Figure 1.Known distribution of Melaleuca deanei in NSW 4
Table 1 Distribution of 94 Melaleuca deanei populations in different LGAs in their northern and southern range, and percentage of these populations found within formal conservation reserves. 3
Table 2. Size class distribution for the 94 known populations of Melaleuca deanei. 5
Table 3. Land tenures for 100 Melaleuca deanei sites. 5
Table 4. Land-use zoning for 100 Melaleuca deanei sites. 6
Table 5. Distribution of sites by broad vegetation class*. 6
Table 6. Presence of seed by population size class 7
Table 7. Limits to current knowledge of Melaleuca deanei. The justification of the research and the methodology that may be used to address each question is broadly defined, as are the potential benefits of the increased knowledge. 10
Table 8. Estimated costs, funding source and responsible parties for implementing the actions identified in the Recovery Plan. 20
Melaleuca deanei F. Muell. is a paperbark with a shrub habit, up to 5 metres high, with flaky bark. It occurs only in New South Wales (NSW), in an area between St. Albans and Nowra. Currently, it is only known from 94 populations, of which only very few are secure and reproductively viable. The species’ range is divided into at least two distinct portions, as a consequence of urbanisation and unsuitable habitat across the Cumberland Plain.
This document constitutes the formal National and State Recovery Plan for M. deanei and, as such, considers the requirements of the species across its known range. It identifies the actions to be taken to ensure the long-term viability of M. deanei in nature and the parties who will undertake these actions. The attainment of the objectives of this recovery plan are subject to budgetary and other constraints affecting the parties involved.
This plan has been prepared by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW) (DECCW) in consultation with 12 local councils, Mount Annan Botanic Gardens, the Department of Defence, the Australian Plant Society, Sydney Catchment Management Authority, Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW (RTA). The information in this recovery plan was consistent with the best available knowledge on the date it was approved.
Melaleuca deanei is listed as vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) and as vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act1999 (EPBC Act).
1.2Responsibilities under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
The TSC Act and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Amendment Act 2002 (hereafter referred to jointly as the TSC Act) provide a legislative framework to protect and encourage the recovery of endangered and vulnerable species, endangered populations and endangered ecological communities in NSW. Under this legislation, the Director General of DECCW must prepare a Threatened Species Priorities Action Statement, which outlines a strategy for the recovery of each listed threatened species in NSW. The strategy for any particular species may include the requirement for a recovery plan to be prepared, however this is no longer a mandatory requirement for every threatened species. The TSC Act includes specific requirements for both the matters to be addressed by recovery plans and the process for preparing recovery plans. This recovery plan satisfies these provisions.
The TSC Act requires that a government agency must not undertake actions inconsistent with a recovery plan.The actions identified in this plan for the recovery of M. deanei in NSW are primarily the responsibility of DECCW. Other public authorities may have statutory responsibilities relevant to the conservation and protection of M. deanei.Public authorities with core legislative responsibilities relevant to the protection and management of M. deanei and its habitat are listed in Appendix 1.
Consultation with Aboriginal people
Involvement of Aboriginal communities in the development of the recovery plan has been sought by DECCW. Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Elders and other groups representing Aboriginal people in the areas where Melaleuca deanei occurs were identified and a copy of the draft recovery plan was sent to them with the opportunity to provide input. While no responses were received, DECCW will continue to seek input from and involvement of these Aboriginal communities in the implementation of the actions identified in this plan.
The TSC Act makes provision for the identification and declaration of critical habitat for species, populations and ecological communities listed as endangered. Melaleuca deanei is not currently eligible for declaration of critical habitat because it is not listed as endangered under Schedule 1 of the TSC Act.
Key Threatening Processes
A key threatening process (KTP) is a process listed under the TSC Act or the EPBC Act that threatens, or has the capability to threaten, the survival or evolutionary development of species, populations, or endangered ecological communities. As of February 2009 there are 39 Key Threatening Processes listed on the TSC Act.
Clearing of native vegetation has been observed to affect M. deanei. The Final Determination for this KTP defines clearing as ‘the destruction of a sufficient proportion of one or more strata (layers) within a stand or stands of native vegetation so as to result in the loss, or long term modification, of the structure, composition and ecological function of a stand or stands’ (NSW Scientific Committee 2001).
Other KTPs that may affect M. deanei are:
Ecological consequences of high frequency fires (NSW Scientific Committee 2000);
Invasion of native plant communities by exotic perennial grasses (NSW Scientific Committee 2003); and
Invasion, establishment and spread of Lantana camara (NSW Scientific Committee 2006).
Any activity not requiring development consent under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) or the NSW Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NV Act), which is likely to impact on M. deanei, or damage its habitat, requires a licence from DECCW under the provisions of the TSC Act or NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act) as a defence against prosecution. If the impact is likely to be significant, a Species Impact Statement (SIS) is required.
Other conservation measures
The TSC Act includes provision for other measures that may be taken to conserve M. deanei and its habitat, including the making of a Stop Work Order or Joint Management Agreement.