The arrival of Spring and wildflower season in the Midwest means that both the Geraldton Regional Herbarium Group and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) have plenty of work to do.
Teaming up every year, the Herbarium Group head out bush with DBCA to monitor populations of priority and threatened flora across the region. Under the guidance of DBCA experts Alanna Chant and Kailah Dodd, Herbarium volunteers assist in recording abundance, extent, health, threats and any recommended recovery action requirements.
In July, the team headed out to Burma Road Nature Reserve to establish whether two populations of threatened flora, Conostylis micrantha and Conostylis dielsii subsp. teres had re-established following a historic bushfire. The team were also able to locate and record threatened flora such as Grevillea fililoba, Styphelia marginata (previously Leucopogon marginatus).
After a quick lunch break in the sunshine, the group headed into the reserve to look for their target flora. It didn’t take long before the eagle eyed volunteers began spotting them.
Monitoring priority and threatened flora populations is extremely important. The more information gathered about restricted flora populations and the pressures they are facing the better. Having this information supports informed decision making regarding reserve management and whether intervention needs to occur to save a species.
NACC NRM Bushcare Officer Jarna Kendle says that while this kind of work can be tedious, the pay-off is seen in the abundance of thriving flora species in our region.
“There are long hours walking through thick vegetation and picking up the occasional blood sucking hitch hiker, but this doesn’t stop the dedicated Herbarium volunteers who enjoy the hunt and are extremely passionate about flora conservation in the Midwest,” said Ms Kendle.
If you would like to find out more about threatened species, feel free to contact NACC NRM Bushcare Officer Jarna Kendle at [email protected] or 9938 0108.