Scaly-leaved featherflower

Action:  Coordinate recovery actions  Responsibility

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Coordinate recovery actions 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams  


$5,000 per year  




Map critical habitat 


It is a requirement of the EPBC Act that spatial data relating to critical habitat be determined. Although 

critical habitat is described in Section 1, the areas as described have not yet been mapped and that will be 

redressed under this action. If any additional populations are located, then critical habitat will also be 

determined and mapped for these locations. 



Map critical habitat 


CALM (Moora and Geraldton Districts, WATSCU) through the Recovery Teams 


$3,000 in the first year  



Liaise with relevant land managers 


Staff from CALM's Moora and Geraldton Districts will continue to liaise with relevant land managers and 

landowners to ensure that populations are not accidentally damaged or destroyed. Liaison with the land 

manager adjacent to Population 1 will need to highlight the importance of preventing grazing through that 

section of fenceline in times of drought. Input and involvement will also be sought from any Aboriginal 

groups that have an interest in areas that are habitat for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa



Liaise with relevant land managers 


CALM (Moora and Geraldton Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$1,700 per year 



Implement weed control   


Most populations are badly affected by weeds (Populations 1, 3, 4a, 5, 6a, 7 and 8). Weeds impact on 

Verticordia spicata subsp.  squamosa by competing for resources, degrading habitat, exacerbating grazing 

pressure, and increasing the risk and severity of fire. Recruitment is likely to be particularly effected. Weed 

control will be undertaken in consultation with the land managers. This will be by hand weeding or localised 

application of herbicide during the appropriate season to minimise the affect of herbicide on the species and 

the surrounding native vegetation. All applications of weed control will be followed by a report on the 

method, timing and success of the treatment against weeds, and the effect on V. spicata subsp. squamosa and 

associated native plant species.  



Implement weed control 


CALM (Moora and Geraldton Districts) through Recovery Teams; relevant land 


Cost: $2,200 






Implement rabbit control   


Rabbits disturb soil by warren construction, introduce weeds and increased nutrient levels in their droppings 

and may eat seedlings at most populations (Populations 1, 3, 6a, 6b, 7, 8 and 9T). Rabbit control by annual 

1080 baiting is therefore required. Baiting will be undertaken twice a year during summer in conjunction 

with the baiting programs run by relevant shires and local farmers. 



Implement rabbit control 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$1,000 per year  


Interim Recovery Plan for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 






Undertake watering if necessary 


Most plants have suffered various levels of drought stress over the last three years. Population 3, which died 

in November 2003, is an example of an established plant that has succumbed to drought stress. Others have 

dead branches and yellowing leaves. It is likely that the species has some level of summer dormancy as it has 

evolved with typically dry summers. However, plants require rainfall over autumn and winter to foster 

growth and flowering in spring. Occasional watering during a dry winter may help these plants persist, at 

least at sites that are accessible by a light fire unit.  



Undertake watering if necessary 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$1,200 per year  



Stimulate regeneration  


Poor recruitment is a major threat to most populations, as almost all individuals are old and a number are 

approaching senescence. Seven of the eleven subpopulations contain 2 plants or less. Localised areas of 

habitat will be disturbed to provide opportunities for regeneration in the habitat of Populations 1, 3, 4b, 5, 6a, 

6b, 7 and 8, ensuring that live plants are not damaged in any way. Disturbance trials will be conducted to 

ascertain which methods are most effective, with experimental treatments including smoke treatment, 

burning and soil disturbance. A light fire unit will be present during the burning component of the trial. The 

possibility of scattering some seed in plots will be investigated, but as so little viable seed is available, great 

care must be exercised in its use. Seed will only be deliberately scattered in areas of habitat in good 

condition, where any resulting plants have the best chance of surviving and producing further seed. The 

possibility of occasional watering will be investigated if another dry winter is experienced after the trials. 

The trial areas will require rabbit-proof fencing, and follow-up weed control will be undertaken as necessary.  


Monitoring of all trials will detail the general response of associated habitat as well as that of Verticordia 

spicata subsp. squamosa, and will also record any negative impacts such as the level of weed invasion and 

weed species involved. Monitoring of regeneration will continue for at least three years, and monitoring of V. 

spicata subsp. squamosa recruitment will continue as for other populations. If found to be beneficial, these 

methods will be implemented periodically on a small scale.  


Action: Stimulate 



CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$2,300 per year in first, third and fifth years 


8. Monitor 



Annual monitoring of factors such as habitat degradation (including plant diseases such as Phytophthora 

cinnamomi, weed invasion and salinity), population stability (expansion or decline), pollination activity, seed 

production, recruitment, longevity and predation is essential. The visibility of DRF markers will also be 

monitored to ensure they remain effective, and have not faded or been covered by vegetation. Population 5 

has not been monitored for several years, and this will be a priority in the next flowering season. If the dead 

plant is still present at Population 3 when next monitored, the presence or absence of a lignotuber will be 

ascertained by digging up the plant.   


Action: Monitor 



CALM (Moora and Geraldton Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$2,300 per year  



Conduct further surveys 


Opportunistic surveys by Geraldton District, Moora District and Science Division staff have resulted in the 

location of several new populations of V. spicata subsp. squamosa over the last decade. Most large areas of 

remnant vegetation of appropriate habitat type within this taxon’s range have been surveyed, but permission 


Interim Recovery Plan for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 




will be sought to survey remaining areas of appropriate vegetation on private property. Reserves and other 

areas of native vegetation containing suitable habitat in the Shires of Mingenew and Three Springs will 

continue to be surveyed for the presence of the taxon for several years following disturbances such as fire, 

particularly during the flowering period of October-December. Records of areas surveyed will be sent to 

Wildlife Branch and retained at the districts, even if V. spicata subsp. squamosa is not located. Note will be 

made of any appropriate habitat that appears to be large enough and in good condition and may be suitable 

for future translocations.  



Conduct further surveys 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$900 per year in the first, third and fifth years 



Collect seed  


It is necessary to store germplasm as a genetic resource, ready for use in translocations and as an ex situ 

genetic ‘blueprint’ of the species. The germplasm stored will include seed and live plants in cultivation if 

possible. The viability of V. spicata subsp. squamosa seed collected by the TFSC has generally been very 

low, and survival of plants propagated from cutting material has been extremely poor. Further collections of 

seed are required, particularly to provide material for future translocations. This will be coordinated between 

the Moora District and Geraldton District Threatened Flora Recovery Teams.  



Collect seed and cutting material 


CALM (TFSC, Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 

Cost: $3,000 





Continue the translocation process 


Translocation is essential for the conservation of this subspecies. The total number of extant plants is 

extremely low, most plants are now approaching senescence or are already senescing, and no populations are 

secure from threats. A translocation under an approved translocation proposal is underway, but has been 

hampered by the extreme difficulty of propagation and the repeated failure of the watering system. Plants 

will be translocated into other sites in the longer-term. When additional sites are considered, careful 

consideration will be given to this taxon’s tendency to hybridise with Verticordia comosa and probably with 

V. spicata subsp. spicata. Areas that do not contain these taxa will be preferred.  


Information on the translocation of threatened plants and animals in the wild is provided in CALM’s Policy 

Statement No. 29 Translocation of Threatened Flora and Fauna. Monitoring of translocations is essential 

and will be continued, as specified in the translocation proposal.  



Continue the translocation process  


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$10,300 in the first and second years, and $11,100 in subsequent years 



Seek long-term protection of habitat 


Ways and means of improving the security of populations and their habitat will be investigated. On private 

land (Populations 4b and 6b), this may include conservation covenants with a range of agencies or 

registration through the Land for Wildlife scheme. Population 9T is already protected by a conservation 

covenant and Land for Wildlife agreement. The possibility of avoiding road construction in the Shire road 

reserve at Population 8 will also be investigated.   



Seek long-term protection of habitat 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$900 in the first year 


Interim Recovery Plan for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 






Investigate possibility of land acquisition 


One of the major constraints on conservation of this taxon is a lack of appropriate habitat in good condition. 

If a suitable area of appropriate vegetation in good condition is located on private land, serious consideration 

will be given to land acquisition, as there are currently no reserves that contain appropriate habitat for 

Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa. If such an area is located it would provide a suitable site for an 

additional translocated population.  



Investigate possibility of land acquisition 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$900 in the first year (costs of land acquisition to be determined) 


14. Rehabilitate 



Plants at Population 6b occur in an old sandpit. They were healthy and flowered profusely in December 

2003, but lack associated vegetation. This implies that other ecological resources including pollinators are 

also likely to be absent or reduced. The habitat of Population 6b will be scarified and rehabilitated using 

plant species native to the site.  


Population 8 occurs in an uncleared road reserve. It is a narrow strip of vegetation, but the adjacent 

landholders have fenced an additional buffer strip and planted within that area. Some supplementary planting 

will improve the condition of the vegetation within the road reserve, as will the weed and rabbit control also 

recommended. With the permission and cooperation of the landholders, additional planting of a range of 

local species within their fenced off strip will greatly improve its value as a buffer against weed invasion, 

and enhance the diversity of the planted area.  



Rehabilitate habitat  


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$21,000 in the second year, and $10,000 in the fourth year 



Develop and implement a fire management strategy    


It is thought likely that fire kills adult plants of the taxon and that regeneration occurs largely from seed. 

Frequent fire may prevent the accumulation of sufficient soil-stored seed for recruitment to occur. Fire also 

promotes the introduction and proliferation of weed species. However, occasional fire is likely to be 

beneficial for recruitment. Fire should therefore be prevented from occurring in the area of populations, 

except where it is being used experimentally as a recovery tool. A fire management strategy will be 

developed in consultation with land managers to determine fire control measures, fire intensity, seasonality, 

and frequency. 



Develop and implement a fire management strategy 


CALM (Geraldton and Moora Districts) and land managers through the Recovery 



$2,400 in first year, and $1,400 in subsequent years 



16. Promote 



The importance of biodiversity conservation and the need for the long-term protection of wild populations of 

this taxon will be promoted to the community through poster displays and the local print and electronic 

media. Formal links with local naturalist groups and interested individuals will also be encouraged. An 

information sheet has been produced, and includes a description of the plant, its habitat, threats, recovery 

actions and photos. This will be reprinted and will continue to be distributed to the public through CALM’s 

Moora and Geraldton District offices and at the offices and libraries of the Shires of Three Springs and 

Mingenew. Such information distribution may lead to the discovery of new populations.  


Interim Recovery Plan for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 





Action: Promote 



CALM (Moora and Geraldton Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$1,600 in first year, and $1,000 in subsequent years 



Obtain biological and ecological information 


Improved knowledge of the biology and ecology of V. spicata subsp. squamosa will provide a scientific 

basis for its management in the wild. An understanding of the following is necessary for effective 





The causes of low levels of viable seed production.  



Seed ageing requirements for the breaking of seed dormancy. 



The role of various disturbances (including fire), competition, rainfall and grazing in germination and 




The soil moisture, nutrient and mycorrhizal requirements for long-term persistence. 



The pollination biology of the subspecies. 



The requirements of pollinators.  



The reproductive strategies, phenology and seasonal growth of the subspecies. 



The presence or absence of a lignotuber, enabling the recovery of adult plants from physical destruction 

of above-ground parts. 



The population genetic structure, levels of genetic diversity and minimum viable population size. 



Obtain biological and ecological information 


CALM (Science Division, Moora and Geraldton Districts) through the Recovery 



 $12,000 per year in the second, third and fourth years 



Review the need for a full Recovery Plan 


At the end of the fourth year of its five-year term this Interim Recovery Plan will be reviewed and the need 

for further recovery actions will be assessed. If the species is still ranked as Critically Endangered at that 

time a full Recovery Plan may be required.  



Review the need for a full Recovery Plan 


CALM (WATSCU, Geraldton and Moora Districts) through the Recovery Teams 


$20,300 in the fifth year (if full Recovery Plan required)




4. TERM 




This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from October 2004 to September 2009 but will remain in force until 

withdrawn or replaced. If the taxon is still ranked Critically Endangered after five years, the need to review 

this IRP or to replace it with a full Recovery Plan will be determined. 



Atkins, K. (2003) Declared Rare and Priority Flora List for Western Australia. Department of Conservation 

and Land Management, Western Australia. 

Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds). (1998) Western Australia’s Threatened Flora

Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 

CALM (1990 onwards) Threatened Flora Database (DEFL). Wildlife Branch, Perth, Western Australia. 

Accessed 2003.  

CALM (1992) Policy Statement No. 44 Wildlife Management Programs. Perth, Western Australia. 

CALM (1994) Policy Statement No. 50 Setting Priorities for the Conservation of Western Australia’s 

Threatened Flora and Fauna. Perth, Western Australia. 

CALM (1995) Policy Statement No. 29 Translocation of Threatened Flora and Fauna. Perth, Western 



Interim Recovery Plan for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 




CALM (2003 onwards) Western Australian Herbarium FloraBase 2 – Information on the Western 

Australian Flora. Perth, Western Australia. Accessed 2003. 

Cochrane, A. and McChesney, C. (1995) Verticordia Seed. Australian Plants 18 (145): 206-207. 

George, A.S. (1991) New taxa, combinations and typifications in Verticordia (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae). 

Nuytsia 7 (3): 231-394. 

George, E.A. (2002) Verticordia: the turner of hearts. University of Western Australia Press, Western 

Australia in association with Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Capital Territory.  

Ginger, D. (1999) The Effects of Habitat Fragmentation on two Rare and Endangered Verticordias. Honours 

Thesis, Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia.   

IUCN (2000) IUCN red list categories prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Commissionas approved by 

the 51st meeting of the IUCN Council. Gland, Switzerland. 

Leigh, J., Boden, R. and Briggs, J. (1984) Extinct and endangered plants of Australia. Macmillan, South 


Obbens, F. (1997) Monitoring and Preliminary Weed Control on Populations of Critically Endangered 

Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.  

Panetta, F.D. and Hopkins, A.J.M. (1991) Weeds in Corridors: Invasion and Management. Pp 341-51 in 

Nature Conservation 2: The Role of Corridors. D.A. Saunders and R.J. Hobbs (eds). Surrey Beatty & 

Sons, New South Wales. 

Patrick, S. and Brown, A. (2001) Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Moora District. Department 

of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.  

Phillimore, R. and English, V. (1999) Interim Recovery Plan No. 49 Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 

1999-2002. Department of Conservation and Land Management. Perth, Western Australia. 

Roche, S., Dixon, K.W. and Pate, J.S. (1997) Seed Ageing and Smoke: Partner cues in the amelioration of 

seed dormancy of selected Australian native species. Australian Journal of Botany 45: 783-815.  

Shearer, B.L., Crane, C.E. and Cochrane, A. (submitted) Quantification of the susceptibility of the flora of 

the South-West Botanical Province, Western Australia to Phytophthora cinnamomiAustralian Journal 

of Botany.  

Vigilante, T., Dixon, K., Sieler, I., Roche, S. and Tieu, A. (1998) Smoke Germination of Australian Plants

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australian Capital Territory.  

Wrigley, J.W. and Fagg, M. (1979) Australian Native Plants. Collins, Sydney. 




George, A. S. (1991). New combinations and typifications in Verticordia (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae). Nuytsia 7 (3): 



Two subspecies of Verticordia spicata are recognised in the following key. 


Style 6.5 to 9 mm long; sepals 5 to 5.5 mm long; petals 4 to 4.5 mm long, the lamina 2 mm wide; 

leaves mostly 2 to 3.5 mm long……………………………………………………………..subsp. spicata 

Style 4 mm long; sepals 3 to 4 mm long; petals 3 mm long, the lamina 1.5 mm wide; leaves 

mostly 1.5 to 2 mm long…………………………………………………………………….subsp. squamosa A.S. George 




George, E.A. (2002). Verticordia: the turner of hearts. University of Western Australia Press, Western Australia in 

association with Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Capital Territory.  


Subsp. squamosa is a dense bushy shrub usually 30-60 cm but sometimes to almost 1 m tall and 60 cm to more than 1 m 

wide.  Leaves are smaller than those of typical subsp. spicata and scale-like with erose to shortly ciliate margins. 

Flowers also are smaller, almost sessile in dense elongating spike-like groups, opening mauve-pink before uniformly 

fading to white. Their perfume is stronger than that of the typical subspecies attracting a wider range of insects. Sepals 

are 3.5 mm long, petals are 2.5 mm long and the style is 4 mm long.  



Interim Recovery Plan for Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa 










Scaly-leaved Featherflower (Verticordia spicata subsp. squamosa) Interim Recovery Plan 2004-2009 



In adopting this plan under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the 

Minister for the Environment and Heritage has approved the addition of the following information. 



Critical Habitat 


The plan identifies critical habitat as including areas located a set distance around known populations which contain 

habitat similar to that in which the species occurs, as well as areas that do not currently contain the species but may 

have done so in the past.  These areas identified in the plan do not represent areas of critical habitat as defined under 

section 207A of the EPBC Act, nor do they represent habitats that are critical to the survival of the species identified 

pursuant to Section 270(2)(d) of the EPBC Act.  Habitats identified in Section 270(2)(d) are limited to the area of 

occupancy of known populations. 




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