The implementation of this recovery plan has the potential to have social and economic impact as some populations of Leucopogon obtectusoccur on land leased for mining. Negotiations will continue with regard to their future management and recovery actions will involve liaison and cooperation with stakeholders.
Evaluation of the plan’s performance
DEC in conjunction with the Moora District Threatened Flora Recovery Team (MDTFRT) will evaluate the performance of the plan. In addition to annual reporting on progress against listed actions and criteria for success and failure, the plan is to be reviewed within five years of its implementation.
2. RECOVERY OBJECTIVE AND CRITERIA Recovery Plan objective: The objective of this Recovery plan is to maintain or enhance viable in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the species in the wild.
Recovery criteria Criteria for success: The number of individuals within populations has increased by ten percent or more or the number of populations has increased.
Criteria for failure: The number of individuals within populations has decreased by ten percent or more or the number of populations has decreased.
3. RECOVERY ACTIONS
Existing recovery actions
All relevant land managers have been notified of the location and threatened status of Leucopogon obtectus. The notification details the Declared Rare status ofthe speciesand associated legal obligations.
Staff at The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) examining techniques for propagating Leucopogon obtectus have found that seed germination rates are low. The likely contributing factors are currently being examined as part of a broader inquiry into stimulation of native species germination. Methods for vegetative propagation of Leucopogon obtectus involving shoot tip tissue culture and somatic embryogenesis have had some measure of success in laboratory culture. Research to address issues of subsequent transplantation failure of cultured material into soil based media is being pursued. This includes examining the mycorrhizal requirements of the species and relationship between micro propagated plants and symbiotic fungi on subsequent development and long term survival. To assist in these studies, mycorrhizal fungi associated with L. obtectus in its natural habitat have been successfully isolated and maintained in pure culture.
The BGPA has completed a research project examining the molecular genetics of Leucopogon obtectus. A PhD thesis has developed from this study which outlined the implications for the conservation genetics of the species. This work was supported by a research grant provided through the Iluka Resources Limited. Eneabba Operations Environmental Program for research and development
The BGPA has three clones of the taxon, one from tissue material and two from seed. At present 4.35 g of seed, collected in 1999 from the vicinity of “Beekeepers Reserve”, is stored in the BGPA seed store.
In November 2005 a census of Leucopogon obtectus within the Iluka Resources mining lease was conducted by Eneabba Operations staff.
Staff from DEC Moora District periodically monitor (subject to staff resources being available) all populations of this species.
The MDTFRT is overseeing the implementation of this plan and will include information on progress in its annual report to DEC's Corporate Executive and funding bodies.
Future recovery actions
Where populations occur on lands other than those managed by DEC, permission has been or will be sought from appropriate land managers prior to recovery actions being undertaken. The following recovery actions are generally in order of descending priority; however this should not constrain addressing any of the priorities if funding is available for ‘lower’ priorities and as other opportunities arise.
The Moora District Threatened Flora Recovery Team will coordinate recovery actions for Leucopogon obtectus and other Declared Rare Flora in the Moora District and will include information on progress in their annual report to DEC’s Corporate Executive and funding bodies.
Action: Coordinate recovery actions
Responsibility: DEC (Moora District) through the MDTFRT
Staff from DEC Moora District will continue to liaise with relevantland managers and landowners to ensure that populations are not accidentally damaged or destroyed. Managers associated with the natural gas pipeline Station No 1 and access track within Population 1c should be made aware, if not already notified, of the presence of Leucopogon obtectus. In particular, managers of mining operations that are being undertaken on land that contains or may have an impact on populations of L. obtectus need to be aware of their obligations. Such obligations may include:
Ensuring that occurrences of Leucopogon obtectus and habitat critical to its survival are protected from any damage that may arise from activities carried out by the proponent or operator.
Rehabilitation of areas disturbed by mining. This will include a demonstration that existing Leucopogon obtectus populations and their habitat are restored according to criteria acceptable to DEC.
Contributing resources for carrying out research and contributing knowledge that facilitates the long term viability of populations and their habitat.