Western australian wildlife management program no. 28 Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Moora District


PART TWO:  DECLARED RARE FLORA IN THE MOORA DISTRICT



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PART TWO:  DECLARED RARE FLORA IN THE MOORA DISTRICT

In 1994, 54 taxa of Declared Rare Flora were known to be extant within the boundaries of the Moora District.

Five species listed as presumed extinct on the Declared Rare Flora Schedule are also included.  While they have

been collected from the Moora District in the past, no extant populations are known. 

A brief description of the morphology, distribution, habitat, and conservation status is provided for each taxon.

Where appropriate, the impact of certain factors such as fire, mechanical disturbance, weed invasion and



Phytophthora  dieback is noted from observations made in the field during routine monitoring and from

discussion with District and research staff.  Recommendations are made for management and protection action to

ensure the continued survival of populations of each taxon.

Descriptions of taxa were compiled by consulting references and from discussion with botanists.  Distribution

and habitat were recorded from Departmental Rare Flora files and records in the Western Australian Herbarium.

Emphasis was placed on the particular habitat characteristics of locations in the Moora District.  Conservation

status was determined from field observations, and population and location data on Departmental files.  A brief

summary of the number and condition of populations throughout the range of the taxon and threats to population

survival is provided.  A table for each taxon lists the location, land status, date of last survey, number of plants

and condition for populations.  The list of known populations generally refers to those in the Moora District only

and populations which occur outside the District are not listed but referred to in the description of the species’

distribution.  Not only populations which have been recently surveyed are included, but also those represented

only by a Herbarium specimen if they are from a different locality.  These are denoted by an asterisk and are

included because they may indicate the former wider range of a species, where it may still occur in as yet

undiscovered populations, although some of these are known to have been destroyed since the time of collection.

Precise locality details are contained on Departmental files and a computer database.

Of the 54 extant taxa included in this Program, 30 are endemic to the Moora District.  

Grevillea pythara is not

known from the Moora District but occurs just outside it



 in the Merredin District.  It was discovered after the

Program for that District was completed and has been included in this Management Program so that it may be

included in surveys for further populations that may lie within the Moora District.  

Eucalyptus argutifolia has

been included although the only population in the District is not typical, but further survey is important.

During the course of preparation of this Program, survey work has led to the recommendation that five taxa be

removed from the Declared Rare Flora Schedule (



Caladenia cristata, Diuris recurva, Gastrolobium callistachys,

Grevillea saccata and Wurmbea drummondii) as more populations were discovered, indicating that their

conservation status is more secure than was originally thought.  These have now been deleted from the Schedule

of Declared Rare Flora and are listed as Priority 4 taxa.

On the other hand, two taxa were recommended for declaration as rare flora during the course of preparation of

the Program: 

Grevillea pythara and Verticordia albida.  These have now been listed as Declared Rare Flora.

Survey work has also resulted in the known range of two taxa being extended into the District from further south

(

Ptychosema pusillum and Drakaea elastica), and in the discovery of 98 new populations of Declared Rare

Flora.


xiv

PART FOUR:  THE PLAN FOR MANAGEMENT

The objective of this Wildlife Management Program is to ensure and enhance, by appropriate management, the

continued survival in the wild of populations of Declared Rare Flora and other plants in need of special

protection.



1.  Determining Priorities

Part Two assesses the abundance and conservation status of each Declared Rare Flora taxon within the Moora

District and makes recommendations for protection, research and management.  On the basis of these

recommendations, each taxon was ranked on a scale of 0 to 3 under 19 categories recognised as potential threats

or management and research requirements (Table 1).  Taxa with no threat or urgency for management and

research action were given a score of 0.  Those with a high degree of threat were allocated a score of 3.  The

scores were summed for each of the 54 taxa and for each threat/requirement category.  Table 1 summarises the

perceived threats, and management and research requirements for each Declared Rare Flora in the District.

Table 2 lists the 54 Declared Rare Flora in priority order according to the urgency of their requirement for

protection and management action.  Taxa with a high ranking score are most threatened and/or most in need of

action.  It is intended that all requirements for each taxon, as outlined in the previous species treatments, will be

implemented.  Work will be conducted, programmed or deferred according to priority, available funds and

existing resources and workloads.  Attention is directed to Table 2 to determine which taxa should have priority

for management actions.  This will enable resources and staff within the Moora District to be allocated where

most urgently required.

Taxa most in need of attention for a particular management or research requirement can be determined from

Table 1.

Ranking the categories illustrates which threats/requirements are the most critical in the Moora District.  The

Table indicates those taxa that are (or may be) threatened by particular activities, in addition to providing for

continued research and management once requirements listed for the critically threatened taxa are fulfilled.



2.  Management and Research Actions

Overall rankings of threatened taxa based on the 19 categories of threat, management requirements and research

requirements (Table 1) are shown in Table 2.  These data suggest that the following taxa warrant immediate

management and research action:



Acacia vassalii

Gastrolobium hamulosum

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Grevillea calliantha

Chamelaucium griffinii

Grevillea christineae

Conostylis micrantha

*Grevillea pythara

Daviesia bursarioides

Hemiandra gardneri

Daviesia speciosa

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo (S.Hancocks 4)

Eremophila nivea

Stawellia dimorphantha

Gastrolobium appressum

Verticordia albida

* Located on border of Moora District within Merredin District but was not included in the Management

Program for that District, who will carry out management actions.

Specific management or research actions for all threatened flora in the Moora District are outlined below.



595

(i)  Fungal Disease

Little research information is currently available to assess the impact of the soil-borne pathogens, 

Phytophthora

species, on Declared Rare Flora in the Moora District.  Since the discovery of dieback near Cataby in 1986,

infections involving five species of 

Phytophthora  have been located by the Northern Sandplains Dieback

Working Party, mainly on the sandplains on the western side of the District from the southern boundary north to

the Eneabba area.  Most infections are small and localised.  Plants not destroyed by direct infection may be

affected indirectly by structural and ecological changes in the affected vegetation.  Disturbances such as road

construction are known to promote the spread of the disease, particularly in moist, relatively low-lying sites

unless carried out under strictly controlled hygiene conditions.  Urgent research on the impact of dieback on

Declared Rare Flora is required and all work at their populations and in native vegetation should observe hygiene

procedures.

The Moora District Dieback Protection Plan (1990) divides the District into three dieback hazard zones.  The

degree of hazard to which a taxon may be subjected, according to the location of its populations within these

zones, has been used to rank the taxa as well as the degree of susceptibility of the individual taxon.

Taxa which may be at risk from 



Phytophthora are:

Asterolasia drummondii

Dryandra mimica

Banksia tricuspis

Dryandra serratuloides 

Daviesia speciosa ms

(ii)  Survey

Further survey of suitable habitat for new populations is a requirement for many of the Declared Rare Flora in the

Moora District.  Some taxa are in need of urgent attention, either because of the small number or size of known

populations, or their poor representation in conservation reserves.  Some are in need of resurvey of known

populations which have not been visited within the last ten years, or where insufficient data are available.

Taxa in most urgent need of further survey are:

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Grevillea pythara

Chamelaucium griffinii 

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Eucalyptus balanites

Ptychosema pusillum

Eucalyptus dolorosa

Stawellia dimorphantha

Grevillea batrachioides

Verticordia albida

(iii)  Population Size and Few Populations

A number of Declared Rare Flora are known from few populations or have very small population sizes, making

them particularly vulnerable to localised disturbance.  The total number of populations for each taxon, including

those occurring outside the District was taken into consideration.  

Taxa at risk through low numbers in some or all of their known populations, or which are known from one

population only are:

Acacia vassalii

Grevillea batrachioides

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Grevillea pythara

Chamelaucium griffinii

Hemiandra gardneri

Darwinea carnea

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Dryandra mimica

Hensmania chapmanii

Eucalyptus absita

Ptychosema pusillum

Eucalyptus balanites

Spirogardnera rubescens

Eucalyptus dolorosa

Stawellia dimorphantha

Eucalyptus leprophloia

Verticordia albida

Eucalyptus rhodantha var. petiolaris


(iv)  Transport Corridors

Populations located near roads, railways and firebreaks are vulnerable to damage or destruction by maintenance

operations.  Such activities in the vicinity of Rare Flora populations require careful monitoring.  Approximately

110 populations, over a quarter the total number of populations of Declared Rare Flora in the Moora District

occur on, or partly on, road and to a lesser extent, rail reserves.  Most of these reserves are narrow and can be

affected, both directly and indirectly, by the use and nature of adjoining lands.  Threats include weed invasion,

periodic grazing, drift of chemical sprays and fertilisers, fenceline maintenance and periodic burning.  The

vegetation on road reserves can also be affected by rubbish dumping, uncontrolled vehicle access, wildflower

picking and camping.

The majority of road reserves are vested in local authorities or Main Roads W.A., and rail reserves in Westrail.

Accidental damage can occur during road works such as maintenance operations (grading, weed control),

drainage works, road/rail upgrading, metal dumps and sand/gravel extraction.

Other utilities such as power-lines, water pipelines and Telstra lines generally follow road and rail reserves, so

that any maintenance, upgrading or management of these utilities close to known populations can damage plants.

This can be in the form of mechanical damage by machinery and equipment, or by chemicals used to control

weeds around poles or along pipelines.

Management and field personnel within Shires and government agencies need to know where the populations of

Declared Rare and Priority Flora occur to avoid accidental destruction of plants.  This is carried out currently by

notification letters from CALM and the use of linear markers in the field.  See (xvii).

The following taxa are most threatened:



Acacia vassalii

Grevillea calliantha

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Grevillea christineae

Anigozanthus humilis subsp. chrysanthus 

Grevillea pythara

Conostylis micrantha

Hensmania chapmanii

Daviesia bursarioides ms

Restio chaunocoleus

Daviesia speciosa ms

Spirogarnera rubescens

Dryandra serratuloides subsp. serratuloides

Stawellia dimorphantha

Eremophila nivea

Verticordia albida

Gastrolobium appressum

(v)  Short-lived Disturbance Opportunists

Some taxa are favoured by disturbance, either because they cannot compete with associated species in

undisturbed vegetation or disturbance is essential for recruitment.  Included in this category are taxa favoured

both by fire and by physical disturbance of the soil such as occurs when road edges are graded or firebreaks are

ploughed.  A population which no longer exists as adult plants is considered to be present in the soil as a seed

bank, awaiting suitable disturbance to promote seedling growth, unless the population site has become degraded

and is now unlikely to support the population.  

Taxa in this category, which present special management difficulties, are:

Anigozanthos humilis subsp. chrysanthus

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Anigozanthus viridis subsp. terraspectans

Paracaleana dixonii ms

Hemiandra gardneri

Stawellia dimorphantha

(vi)  Land Acquisition

Acquisition of land by the Department, either by donation, exchange or purchase, is required for those taxa not

well represented on conservation reserves.  This would enable appropriate management and protection practices

to be implemented on land maintained, as much as possible, in a natural state.  Plants occurring on land reserved

for nature conservation are generally considered to be less threatened than those on land designated for other

purposes.  It should be noted, however, that presence on a reserve contributes to, but does not guarantee,


ii

population survival.  Reserves are subject to threats such as weed invasion, disease infection, drought, altered

drainage and water tables, uncontrolled fires and where approved, mining activities.

Negotiations are currently under way for acquisition of some sites within the District.  Where land is not

available for this purpose, other alternatives (e.g. establishment in suitable habitats in reserves) need to be

considered.  

The following are priority taxa for land acquisition:

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Eucalyptus dolorosa

Chamelaucium griffinii ms

Grevillea calliantha

Darwinia acerosa

Grevillea pythara

Darwinia carnea

Hemiandra gardneri

Daviesia bursarioides ms

Stawellia dimorphantha

Eremophila nivea

Verticordia albida

(vii)  Fencing

Declared Rare Flora populations on private property are often on farmland where they require protection from

grazing by domestic stock.  In some situations landholders themselves have excluded stock, and in others CALM

has provided fencing materials as part of formal agreements. 

Rabbits are also a widespread problem, particularly on sandy soils and granite outcrop areas. 

The following taxa require protection from grazing, either by fence construction or agreement with landowners to

exclude stock from population localities:



Banksia tricuspis

Eucalyptus pruiniramis

Darwinia carnea

Gastrolobium appressum

Dryandra mimica

Gastrolobium hamulosum

Eremophila microtheca

Grevillea calliantha

Eucalyptus absita

Grevillea pythara

(viii)  Mining

Mineral sand mining occurs in the District particularly in the Eneabba and Cataby areas, in both of which

Declared Rare Flora and Priority taxa occur.  Mining activities which may affect Declared Rare Flora include

exploration (clearing of survey lines and drilling operations), spread of 

Phytophthora, actual mine site

establishment, provision of services (road-making, power) and increased recreation activity by mine workers.

Close liaison between companies, CALM, the Department of Minerals and Energy, the Department of

Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Authority is essential.

Other forms of mining in the District include gravel/sand mining by local authorities and extraction of bentonite

from lakes in the Watheroo area.  Oil is extracted from an area now north of the District but included within it

when the Program began.  This has affected a road verge population of

 Conostylis micrantha, which is adjacent

to an access road.

Coal mining was proposed in the Lesueur area in 1989 and part of the impact zone would have affected the

eastern section of the now Lesueur National Park, where populations of several Declared Rare Flora are located.

(Burbidge and van Leeuwen 1990).

Taxa most at risk are:



Anigozanthus viridis subsp. terraspectans

Leucopogon obtectus

Daviesia speciosa ms

Stawellia dimorphantha

Eucalyptus balanites

iii

(ix)  Recreation

A number of taxa in the District are located at sites where they are actually or potentially at risk from recreational

activities.  These may include camping, bushwalking and off-road vehicle use.  Risk may be from trampling,

picking or the spread of 

Phytophthora  species.  Taxa occurring in high profile situations (e.g. along major

highways) where they may be subject to picking, are also included in this category.  Recreation should be

controlled or excluded from sensitive sites depending on the degree of threat.  Provision of fencing may be

necessary.  Work has been undertaken in the Lesueur National Park to allow access in the most suitable areas to

prevent recreational activities from causing such damage.  

The following taxa need to be monitored to ensure that they will not need protection from some aspect of

recreational damage:

Asterolasia nivea

Hemiandra gardneri

Chamelaucium griffinii

Paracaleana dixonii ms

Eremophila nivea

Ptychosema pusillum

Eucalyptus rhodantha

Spirogardnera rubescens

Grevillea calliantha

Thelymitra stellata

(x)  Habitat Degradation

There are a number of threats that may cause habitat degradation to populations of Declared Rare Flora both on

conservation reserves and on other lands.  For example, exposure and reduced water availability has been found

to be an important factor affecting some taxa, particularly those growing in shallow soils.  Other causes of habitat

degradation are the rise in water table, and salinity. 

Taxa which appear to be at risk due to habitat degradation in these categories are:

Drakonorchis drakeoides

Dryandra serratuloides subsp. perissa

Dryandra serratuloides subsp. serratuloides

(xi)  


Ex situ Germ Plasm Collections

Collection and long term storage of germ plasm (seed or tissues) from wild populations of Declared Rare Flora

provides a source of propagation material for future re-establishment, in addition to ensuring protection of

populations, or more importantly, taxa, from extinction.  Collection should be carried out according to the

protocols provided by the Threatened Flora Seed Centre at the Western Australian Herbarium.

Priority for collection of this material will depend upon the degree of threat to the taxon.  The majority of species

in the District are not represented in 

ex situ germ plasm collections.  

Those taxa which are represented by few populations and/or low individual numbers are of highest priority:



Chamelaucium griffinii ms

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Grevillea batrachioides

Ptychosema pusillum

Grevillea pythara

Stawellia dimorphantha

(xii)  Re-introduction

Taxa poorly represented on conservation reserves may need to be considered for re-establishment in suitable, less

vulnerable habitats on land designated for nature conservation.  

Taxa most urgently requiring re-establishment into the wild by CALM staff under approved Wildlife

Management Programs or Interim Management Guidelines as outlined in CALM Policy Statement No. 29 are:



Grevillea pythara

Hemiandra gardneri

Verticordia albida

iv

(xiii)  Liaison

Many Declared Rare Flora populations occur on or adjacent to land not managed by CALM.  This requires close

association and cooperation with private landowners, local authorities, land managers and government agencies

(e.g. Western Power, Westrail and Main Roads W.A.) to ensure their continued survival.  Departmental staff are

required to provide advice and assistance, regarding conservation and management, to landholders and other

agencies with Declared Rare Flora populations on land under their control.  Landowners are requested to arrange

their operations so that the area will not be destroyed or damaged in any way.  

Critical taxa for staff liaison with landowners are:

Acacia vassalii

Gastrolobium hamulosum

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Grevillea calliantha

Conostylis micrantha

Grevillea christineae

Darwinia acerosa

Grevillea pythara

Darwinia carnea

Hemiandra gardneri

Daviesia bursarioides

Hensmania chapmanii

Drakaea elastica

Ptychosema pusillum

Dryandra mimica

Stawellia dimorphantha

Eremophila nivea

Stylidium scabridum

Eucalyptus dolorosa

Verticordia albida

Eucalyptus rhodantha var. rhodantha

Wurmbea tubulosa

Eucalyptus rhodantha var. petiolaris

(xiv)  Monitoring

Where possible, all populations in the Moora District should be inspected annually to observe fluctuations in

population numbers and to monitor changes in the habitat.  Where detrimental changes are seen, this should be

followed by appropriate management actions.  Species which require most frequent monitoring are those likely to

be affected by factors such as weed invasion, accidental damage, drought, fungal disease and those disturbance

opportunists which decline rapidly after the initial disturbance event.

A network of permanent monitoring quadrats should be established on populations of the most threatened taxa of

Declared Rare Fora within the District.  Through the detailed mapping of individual plants in small populations,

and permanent sample plots for smaller species and larger populations, subsequent surveys can provide

information on population dynamics, plant longevity and regeneration.  Monitoring quadrats require annual

inspection. 

The following taxa are the highest priority for annual monitoring:

Acacia vassalii

Gastrolobium hamulosum

Chamelaucium griffinii

Grevillea christineae

Conostylis micrantha

Grevillea pythara

Daviesia bursarioides ms

Hemiandra gardneri

Drakonorchis drakeoides

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Eremophila nivea

Verticordia albida

(xv)  Research

Only a few of the Declared Rare Flora within the Moora District have been subject to detailed studies.  Research

into the taxonomy, genetic systems, population biology and ecology of the other taxa is needed to determine the

best means of protecting and managing populations and particularly if re-introduction is considered necessary.

Response to fire, drought tolerance, susceptibility to 



Phytophthora species and other introduced pathogens and

impact of exotic bees on native pollinators (particularly of members of the Orchidaceae) require special attention.

Taxa currently being researched in some detail include 

Darwinia carnea, Daviesia bursarioides, D. speciosa,

Drakaea elastica, Dryandra mimica, Eremophila nivea, Eucalyptus absita, E. argutifolia, E. impensa, Grevillea

calliantha, G. christineae, G. pythara and Stylidium scabridum.  


v

The following taxa are most urgently in need of research:

Population Biology and Breeding Systems

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Darwinia carnea 

Daviesia bursarioides ms

Daviesia speciosa ms

Dryandra mimica

Drakaea elastica

Drakonorchis drakeoides

Eremophila nivea

Eucalyptus absita

Eucalyptus dolorosa

Eucalyptus impensa

Eucalyptus lateritica

Grevillea pythara

Hemiandra gardneri

Plant Diseases



Asterolasia drummondii

Banksia tricuspis

Hakea megalosperma

Fire Response



Chamelaucium griffinii ms

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Spirogardnera rubescens

Taxonomic



Eremophila microtheca

Eucalyptus argutifolia

(xvi)  Linear Marking

Populations in need of linear marking are generally located along linear reserves (road and rail reserves) and

firebreaks and are often associated with utilities such as powerlines, water pipelines and Telstra lines.  In all these

situations they are vulnerable to damage or destruction by maintenance operations.  Permanent, but discreet,

marker pegs need to be installed at all Declared Rare Flora populations occurring along linear routes within

CALM land.  Main Roads W.A. has developed a field marking system for demarcating environmentally

significant areas on road reserves.  CALM uses this system to mark DRF and Priority Flora populations along

linear routes both on CALM land and on other areas.  Local Shires have been encouraged to adopt such a system. 

Taxa with populations on CALM and other lands most urgently in need of linear marking are:



Acacia vassalii

Gastrolobium hamulosum

Anigozanthos viridis subsp. terraspectans

Grevillea christineae

Daviesia speciosa ms

Hemiandra gardneri

Eucalyptus johnsoniana

Hemiandra sp. Watheroo

Gastrolobium appressum

Spirogardnera rubescens

vi

(xvii)  Environmental Weeds

Control of weeds in and near Rare Flora populations on CALM land should be conducted by District staff.  The

following taxa most urgently require weed control or eradication in some or all of their populations.



Eremophila nivea

Grevillea christineae

Grevillea pythara

(xviii)  Fire Regimes

All populations of Declared Rare Flora should be excluded from prescribed burns on CALM and other lands

until appropriate research has been carried out and then only be burnt in accordance with specific fire regimes

developed by both research and regional staff.  These taxa will also need to be protected (by construction of

protective breaks or by reduction of fuels in surrounding areas) where possible from potential uncontrolled fires

unless such fires fit the conditions determined for the particular fire regime developed for that taxon.  Those taxa

which are obligate seeders should not be burnt on a frequency less than that required for the plants to produce

adequate post-fire seed for successful recruitment events and sustainable regeneration of the population.  Species

which are lignotuberous and resprout after fire may be reduced in their capacity for regeneration after frequent

fires.

Taxa considered to be at greatest risk from frequent fire or requiring protection/exclusion from fire until specific



fire regimes are developed are:

Acacia sp. Dandaragan

Eucalyptus dolorosa

Chamelaucium griffinii ms

Grevillea pythara

Darwinia acerosa

Restio chaunocoleus

Darwinia carnea

Spirogardnera rubescens

Drakonorchis drakeoides

Verticordia albida



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