This week’s Threatened Species of the Week is the Grevillea bracteosa subsp. Howatharra.
It is listed as Declared Rare Flora in WA under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, and in August 2017 was accepted by the federal Minister for the Department of Environment and Energy as Critically Endangered due to its limited extent of occurrence.
The Geraldton Regional Herbarium nominated the Grevillea bracteosa to be listed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act in 2015 as populations were declining and there was an opportunity to apply for federal funding to undertake habitat restoration. Unfortunately at the time the species was not federally listed.
There are a total of only 377 mature plants known to exist – which can be found in five locations in the NACC NRM region, including road, rail or gravel reserves, private properties and nature reserve.
Threats to the Grevillea bracteosa include fragmentation of habitat, accidental destruction of plants during road, rail or firebreak maintenance, poor recruitment, grazing from rabbits or livestock, and competition from weeds.
The species benefited from a 20 Million Trees Project – Yanget Station Protecting Threatened Flora – through which the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DCBA) (in partnership with NACC and Central Regional TAFE) undertook 15 hectares of revegetation.
This revegetation work was carried-out in 2015 and 2016 in a bid to improve the extent and connectivity of habitat for the Grevillea bracteosa and two other federally-listed threatened flora species.
Further habitat restoration for the species is being undertaken in the Moresby Conservation Park by DBCA and NACC. 16 hectares were planted in 2017, and plans are afoot to rehabilitate a total of 35 hectares.
Other recovery actions for the species that have been undertaken in the last couple of years has included seed collection for the Threatened Flora Seed Centre, and a translocation undertaken in 2017 to increase the size of one of the small populations.
Information Source: Government of Australia, Department of Environment and Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia