surveyed as part of the BCI project on the remnant on Hi Vallee farm.
Photo – Kathy Himbeck
in the Peel-Harvey region is the focus of
a project the Serpentine-Jarrahdale Land
Conservation District Committee
(LCDC) is coordinating through the
SJ Landcare centre.
Funded by Lotterywest, the project aims
to increase the number of the Baudin’s
black-cockatoo, Carnaby’s black-cockatoo
and Forest red-tailed black-cockatoo by
providing additional and alternative
nesting sites.The project will complement
work completed by the Water
Corporation’s Cockatoo Care Project,
the WA Museum and Birds Australia.
The decline of Baudin’s black-cockatoo,
Carnaby’s black-cockatoo and Forest
red-tailed cockatoos has been a major
concern for scientists, naturalists and the
wider community for the past 20 years.
The key factors in their decline are the
disappearance of suitable nesting sites,
through competition for fewer hollows
with other species, such as the galah and
European honey bee (See in this issue
Feral Bee Control Strategy), the
destruction of potential nesting trees,
especially marri (Corymbia calophylla),
and fires during the breeding season.
The Serpentine-Jarrahdale LCDC, with
advice from the WA Museum
(Department of Ornithology) and Birds
Australia, have designed and created an
artificial nest box for use by black
cockatoos.Thirty nest boxes will be
constructed from polypiping recycled
from mining operations.
Currently 18 artificial nest boxes have
been installed.The nest boxes are located
at sites of known black cockatoo activity
identified by WA Museum research in
the Shires of Serpentine-Jarrahdale and
Murray, and include private landholdings,
State forest, and the North Dandalup
Nesting activity will be monitored by
landholders, school students and
community volunteers.The results of
this monitoring will assist in increasing
knowledge of black cockatoo breeding
activities on the Swan Coastal Plain and
will raise awareness in the community
about threats to species of black
cockatoo and actions that can be
undertaken to reduce these threats.
A ‘Design-a-Sign’ competition was run
with participating schools. The winning
sign (pictured) has been erected at the
entrance to the Serpentine Falls National
Park to raise community awareness of
the threats to black cockatoos.
If you would like to become involved in
the project, as part of a monitoring group
or as a potential nest box host, contact
the Serpentine-Jarrahdale Community
Landcare Centre on (08) 9526 0012.
FFoorr ffuurrtthheerr iinnffoorrm
maattiioonn ccoonnttaacctt G
Naattuurraall RReessoouurrccee M
Offffiicceerr oonn ((0
Installation and monitoring of nesting boxes for threatened black
cockatoos in Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Murray
by Glen Byleveld
LLeefftt A nest box installation in Serpentine.
Photo – Ken Okamitsu
w lleefftt ‘Design a sign’ competition
winner’s sign on display at Serpentine Falls
National Park. Photo – Francesca Jones
The focus of the 2006 grand spider orchid (Caladenia huegelii)
surveys was to survey areas of potential habitat on secure tenure such
as nature reserves, local government reserves and national parks.
Many of these reserves were in the Mandurah area and the call for
volunteers was advertised in local newspapers.This resulted in much
interest from Mandurah locals who either wanted to participate in
surveys, or to advise of where they had seen orchid populations.
Additionally, FloraBase featured the grand spider orchid as its ‘Plant
of the Month’ to raise awareness.
This resulted in more than 60 volunteers participating in the
surveys — Mandurah locals, volunteers from the WA Native Orchid
Study Group, Conservation Volunteers Australia and 13 DEC staff
who either coordinated survey days or participated in the surveys.
The effort by volunteers and DEC staff resulted in extensions to
known populations of the grand spider orchid; reports of new
populations, some of which are still to be confirmed; two new
populations of another rare orchid species, glossy-leaved hammer
orchid (Drakaea elastica), being reported and surveyed; a property
owner allowing her property to be a new site for Kings Park and
Botanic Gardens orchid researchers to look at a range of Drakaea
species; and more information about the areas in which this orchid
does, and does not occur.
maattiioonn ccoonnttaacctt V
Cllaarrkkee oonn ((0
Abboovvee Survey volunteers at Kooljerrenup Nature Reserve.
Grand spider orchid surveys 2006
DEC is developing a feral bee control strategy
to reduce feral bee populations where they
negatively impact on native fauna and flora.
European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were
introduced to Australia soon after European
settlement in the 1820s for honey production
and to help pollinate plants and crops.
However, because of the natural ability of
honey bees to swarm or abscond, unmanaged
feral colonies are now widespread and exist in
almost every part of the State receiving
Feral bees are of little value for commercial
honey production, and represent a considerable risk to the
commercial apiculture industry in the event of the introduction
into WA of new exotic diseases and parasites that affect
honeybees. Although, feral bees and managed bees are the same
species, feral bees are generally darker in colour, are often more
aggressive and have a tendency to swarm more than managed bees.
Feral bees compete with native birds, mammals and invertebrates
for floral resources (nectar and pollen).They also disrupt natural
pollination and seed set processes, aid in the spread and
establishment of introduced weeds and take over hollows in trees,
evicting native birds and mammals that are dependant on those
hollows for shelter or nests. Of particular concern is that the bees
take over the nests of threatened black cockatoos, including the
red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso), Carnaby’s
black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and Baudin’s black
cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) (See in this issue Installation
Control on a hive by hive basis is
considered costly and time consuming but
new research from New Zealand has
uncovered a way to tackle the problem
using a series of bait stations that contain
sugar syrup and pesticide, which the bees
take up and deliver back to their hive.
The WA research will investigate:
• the most effective method to attract bees to the baits;
• the risks to non-target native species (vertebrate and
• distances travelled by feral bees to a bait station;
• how long it will take to kill feral bee hives in a specific area; and
• how often hives or areas will need to be treated to keep them
free from feral bees.
All efforts will be made to develop a safe and efficient feral bee
control strategy suitable for WA. DEC will endeavour to reduce
feral bee numbers without affecting the beekeeping industry.
IIff yyoouu w
woouulldd lliikkee ttoo rreeppoorrtt tthhee llooccaattiioonn ooff aa ffeerraall
bbeeeehhiivvee oonn ppuubblliicc llaanndd iinn aa ppaarrkk oorr rreesseerrvvee,,
ccoonnttaacctt JJaaccqquueelliinnee H
Haayy oonn ((0
woouulldd bbee ggrreeaatt;; hhoow
ddeettaaiillss ooff tthhee llooccaattiioonn w
This Lotterywest funded project, which
was approved in October 2006 with
initial funding of $220,000 over two
years, is a collaboration between the WA
Native Orchid Study and Conservation
Group (the proponent), the Friends of
Kings Park, wheatbelt landcare groups,
the University of WA, the Botanic
Gardens and Parks Authority and DEC.
If successful, it’s likely that a further two
years of funding will be made available.
The principal objective is to recover
highly threatened wheatbelt orchids by
obtaining knowledge of their biology
and ecology and threatening processes
that are affecting them, and then
undertake actions to improve survival
and reproduction, propagating and out-
planting orchids to natural habitats,
measuring orchid survival and
reproduction and providing training to
community groups and conservation
workers.This project also aims to
promote collaboration between urban
and rural community groups,
government agencies and universities, as
well as increasing public awareness of
rare flora and threats to biodiversity.
Eight of the nine orchids are ranked as
critically endangered with four of these
(Caladenia graniticola, Caladenia melanema,
selected for urgent study as they are
believed to have the greatest risk of
extinction.Three of these orchids are
known from single locations.
The other species to be studied are
The main threats to these orchids include
the scarcity and fragmentation of suitable
remaining habitat, and habitat decline
due to weeds, feral animals, salinity and
drought. Remedial actions are urgently
required, but cannot proceed without
research to understand the biology and
ecology of the orchids and the greatest
threats to each of them. Once this
information has been gathered solutions
to these threats can be developed.
A steering committee has been established
and a project coordinator is to be
appointed soon. It is likely that the project
will commence in full in 2007.
FFoorr ffuurrtthheerr iinnffoorrm
maattiioonn pplleeaassee ccoonnttaacctt
wnn oonn ((0
2 oorr eem
Photo Andrew Brown
LLeefftt A feral bee (
Apia mellifera) on marri
w A feral bee (
Apia mellifera) on Regelia
Feral bee control strategy
Species Alignment Project being undertaken between Species and Communities Branch and the Commonwealth Department of
Environment and Heritage (see ‘Alignment of State and commonwealth Species List’ WATSNU July 2006).
The changes were:
• 10 species (eight flora and two fauna) have been listed as threatened;
• 19 species (18 endemic plant species and the western subspecies of the thick-billed grasswren), no longer considered nationally
threatened, have been delisted; and
• eight flora species have been transferred from the extinct category to appropriate threatened categories because of recent rediscoveries.
It is anticipated that more alignment of the species lists will occur over the coming year as further changes are approved by the
Commonwealth.Timing of approved changes will depend on the progress of nominations through the Commonwealth Threatened
Species Scientific Committee, the public comment period as required under the EPBC Act, and final approval by the Commonwealth
Minister for the Environment.
The changes to the EPBC Act are listed below.
Aligning the Western Australian and national threatened species lists
maattiioonn ccoonnttaacctt D
Attkkiinnss oonn ((0
5 oorr eem
the environmental arena it is enormously
gratifying to be part of the network that
unravels the mysteries of WA flora.
This story is long and convoluted, and
illustrates the value of networks and
community cooperation. It all started
with Diels who collected Ptilotus
area early in the 19th century.The species
was not seen again for more than 100
years.Then DEC’s Greg Keighery
recorded it from the Goldfields, and in
2005 Rob Davis (identification botanist
at the WA Herbarium) found it again in
the Yerina Springs area. By coincidence,
Bayden Smith and Simon Brannigan (of
Greening Australia’s Environmental
Services Unit) recorded it during a
survey undertaken on behalf of Northern
Agriculture Catchments Council
(NACC) and DEC, as part of the
Hidden Treasures Project.
Late in 2005, Greening Australia’s River
Recovery Project Manager, Margi Weir,
was working on the Hutt River,
familiarising herself with the Yerina
Springs area and photographed an
unfamiliar plant, possibly a species of
Asteraceae. She emailed her photograph
to contacts at Greening Australia and
Kings Park.The reply came back that it
was possibly a member of the genus
Ozothamnus, but in searching FloraBase
the only records were of a species in the
Eastern Goldfields many hundreds of
kilometres to the south-east.
In November 2005, as Biodiversity
Support Officer for Northern Agriculture
Catchments Council (NACC)/Greening
Australia, I visited the site with Margi.
We found a very dead Ptilotus sp.,
possibly helichrysoides, shredded on the
firebreak.We also found and collected the
possible Ozothamnus sp. for herbarium
identification and explored the site more
extensively.The site is a south facing
breakaway extending 200m to 300m
west from the road, on Cockatea Shale, a
sedimentary shale ferruginised by ground
water. A Leucopogon sp. was locally
common and, knowing Mike Hislop’s
special interest in the genus, we also
The specimens were submitted to the
WA Herbarium for vouchering together
with all the Geraldton Regional
Herbarium’s collections of that year,
several of which had been undertaken in
conjunction with Greening Australia.
The methodical identification process
was followed by WA Herbarium staff and
their volunteers and the specimens finally
reached Mike Hislop and Rob Davis -
botanists based at the WA Herbarium -
in June 2006. Rob phoned to say the
Ozothamnus sp. was probably a new
species and, as Mike had managed a trip
to Yerina Springs to find the Leucopogon
species in bud, Rob asked (as it appeared
to be a new species) whether we could
possibly visit the site again soon as it
would probably be in flower.
In July 2006 Cathy Page, the new
Conservation Officer at DEC Geraldton
District and I (as a volunteer with
Geraldton Regional Herbarium) took
NACC’s two new Biodiversity Support
Officers, Chiara Danese and Donna
Rayner, on an introductory visit to
Yerina Springs Road and met with
Margi Weir.The Leucopogon sp. was in
full flower so population estimates and
an adequate specimen collection could
be made for the WA Herbarium. A
second member of the Epacridaceae was
also found and collected along with a
specimen of an unfamiliar plant and a
checked out bushland further north
along Yerina Springs Road and found
the same two members of the
Epacridaceae plus a third species. She
sent her photographs to Mike.
So what had we found? There were three
members of the Epacridaceae family
collected and according to Mike the first is
an unnamed taxon that he has given the
phrase name Leucopogon sp.Yallabatharra.
The other two are Astroloma species not
thought, one being Astroloma sp. Kalbarri.
This reinforces the necessity for good
plant material for identification. Mike
pointed out that the whole family is under
review with 40–50 per cent of them
possibly requiring name changes. But what
of the Ozothamnus specimen? Rob says
that it is in all probability a new species
that after it is officially described is a
possible candidate for the DRF list.
According to Mike the mystery plant is a
particular interest. It appears to be related
to D. pinifolia and D. caespitosa or it could
be an outlier of D. divaricata but the
growth habit looks incorrect. Fruit is
needed to resolve this.
The Gastrolobium turned out to be
G. propinquum (Priority 1) and there
appears to be a large population of it in
maattiioonn ccoonnttaacctt C
1 oorr eem
Photo – Magi Wier