#ThreatenedSpecies of the Week: Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. velutinosa — Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle

Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. velutinosa — Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle

Acacia cochlocarpa subsp. velutinosa (also known as Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle) is listed as Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and as Declared rare Flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

The main threats to Eucalyptus crispata are fire, dieback, grazing, and land clearing. Two The main identified threats to Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle are inappropriate fire regimes; track maintenance; illegal rubbish dumping; clearing; grazing; and weed invasion. Fire is vital for regeneration of this species and suppression by land managers is likely to limit recruitment.

Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle is a spreading shrub growing 0.7 m high and 3 m across. Its branchlets are velvety and phyllodes are erect, 2.5–4 cm long, 3–5 mm wide, and have three to seven unequal hairy nerves. Flower-heads are bright golden, sub-globular, axillary, 5–7 mm long, and appear in May–August. Pods are tightly coiled, smooth, velvety, impressed around seeds, with broad yellow glabrous (hairless) margins

This species is currently known from three natural populations and two translocated populations near Watheroo approximately 200 km north of Perth. The three natural populations occurring across a restricted range from 2.5 km north-west of Watheroo to 9 km north-north-west of Watheroo. The two translocated populations are within a Nature Reserve approximately 12 km north of Watheroo.

The Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle is restricted to three known populations located less than 5 km apart with an extent of occurrence of less than 5 km². There have only been several collections of this species since 1974, all from a very small geographic area near Manmanning. There is little data to indicate a decline in the extent of occurrence of this very restricted species since its discovery. However, previous agricultural clearing may have resulted in the removal of habitat prior to its discovery. The original extent of occurrence of this species is unknown although it is thought to be naturally restricted to a specific soil type of limited distribution

The three known populations of the Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle grow in a hard white clay which appears to be quite localized and may be a unique soil type (possibly associated with the nearby Cadoux Fault Line). All three populations occur on gently sloping topography in an open shrubland of Allocasuarina campestri over open heath.

Species associated with the Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle include: Allocasuarina campestris, Ecdeiocolea monostachya, Hakea sp., Astroloma serratifolium, Leucopogon sp. Bungulla (P2), Melaleuca sp., M. sclerophylla, M. radula, Cryptandra dielsii, Grevillea sp., Hakea scoparia, Verticordia sp.,Calytrix sp. Borya sp. and Drosera sp.

Information Source: Government of Australia, Department of Environment and Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia



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