops. 

 



Provide maps of known occurrences to local and state Rural Fire Services and seek 

inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plans, risk register and/or 

operation maps. 

Diseases, Fungi and Parasites 

 

Develop and implement suitable hygiene protocols to protect known sites from further 



outbreaks of dieback caused by Phytophthora spp

Conservation Information 

 

Raise awareness of V. pityrhops within the local community. The development and 



distribution of fact sheets would benefit the conservation of this species. 

Enable Recovery of Additional Sites and/or Populations 

 

Undertake appropriate seed collection and storage. 



 

Investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations. 



Verticordia pityrhops Conservation Advice - Page 2 of 3  

This Conservation Advice was approved by the Minister / Delegate of the Minister on: 

16/12/2008



 

Verticordia pityrhops Conservation Advice - Page 3 of 3  

 



Implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al., 2004) if establishing additional 

populations is considered necessary and feasible. 



 

This list does not necessarily encompass all actions that may be of benefit to V. pityrhops, but 

highlights those that are considered to be of highest priority at the time of preparing the 

conservation advice.  



Existing Plans/Management Prescriptions that are Relevant to the Species 

 



Fitzgerald River National Park Management Plan (CALM, 1991),  

 



Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback caused by Root-rot Fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi 

(EA, 2001), and  

 

Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District (Robinson & Coates, 1995).  



These prescriptions were current at the time of publishing; please refer to the relevant 

agency’s website for any updated versions.  



Information Sources: 

Brown, A, Thomson-Dans, C & Marchant, N (Eds) 1998, Western Australia's Threatened Flora, Department of 

Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 

Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) 1991, Fitzgerald River National Park 



Management Plan, Department of Conservation and Land Management, viewed 16 September 2008, 

<

http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/pdf/nature/management/fitzgerald_river.pdf

>.  

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) 2008, Records held in DEC’s Declared Flora Database and 



rare flora files. WA Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). 

Environment Australia (EA) 2001, Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback caused by Root-rot Fungus Phytophthora 

cinnamomi, Biodiversity Group, viewed 16 September 2008, <

http://www.environment.gov.au/ 

biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/phytophthora/pubs/phytophthora.pdf

>.  


Robinson, CJ & Coates, DJ 1995, Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District, Wildlife 

Management Program No. 20, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 



Document Outline

  • Description
  • Conservation Status
  • Distribution and Habitat
  • Threats
  • Research Priorities
    • Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification
    • Fire
    • Diseases, Fungi and Parasites
    • Conservation Information
    • Enable Recovery of Additional Sites and/or Populations
  • Information Sources:

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