#ThreatenedSpecies of the Week: Quartz-loving Synaphea

Synaphea quartzitica or Quartz-loving Synaphea is listed as Endangered under the Commonts weekwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and Endangered under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

The main identified threats to Quartz-loving Synaphea are grazing, track maintenance activities, inappropriate fire regimes and low level of seed production.

Synaphea quartzitica is a low sub-shrub with several stems. The flattened leaves have 6-15 cm long petioles, and are pinnately divided with two or three pairs of lobes to 6 mm wide.

The flowering spikes carry many bright yellow flowers, are 6-18 cm long and are often only a little taller than the foliage. This species can be distinguished by the leaf shape, the length of flower spikes and the very narrow stigma.

Synaphea quartzitica is endemic to the Moora – Watheroo area of Western Australia. It is known from four populations that contain a total of less than 350 plants, although the species is clonal and there appears to be fewer than 200 genetically distinct individuals.

It grows on the slopes of chert hills in open heath with Melaleuca radula and Kunzea species, adjacent to tall shrubland of Allocasuarina campestris.

At Population 1, this species occurs with Acacia aristulata (DRF), Daviesia dielsii (DRF), Acacia congesta subsp. cliftoniana (Priority 1), Baeckea sp. Moora (Priority 3) and Regelia megacephala (Priority 4) and is part of the Endangered Heath community on the chert hills of the Coomberdale Floristic Region.

The critical habitat for Synaphea quartzitica comprises the area of occupancy of the known populations; similar habitat within 200 metres of known populations; remnant vegetation that links populations and additional nearby occurrences of similar habitat that do not currently contain the species but may have done so in the past and may be suitable for translocations.

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