Endangered Pomaderris Plants

Securing from Extinction

  • YEAR: 2016
  • STATE: Australian Capital Territory
  • FOCUS AREAS: Saving Species/SDG 15: Life on Land

Thanks to your support, two endangered Australian plant species will be secured for the future. The best method for growing these two Pomaderris plants will be determined, and resources of seeds and plants from these species will be built up. Animals like the Powerful Owl, Masked Owl, Eastern Bent-winged Bat, Yellow-bellied Glider, and Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby benefit from these Pomaderris species. Before, these plants faced extinction, with no viable way to grow these plants ex-situ. Now, these Pomaderris species will be conserved.

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Project overview

Eleven Pomaderris species from south-eastern Australia are listed as threatened under Commonwealth and State legislation. Many are in a precarious position in terms of survival and others in decline. This project aims to better understand and optimise seed and non seed production techniques to deliver a strategy for assuring long-term security of the endangered species Pomaderris cotoneaster and P. brunnea. This project will guide species recovery through the informed use of seed banking, seed and plant production and population enhancement. These activities will address actions identified in National Recovery Plans and for the Saving our Species (SOS) program.

Pomaderris is a genus of 70 shrub species in the family Rhamnaceae. Most are endemic to Australia, 5 to New Zealand. For such a small genus there is a surprising number of species listed as threatened,. Many species have small disjunct populations. Limited work on the ecology of these  two species (Millott 2003) and attempts to collect seed from several of these priority species indicate that flowering and seed production can be irregular. A failure of seed development (including pollination, ripening and dispersal) is likely to have profound negative impacts on the persistence of obligate seeding species like Pomaderris. A lack of an established method of plant production for restoration is also limiting opportunities to undertake population and landscape enhancement. This lack of knowledge reduces both the effectiveness and capacity for restoration activities and the ability to re-establish species.

In this project we are targeting two priority listed species to address: 1) low wild seed-set resulting in minimal ex situ holdings of seed and living plants which are inadequate to undertake effective seed development research and opportunities for restorative management, and 2) the need to deliver a tested method for translocations and enhancement plantings. We have targeted these species as they represent high priority examples relevant to the issues identified above with Pomaderris brunnea listed as endangered, (TSC Act) and vulnerable (EPBC Act) and occurring in highly disjunct populations in eastern Australia and Pomaderris cotoneaster listed as endangered, (TSC Act & EPBC Act) occurring in small, highly disjunct populations from the Victorian border to Sydney outskirts.

As they occupy sites where other significant species co-habit, the appropriate management of the habitat and securing a viable method of exsitu production for restoration purposes are direct actions that will retain habitat quality. For example P . cotoneaster will contribute to the conservation of Correa lawrenceana var. genoensis (endangered, EPBC Act), with which it occurs at one site (Redstone Creek), and two populations of Solanum celatum (endangered, TSC Act) at Bungonia (above Jerrara Creek) with which it occurs in close proximity and in similar habitat. It will also benefit a wide range of threatened fauna species that occur in the vicinity, e.g. Ninox strenua (Powerful Owl), Tyto novaehollandiae (Masked Owl). Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis (Eastern Bent-Winged Bat), Petaurus australis (Yellow-bellied Glider) and Petrogale penicillata (Brush–tailed Rock-wallaby) Reference: National recovery plan for P cotoneaster.

Pomaderris habitat

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT

The project is ongoing.

This project was funded by FNPW in 2016.

Pomaderris partners

PROJECT PARTNERS

Australian National Botanic Gardens is the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:

www.anbg.gov.au

Latest news on this project.

Over 21 field trips were undertaken during the grant period which included a range of stakeholder organisations and individuals. In addition to the Pomaderris collecting and production achievements, there were also 71 additional (other) species collected from the sample sites.

Localities sampled during the field work for this project included Capertee, Bungonia, Badgerys, Canyonleigh, Tantawangalo, Goobargandra, Pheasants Nest, Bargo, Menangle and Wirrimbirra. In the seedbank volunteers have contributed 675 hours to sorting and cleaning seed, and preparing the seed for germination.

They included  South East Water, Bega Valley Shire Council, NSW OEH, Wollondilly Shire Council, South East NP, Wollondilly Electricity Authority, Bungonia NP,  Kosciuszko NP, Kanangra Boyd NP, CPBR, Melbourne Herbarium , Sydney Herb, Wirrimbirra Sanctuary and FNPW Partners. Field work was co-ordinated and supported by 15 ANBG staff 4 official volunteers and numerous stakeholders.

The field trips and collection activities delivered 209 collections of Pomaderris cotoneaster and 141 collections of Pomaderris brunnea. This has resulted in many plants from these collections being grown on forming a diverse collection of plants under production and available for future translocation and landscape enhancement for land managers and end users. Land managers (many involved and supportive of the project) have expressed interest in securing plants to go back into the landscape and discussions are underway to look at Bungonia as the first of these to release plants from this project back into the wild.

Seed collecting, cleaning, sorting and preparation has delivered an outstanding total of 134,911 seeds for Pomaderris cotoneaster and 97,360 seeds of P. brunnea from a range of populations and locations.

All the collections seed and plants have been captured in perpetuity on the ANBG database for ongoing reference and access for future research and tracking of plants.

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