Tufted plumed featherflower



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TUFTED PLUMED FEATHERFLOWER 

(Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes) 



RECOVERY PLAN 

Heather Taylor, Val English and Andrew Webb 



FOREWORD 

Interim Recovery Plans (IRPs) are developed within the framework laid down in WA Department of Conservation and 

Land Management (CALM) Policy Statements Nos. 44 and 50. Note: the Department of CALM formally became the 

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in July 2006. DEC will continue to adhere to these Policy Statements 

until they are revised and reissued. 

IRPs outline the recovery actions that are required to urgently address those threatening processes most affecting the 

ongoing survival of threatened taxa or ecological communities, and begin the recovery process. 

DEC is committed to ensuring that Threatened taxa are conserved through the preparation and implementation of Recovery 

Plans (RPs) or IRPs and by ensuring that conservation action commences as soon as possible. 

This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from December 2005 to October 2010 but will remain in force until withdrawn or 

replaced. It is intended that, if the taxon is still ranked Critically Endangered (WA), this IRP will be reviewed after five 

years and the need for a full Recovery Plan will be assessed. 

This IRP was given regional approval on 21 November 2005 and was approved by the Director of Nature Conservation on 

13 December 2005. The allocation of staff time and provision of funds identified in this Interim Recovery Plan is 

dependent on budgetary and other constraints affecting DEC, as well as the need to address other priorities. 

This IRP has been updated with information contained herein and is accurate as at January 2008. 

This IRP was prepared with financial support from the Australian Government and has been adopted as a National 

Recovery Plan under the provisions of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 

(EPBC Act). 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The following people have provided assistance and advice in the preparation of this Interim Recovery Plan: 

Dennis Cooper 

Amateur Botanist, Busselton Naturalist Club 

Anne Cochrane 

Manager, DEC's Threatened Flora Seed Centre 

Amanda Shade 

Horticulturalist, Botanic Garden and Parks Authority 

Thanks also to the staff of the W.A. Herbarium for providing access to Herbarium databases and specimen information, and 

DEC's Wildlife Branch for assistance. 

2  


SUMMARY 

Scientific NameVerticordia plumosa var. ananeotes 

Common Name: Tufted Plumed Featherflower  

Family: Myrtaceae 

Flowering Period: November - December 

DEC Regions: Southwest 

DEC District: Blackwood 

Shires: Busselton 

Recovery Team: South West Region Threatened Flora and 

Communities Recovery Team (SWRTFCRT) 



Illustrations and/or further information: Brown, A., Thomson-Dans, C. and Marchant, N. (Eds). (1998). 

Western Australia’s Threatened Flora. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia; 

CALM (1998) Florabase – Information on the Western Australian Flora (http://www/calm.wa.gov.au/science/). 

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

Nuytsia. 7: 231-394.  

Current status: Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian 

Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 in October 1996 and is currently ranked as Critically Endangered under World 

Conservation Union (IUCN 2001) Red List criteria B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) due to its narrow distribution, severely 

fragmented populations, and a continuing decline in the quality of the habitat. The variety is listed as 

Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC 

Act). 

The variety is currently known from three wild populations in DEC’s Blackwood District. The populations are 



now restricted to areas of remnant vegetation surrounded by land that has been extensively cleared for 

agriculture. The major threats to the population are degraded habitat, weeds, inappropriate fire regimes and 

limited genetic diversity. 

Distribution and habitat: Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes was recorded at Serpentine, ‘Murray District’ 

(i.e. between Mundijong and Waroona), where it was believed to have grown in open Jarrah woodland. It has 

also been recorded along the Blackwood and Vasse Rivers and at the ‘Malloy Plains’ near Busselton. These 

recorded specimens are yet to be confirmed for the areas. It is fairly abundant in a reserve south of Busselton, 

growing in low-lying swampy flats on a mixture of clay or sandy soils in association with Eucalyptus calophylla 

(Marri),  Kingia, Xanthorrhoea, Stirlingia, Isopogon, sedges, Conostylis spp., Melaleuca spp.  and Adenanthos 

spp. 

Guide for decision-makers: Section 1 provides details of current and possible future threats. Developments in 

the immediate vicinity of the population or within the defined habitat critical to the survival of Verticordia 



plumosa var. ananeotes require assessment for the potential for a significant level of impact. 

Habitat critical to the survival of the variety, and important populations: Habitat critical to the survival of 

the variety includes the area of occupancy of important populations; areas of similar habitat surrounding 

important populations - these areas provide potential habitat for natural range extension and/or for allowing 

pollinators or biota essential to the continued existence of the variety to move between populations; and 

additional occurrences of similar habitat that may contain important populations or be suitable for future 

translocations or other recovery actions intended to create important populations. All population are considered 

important for the long-term recovery and survival of the species.   

Benefits to other species/ecological communities: Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or 

security of the habitat of Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes will also improve the status of remnant vegetation 

in which it is located. Two threatened ecological communities occur in the habitat of Population 1, and actions 

such as improving the quality or security of the reserve habitat will be of benefit to them. Actions to conserve 

the  Verticordia will also be beneficial for another Declared Rare Flora taxon that occurs in the habitat of 

Population 1. This is the perennial sedge Tetraria australiensis (listed as Vulnerable under the Wildlife 



Conservation Act 1950 and Vulnerable under the EPBC Act). 

International obligations: This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention 

on Biological Diversity, ratified by Australia in June 1993, and will assist in implementing Australia’s 

3  


responsibilities under that convention. The taxon is not listed under any specific international treaty, however, 

and therefore this IRP does not affect Australia’s obligations under any other international agreements. 



Role and interests of Indigenous people: Involvement of the Indigenous community is being sought through 

the advice of the Department of Indigenous Affairs to determine whether there are any issues or interests 

identified in the plan. A search of the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register lists 

Busselton (5613) as a site in the vicinity of the variety. Where no role is identified for the Indigenous 

community associated with this variety in the development of the recovery plan, opportunities may exist 

through cultural interpretation and awareness of the variety. Indigenous involvement in the implementation of 

recovery actions will be encouraged. 

Social and economic impacts: The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant 

adverse social and economic impacts, as all plants are located on Shire reserves. Some populations occur 

adjacent to private land, however, so there is potential for some recovery actions to influence the activities on 

neighbouring farms. 



Evaluation of the Plan’s Performance: DEC, in conjunction with the South West Region Threatened Flora 

and Communities Recovery Team (SWRTFCRT) will evaluate the performance of this IRP. The plan is to be 

reviewed within five years. 

Completed Recovery Actions The following recovery actions have been implemented: 

•   The reserve that contains Population 1 is being managed and monitored by the Busselton Naturalist Club. 

•   Populations 2 and 3 have Declared Rare Flora (DRF) markers installed to help protect them from accidental 

damage. 


•   Relevant land managers have been notified of the presence of Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes, its 

threatened status and the legal obligations to protect it

•   Seed has been collected and stored at –18°C in DEC’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC). The seed 

collected includes 62 seeds from Population 1a and 1b.  

•   The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority (BGPA) currently have 22 plants of V. plumosa var. ananeotes 

grown from material collected from Population 1 in 1992 in their nursery and botanic gardens.  

•   Surveys have been conducted in areas of suitable habitat to locate new populations.  

•   Preliminary studies have been undertaken on seed viability, the effects of smoke on germination and the 

growth of the partial lignotuber in the variety. 

•   Procedures to manage dieback disease are being implemented in the habitat of Population 1. 

•   A poster has been produced that provides a description of V. plumosa var. ananeotes, and information about 

threats and recovery actions. 

•   The SWRTFCRT is overseeing the implementation of recovery actions for this taxon. 

•   Staff from DEC’s Blackwood District regularly monitor all populations of this variety. 



IRP Objective: The objective of this Interim Recovery Plan is to abate identified threats and maintain and/or 

enhance in situ populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the taxon in the wild. 



Recovery criteria 

Criteria for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have 

increased by ten percent or more over the 

five year 

term of the plan. 



Criteria for failure: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have 

decreased by ten percent or more over the 

five year 

term of the plan. 

4  


Recovery actions 

1.  Coordinate recovery actions 

9.  Develop and implement a fire management strategy 

2.  Maintain DRF markers 

10.  Map habitat critical to survival. 

3.  Install fences and undertake weed control 

11.  Rehabilitate habitat and buffers 

4.  Manage dieback disease 

12.  Obtain biological and ecological information 

5. Conduct 

further 

surveys 


13. Collect seed and cutting material 

6. Monitor 

populations 

14. 


Promote community awareness 

7.  Liaise with relevant landowners 

15.  Seek increased security for Population 1 

8.  Develop a translocation proposal 

16.  Review this Plan 

5  


1. 

BACKGROUND 

History 

V. plumosa var. ananeotes was first collected in Serpentine in December 1839 by Ludwig Preiss, and was 

named by Alex George in 1991. The population located by Ludwig Preiss has not been re-discovered in recent 

times. The variety has also been recorded along the Blackwood and Vasse Rivers and at the ‘Malloy Plains’ 

near Busselton but sightings have yet to be confirmed for these areas.  

The variety is named from the Greek ana  (again) and neos (new, recent) in reference to the plant’s ability to 

resprout after fire from its small lignotuber. It was collected six times between 1839 and 1900, but was not then 

relocated until early 1992, when rediscovered by Dennis Cooper

1



The reserve south of Busselton in which the taxon occurs is one of only a few reserves in the area, as most land 

has been cleared for agriculture and urban developments. Dennis Cooper has spent many voluntary hours 

studying  V. plumosa var. ananeotes, and has recently conducted preliminary experiments on the effects of 

smoked water on germination and the growth of the lignotuber in seedlings. The lignotuber has been identified 

as the key means for the variety to survive the effects of fires. 

Description 

Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes is a tufted shrub to 40 cm tall. It has a small lignotuber and several to many 

simple or sparsely branched stems. The leaves, which are abruptly pointed, and 6 - 14 mm long x 0.7 mm wide, 

are sparsely arranged on main stems but crowded on short axillary branchlets. Flowers, on stalks 4-7mm long, 

are in small groups with peduncles 4 - 7 mm long. They are deep mauve-pink fading to white. Sepals are 3-3.5 

mm long. The three or four main lobes have very short, irregular lobes towards the apex. 

Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes is distinguished from V. plumosa var.  plumosa by a shorter stature (it is 

approximately 40 cm shorter) and the absence of glaucous colouration to its leaves. 



Distribution and habitat 

Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes is known from three populations over a range of 30km in the Busselton 

area. It has also been noted at Serpentine, ‘Murray District’ (i.e. between Mundijong and Waroona), where it 

was recorded in open Jarrah woodland. It has also been seen along the Blackwood and Vasse Rivers and at the 

‘Malloy Plains’ near Busselton, however these populations have not been confirmed. The variety is abundant in 

a reserve south of Busselton, growing on low-lying sandy or clay soils in association with Eucalyptus calophylla 

(Marri),  Kingia, Xanthorrhoea, Stirlingia, Isopogon, sedges, Conostylis ssp., Melaleuca spp.  and  Adenanthos 

spp. 

Biology and ecology 

The genus Verticordia is well known for its colourful, showy flowers. Most species make excellent cut flowers 

and a considerable market has been established. Propagation of Verticordias has been mainly from cuttings, 

with a few grown from seed. In general, Verticordias produce only one seed per flower in the wild. Germination 

occurs from within old flowers that have fallen to the ground. Research by DEC’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre 

(TFSC) indicates that seed set in Verticordias is generally low (less than 51%) and variable between species, 

within the same species in different locations, and in different years at the same location (Cochrane and 

McChesney 1995). Subsequent germination is also often unsatisfactory even under generally favourable 

conditions, and germination techniques need to be further investigated (Turnbull and Doran 1987). Testing 

carried out by DEC’S TFSC indicates the initial germination rate of Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes varied 

greatly within samples and over time, but was found to be between 9% and 47% (unpublished data 

A. Cochrane

2

). 


1

 Dennis Cooper - member of the Busselton Naturalist Club. 

2

 Anne Cochrane - Manager DEC’s TFSC 



6  

Verticordias are generally considered to be fire sensitive with post-fire regeneration occurring mainly from 

seed. However, general health and flowering in Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes is believed to deteriorate 

without some regular burning. V. plumosa var. ananeotes is one of seven Verticordia taxa that possess a small 

lignotuber which aids in recovery after fire. This has been observed in Population 1. 

The BGPA currently have 22 plants from Population 1 grown from material collected by Elizabeth George in 

1992. 11 of these will be planted in the Botanic Gardens Verticordia garden. The success of propagation of the 

variety from cuttings (30-87%) is dependent on the quality of the source material (A. Shade

3

, personal 



communication).  

Members of the genus Verticordia are not, on the whole, susceptible to Phytophthora species. However, 

preliminary studies with five Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes seedlings have shown that it is highly likely 

that V. plumosa var. ananeotes is susceptible to Phytophthora



Threats 

Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes was declared as Rare Flora under the Western Australian Wildlife 

Conservation Act 1950 in October 1996 and is currently ranked as Critically Endangered under World 

Conservation Union (IUCN 2001) Red List criteria B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) due to its narrow distribution, severely 

fragmented populations, and a continuing decline in the quality of the habitat. The variety is listed as 

Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC 

Act). 

The variety is currently known from three populations in DEC’s Blackwood District. The Shire reserve that 



contains Population 1 is currently under the management of the Busselton Naturalists Club. However, 

Populations 2 and 3 are now restricted to areas of remnant vegetation surrounded by land that has been 

extensively cleared for agriculture. The major threats to these populations are weeds, inappropriate fire regimes, 

grazing and trampling by livestock, road track and firebreak maintenance, dieback disease and chemical drift. 

•   Weeds are invading the habitat of Populations 2 and 3, in particular. Weeds suppress early plant growth by 

competing for soil moisture, nutrients and light. They also exacerbate grazing pressure and increase the fire 

hazard due to the easy ignition of high fuel loads, which are produced annually by many weed species. 

•   Inappropriate fire regimes threaten populations of  Verticordia plumosa var.  ananeotes,  especially 

Population 2, that has been subject to regular burning. This taxon has a lignotuber, and therefore adult plants 

can survive fire. It is likely that the taxon requires occasional fire for recruitment from soil stored seed, but 

frequent fires during the flowering and seeding phase (November to February) may be detrimental to the 

long term survival of the taxon. Fire also promotes the introduction of weed species, and if too frequent, is 

likely to deplete the lignotuber. 

•   Grazing and trampling by livestock in the habitat of Population 2 is leading to soil compaction, aiding the 

spread of weeds and lowering seedling survival. 

•   Road/track/firebreak maintenance activities such as construction of drainage channels, grading activities 

and other road maintenance activities has the potential to impact on the road reserve populations of 

Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes (Populations 2 and 3).  

•   Chemical drift from herbicide and fertilizer applications from adjacent farmland has the potential to impact 

on Population 2.  

•   Dieback disease caused by the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi is a threat to Verticordia plumosa 

var. ananeotes, as preliminary studies indicate that it is susceptible to the disease.  

3

 Amanda Shade - Horticulturalist BGPA 



7  

Summary of population information and threats 

Pop. No. & Location 

Land Status 

Year/No. plants 

Habitat 

Condition 

Threats 

1a. Ambergate Reserve  

‘C’ Class Shire 

Reserve 


1994 

1995 253 

1995 15 

1997 250 

1998 

250 


1999 

250 


Healthy 

condition 

Inappropriate fire regime, weed 

invasion, dieback disease 

1b. Ambergate Reserve  

‘C’ Class Shire 

Reserve 

2000 379 

2000 300 

Healthy 


condition in 

SW block 

Inappropriate fire regime, weed 

invasion, dieback disease 

2. Edwards Road 

Shire Reserve 

1996 



1996 



2004 1 


Healthy 

condition: 

vegetative 

Inappropriate fire regimes, firebreak 

and road maintenance activities, 

weed invasion, trampling and 

grazing by livestock, dieback 

disease, chemical drift 

3 Payne Road, Treeton 

Shire Reserve 

2002 

20 


Moderate: old 

and young 

plants 

Inappropriate fire regimes, weed 



invasion, trampling and grazing by 

livestock, dieback disease 



Guide for decision-makers 

Section 1 provides details of current and possible future threats. Any on-ground works (clearing, firebreaks, 

roadworks, spraying of herbicides, burning, drainage etc) in the immediate vicinity of Verticordia plumosa var

ananeotes  will require assessment. Proponents should demonstrate that on-ground works will not have an 

impact on the variety, or on its habitat or potential habitat. 



Habitat critical to the survival of the variety, and important populations 

Habitat critical to the survival of the variety includes the area of occupancy of important populations; areas of 

similar habitat surrounding important populations - these areas provide potential habitat for natural range 

extension and/or for allowing pollinators or biota essential to the continued existence of the variety to move 

between populations; and additional occurrences of similar habitat that may contain important populations of 

the variety or be suitable for future translocations or other recovery actions intended to create important 

populations. All populations are considered important for the long-term recovery and survival of the species.   

Benefits to other species/ecological communities 

Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of the habitat of Verticordia plumosa var



ananeotes  will also improve the status of remnant vegetation in which it is located. Actions to conserve the 

Verticordia will also be beneficial for the other Declared Rare Flora taxon that occurs in the habitat of 

Population 1. This is the perennial sedge Tetraria australiensis (listed as Vulnerable under the Wildlife 



Conservation Act 1950 and the EPBC Act). The reserve that contains Population 1 also contains two threatened 

ecological communities. These are ‘southern wet shrubland’ (listed as Endangered in WA), and ‘Eucalyptus 



calophylla woodlands on heavy soils of the southern Swan Coastal Plain’ (listed as Vulnerable in WA). These 

communities are described in Gibson et al. (1994), as community types ‘2’ and ‘1b’ respectively. 

8  


International obligations 

This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 

ratified by Australia in June 1993, and will assist in implementing Australia’s responsibilities under that 

Convention. The taxon is not listed under any specific international treaty, however, and therefore this IRP does 

not affect Australia’s obligations under any other international agreements. 

Role and interests of Indigenous people 

Involvement of the Indigenous community is being sought through the advice of the Department of Indigenous 

Affairs to determine whether there are any issues or interests identified in the plan. A search of the Department 

of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register lists Busselton (5613) as a site in the vicinity of the 

variety. Where no role is identified for the Indigenous community associated with this variety in the 

development of the recovery plan, opportunities may exist through cultural interpretation and awareness of the 

variety. Indigenous involvement in the implementation of recovery actions will be encouraged. 

Social and economic impacts 

The implementation of this recovery plan is unlikely to cause significant adverse social and economic impacts, 

as all plants are located on Shire reserves. Some populations occur adjacent to private land, however, so there is 

potential for some recovery actions to influence the activities on neighbouring farms.  



Evaluation of the Plans Performance 

DEC, in conjunction with the South West Region Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team will 

evaluate the performance of this interim recovery plan. In addition to annual reporting on progress against the 

criteria for success and failure, the plan is to be reviewed within five years of its implementation. Any changes 

to management / recovery actions made in response to monitoring results will be documented accordingly. 

2. 

RECOVERY OBJECTIVE AND CRITERIA 

Objectives 

The objective of this Interim Recovery Plan is to abate identified threats and maintain or enhance in situ 

populations to ensure the long-term preservation of the variety in the wild. 

Criteria for success: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have 

increased by 10% or more over the five year term of the plan. 



Criteria for failure: The number of individuals within populations and/or the number of populations have 

decreased by 10% or more over the five year term of the plan. 



3. RECOVERY 

ACTIONS 

Completed recovery actions 

Population 1 has been under threat from inappropriate (too frequent) fire regimes, grazing and weed invasion. 

The Busselton Naturalist’s Club now manages the reserve that contains this population, and is developing a fire 

management strategy that includes consideration of fire frequency, intensity, seasonality and control measures. 

The Draft Management Plan for the reserve was also prepared by the group in November 2003 for the Shire of 

Busselton, and this includes consideration of weed control as an action for this reserve and highlights the 

conservation, recreation and educational values of the area (Massey 2003). 

Managers of land on which populations occur have been notified of the presence of the variety. Adjacent 

landowners have also been notified of the presence of the rare flora. 

9  


The BGPA currently have 22 plants from the Population 1 from material collected by Elizabeth George in 1992. 

11 of these will be planted in the Botanic Gardens Verticordia garden. The success of propagation of the variety 

from cuttings (30-87%) is dependent on the quality of the source material (A. Shade, personal communication).  

Approximately 32 seeds were collected in February 1998 and 30 in January 2000 from Population 1a and 1b. 

These have been stored in the DEC's Threatened Flora Seed Centre (TFSC) at –18

°C. Staff of the TFSC 

generally test the viability of seed soon after collection and again after one year in storage. The initial 

germination rate of Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes varied greatly within samples and over time, but was 

found to be between 9% and 47% (unpublished data, A. Cochrane). It was not retested as there is only a very 

small quantity of seed.  

Propagation of the taxon from seed has also been successfully conducted by Dennis Cooper and used in 

preliminary studies into the growth, survival and seed viability. He found that seed viability was relatively low 

(<5%) in the variety, and the best germination results occurred with the use of smokewater (D. Cooper, personal 

communication). 

There are DRF markers in place for Populations 2 and 3. The significance of the DRF markers is being 

promoted to relevant local authorities, such as Shires and Main Roads WA. However relevant landowners may 

need to be informed of the importance of the markers. 

Dieback hygiene procedures have been implemented at Population 1 by the Busselton Naturalist Club. This 

entails requiring visitors to disinfect their shoes in a soak pad prior to entering the walk trails through the 

reserve, installation of limestone walk tracks which are hostile to the disease, and mapping of the boundaries of 

the disease within the reserve.  

An A4 sized poster has been developed and distributed for the taxon. This provides a description of V. plumosa 

var. ananeotes, photos and information about threats and recovery actions. It is hoped the distribution of this 

information will increase knowledge of the taxon, and possibly lead to the discovery of new populations. 

Surveys have been conducted in nearby areas of similar habitat in an attempt to locate new populations.  

Ongoing and future recovery actions 

The South West Region Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team (SWRTFCRT) is overseeing the 

implementation of recovery actions and will include information on progress in its annual report to DEC’s 

Corporate Executive. 

Where populations occur on lands other than those managed by the DEC, permission has been or will be sought 

from appropriate land managers prior to recovery actions being undertaken.  

The following recovery actions are roughly in order of descending priority; however this should not constrain 

addressing any of the priorities if funding is available for ‘lower’ priorities and other opportunities arise. 



1. 

Coordinate recovery actions 

The South West Region Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team are coordinating recovery actions 

for Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes and will include information on progress in their annual report to DEC’s 

Corporate Executive and funding bodies. 



Action: 

Coordinate recovery actions 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through the SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$1,000 per year 

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2. 

Maintain Declared Rare Flora markers 

An additional DRF marker is required at Population 3. Annual checks on the DRF markers will be conducted 

when population surveys are completed. 

Action: 

Maintain DRF markers 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through the SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$100 in the first year. 



3. 

Install fencing and undertake weed control 

One of the largest pressures on Population 2 is the grazing of livestock on the road reserve. This has caused 

degradation of the habitat, including soil compaction, and has contributed to the severe weed invasion in the 

area. A 5m by 5m fence to protect the plants will alleviate this grazing pressure. The fenced area will also be 

hand weeded annually. Adjacent land owners will also be informed of this activity. 

Action: 

Install fencing and undertake weed control 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through the SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$1,500 in year 1 and $500 per year thereafter 



4. 

Manage dieback disease 

Strategies to manage dieback disease will be implemented in the habitat of populations of Verticordia plumosa 

var.  ananeotes.  This involves ongoing implementation of dieback hygiene procedures in the habitat of 

Population 1, which is a reserve utilized for passive recreation including bush-walking. The Management Plan 

for this reserve also recommends that the disease be mapped (Massey 2003). This would help to determine 

suitable management actions for the reserve, including determination of suitable routes for bush-walkers, and 

the requirement for any other disease control actions. 

Hygiene procedures will also be implemented by DEC staff when monitoring Populations 2 and 3. 



Action: 

Manage dieback disease 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through the SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$2,000 in first year 



5. 

Conduct further surveys 

Further survey has been conducted for the taxon in areas of suitable habitat on a systematic basis during its 

flowering period. Volunteers will be encouraged to be involved in surveys to be supervised by DEC staff. 

Appropriate habitat on private lands will be surveyed if permission is obtained. Any areas considered suitable 

habitat for the taxon will be noted and these will be considered as possible future translocation sites. Population 

3 also will be re-surveyed during the flowering period to confirm its identity. There is also an unconfirmed 

report of an additional subpopulation in the south east corner of the reserve that contains Population 1, and this 

will be clarified. 



Action: 

Conduct further surveys 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$1,500 per year. 

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6. Monitor 

populations 

Annual monitoring of habitat degradation (including weed invasion and plant diseases), population stability 

(expansion or decline), pollination activity, seed production, recruitment, longevity and predation is being 

conducted. The Busselton Naturalist Club has been monitoring Population 1 and intends to continue this work. 



Action: 

Monitor populations 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$1,500 per year 



7. 

Liaise with relevant landowners 

Staff from DEC’s Blackwood district will continue to liaise with relevant land managers, including managers of 

areas adjacent to populations of the taxon, to ensure that the known populations are not accidentally damaged or 

destroyed either by direct mechanical means or by chemical drift. Input and involvement will also be sought 

from any Indigenous groups that have an active interest in areas that are habitat for V. plumosa var. ananeotes

DEC will continue to liaise with the Shire of Busselton with regard the management of all populations, and with 

the Busselton Naturalists Club, in particular, with regard to management of Population 1. 

Action: 

Liaise with relevant landholders 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) and through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$700 per year 



8.

 Develop a translocation proposal 

Translocations will be essential for the long-term conservation of this variety. Threats to the habitat of 

Population 1 have probably declined in recent years, however Populations 2 and 3 are subject to some severe 

threats. Information on the translocation of threatened animals and plants in the wild is provided in DEC Policy 

Statement No. 29 Translocation of Threatened Flora and Fauna. Suitable habitat for potential translocation 

sites will be sought during the life of this IRP and translocation will be addressed in a full Recovery Plan if 

deemed necessary. All translocation proposals require endorsement by the Director of Nature Conservation. 

Action: 

Develop a translocation proposal 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$13,300 in third year and $6,200 in years 4 and 5 



9. 

Develop and implement a fire management strategy 

This taxon has a lignotuber, and therefore adult plants can survive fire. It is likely that the taxon requires 

occasional fire for recruitment from soil stored seed, but frequent fires during the flowering and seeding phase 

(November to February) may be detrimental to the long term survival of the taxon. Fire also promotes the 

introduction of weed species, and if too frequent, is likely to deplete the lignotuber. 

The Busselton Naturalist Club produced a Draft Management Plan for the habitat of Population 1 in November 

2003, and this includes a Fire Management Strategy. A fire management strategy will be developed for the 

taxon as a whole in consultation with relevant parties. This plan will include consideration of the maintenance 

of strategic firebreaks in the habitat, the establishment and maintenance of firebreaks on adjoining land, and 

recommended fire frequency, intensity, seasonality and method of control. 



Action: 

Develop and implement a fire management strategy 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$3,500 in first year and $1,500 in subsequent years 

12  


10. 

Map habitat critical to survival 

Although habitat critical to survival is described in Section 1, the areas as described have not yet been fully 

mapped and that will be done under this action. If any additional populations are located, then habitat critical to 

survival will also be determined and mapped for these locations.  



Action

Map habitat critical to survival 



Responsibility

DEC (Blackwood District) through the SWRTFCRT 



Cost

$1,500 in the first year 



11. 

Rehabilitate habitat and buffers 

The habitat of V. plumosa var. ananeotes at Populations 2 and 3 will be rehabilitated by re-introduction of local 

native plant species. This would ideally involve fencing off the area of road reserve concerned, weeding the area 

and then reintroducing native plants to the site.  



Action

Rehabilitate habitat and buffers 



Responsibility

DEC (Blackwood District, SCB) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$3,500 in years 1, 2 and 3. 



12. 

Obtain biological and ecological information 

Improved knowledge of the biology and ecology of V. plumosa var. ananeotes will provide a better scientific 

basis for management of the wild populations. Dennis Cooper has undertaken some preliminary studies 

examining seed viability, effects of smoke, and lignotuber formation. An understanding of the following is 

particularly necessary for effective management: 

1.   Soil seed bank dynamics and the role of various disturbances (including fire/smoke water), competition, 

rainfall and grazing in germination and recruitment.  

2.   Effects of weeds on recruitment and establishment. 

3.   Longevity of plants, and time taken to reach maturity. 

4.   The longevity of the lignotuber, its viability and time taken to develop. 

5.   The reproductive strategies, phenology and seasonal growth of the variety. 

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

Seed germination trials are currently underway. 

Action: 

Obtain biological and ecological information 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Science Division, Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$18,000 for the first 3 years 



13. 

Collect seed and cutting material 

It is important that the genetic diversity of the taxon is conserved. Some seed has been collected for this taxon 

however further collections are required. Collecting more seed or cutting material from a higher proportion of 

all populations (all seed collections to date have been from 8 plants in Population 1) will ensure adequate 

representation of genetic diversity. It is also important that the size and viability of the soil seed bank is 

determined and further research is undertaken to develop techniques for stimulating germination of soil stored 

seed.  Currently 462 seeds are stored at DEC’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre. 

Action

Collect seed and cutting material 



Responsibility

DEC (TFSC, Blackwood District, SCB) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost

$3000 in years 1 and 2 

13  


14. 

Promote community awareness 

An A4 sized information sheet, that provides a description of the variety and information about threats and 

recovery actions, has been developed for V. plumosa var. ananeotes. It is hoped that the poster will result in the 

discovery of new populations. A publicity campaign will increase local community awareness of this variety. 

Publicity may be in the form of exposure in the local print or electronic media. Formal links with local naturalist 

groups and interested individuals will also continue to be encouraged. 



Action: 

Promote community awareness 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$800 per year  



15. 

Seek increased security for Population 1 

The reserve that contains Population 1 was a ‘C’ Class reserve. Due to the restricted habitat of this taxon, and 

the excellent condition of the reserve, the Busselton Naturalist Club and DEC developed a proposal for the Shire 

of Busselton to change the vesting to an ‘A’ Class Reserve. This has now occurred. 



Action: 

Seek increased security for Population 1 



Responsibility: 

DEC (Blackwood District) through SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$500 for the development of the proposal in the first year 



16. 

Review this Plan  

If the taxon is still ranked as Critically Endangered (WA) at the end of the fourth year of the five-year term of 

this Interim Recovery Plan, the need for further recovery actions, or to review this IRP will be assessed and a 

revised plan prepared if necessary. 



Action: 

Review this Plan 



Responsibility: 

DEC (SCB and Blackwood District) through the SWRTFCRT 



Cost: 

$15,700 in the fifth year (if required) 



4. TERM 

OF 

PLAN 

Western Australia 

This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from December 2005 to October 2010 but will remain in force until 

withdrawn or replaced. If the taxon is still ranked as Critically Endangered (WA) after five years, the need for 

further recovery actions, or to review this IRP will be determined. 

Commonwealth 

In accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity 

Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) this adopted recovery plan will remain in force until revoked.   

The recovery plan must be reviewed at intervals of not longer than 5 years. 

14  


5. REFERENCES 

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

Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 

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

CALM (1992) Policy Statement No. 44 Wildlife Management Programs. Department of Conservation and Land 

Management, Western Australia. 

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

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

CALM (1995) Policy Statement No. 29 Translocation of Threatened Flora and Fauna. Department of  

Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 

CALM (1998) Western Australian Herbarium FloraBase – Information on the Western Australian Flora. CALM 

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

Flora. Perth, Western Australia. Accessed 2003. http://www.calm.wa.gov.au/science/. 

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



Nuytsia, Vol 7(3): 231-394. 

Gibson, N., Keighery, B., Keighery, G., Burbidge, A and Lyons, M. (1994). A floristic survey of the Southern 



Swan Coastal Plain. Unpublished report for the Australian Heritage Commission prepared by the 

Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Conservation Council of Western Australia 

(Inc.). 

IUCN (2000). IUCN red list categories prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Commission, as approved by the 



51

st

 meeting of the IUCN Council. Gland. Switzerland. 

Massey, L. (2003) Ambergate Reserve: Draft Management Plan. Busselton Naturalist Club, Western Australia. 

Turnbull, J. and Doran, J. (1987). Seed Development and Germination in the Myrtaceae. Pp 46-57 in  P.L. 

Langkamp (ed). Germination of Australian Native Plant Seed. Inkata Press, Melbourne.  



7.  TAXONOMIC DESCRIPTION  

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



Nuytsia, Vol 7(3): 231-394. 

Verticordia plumosa var. ananeotes is a shrub with small lignotuber and several to many simple or sparsely 

branched stems to 40cm. Leaves sparsely arranged on main stem but crowded on short axillary branchlets, 6-

14mm long, 0.4-0.7mm wide, abruptly acute. Flowers in small groups. Penduncles 4-7mm long. Hypanthium 

1.5mm long, stiffly hirsute. Sepals 3-3.5mm long; main lobes 3 or 4, very short and irregularly lobed towards 



apex. 

It is easily recognized from other Verticordia sp. by its distinctive habitat, the simple stems, long internodes and 



long, slender leaves are also distinctive. 

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