The Newsletter of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation
Volume 4 Number 3, December 1995 Excerpts
Danthonia is published for the Australian Network for Plant Conservation
by the Australian National Botanic
Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and
are not necessarily those of the publisher. Material presented in Danthonia
may be copied for personal use or published for educational purposes provided
that any extracts are fully acknowledged. Where an article is acknowledged
from another publication, please contact that journal for permission to
In this issue
New Network in the Greater Brisbane Region
Julia Playford, Centre for Conservation Biology, University
A new forum for plant conservation has been set up, Danthoniap for the
Greater Brisbane area. It is designed to aid the transfer of scientific
information to organisations involved in revegetation and rare plant reintroduction.
It includes representatives from community groups, local government, and
state government departments and scientists from universities, CSIRO, Department
of Environment and Heritage, and Department of Primary Industries.
The information transfer between research institutions and groups doing
revegetation and rare plant reintroduction has been lacking. There is a
large body of research, particularly being conducted by postgraduate students,
which is not being made widely available. It is either unpublished or published
only in scientific journals. This forum is intended to bridge this gap.
We will be meeting once a month to listen to a brief talk by a scientist
and then to discuss the implications of their research to revegetation
and reintroduction programs.
The forum was set up by Gordon Guymer (Queensland Herbarium) and Julia
Playford (the University of Queensland) through the Centre for Conservation
Biology at the University of Queensland. We have held a preliminary meeting
with interested parties. The objectives of the group are outlined below:
- Increase information flow between forum members;
- Exchange of scientific information as a basis for plant conservation;
- Production of scientific pamphlets relevant to plant conservation for
members of the forum;
- Provision of scientific advice on recovery plans for native species;
- Development of protocols for plant re-introduction and revegetation.
The forum meetings are open to representatives of community groups and
government bodies and scientists. At our first meeting David Halford (Qld
Herbarium) will be speaking about the plant recovery plan process in Queensland.
Each meeting will result in the production of an information sheet which
the representative of each group will distribute to their members.
The forum has a number of topics to be discussed in the next twelve
months. Two of these topics are discussed below. Trevor Stanley (Qld Herbarium)
will discuss breeding biology of weed species such as Asparagus and how
this impacts on weed removal in revegetation sites. Since Asparagus africanus
is a successful invader over a relatively large area, a study of the characteristics
of regene ration from seed was used to explain the success of the species
as a weed in Australia. The research Trevor conducted also indicated the
potential for use of the biological characteristics of a species to improve
control. I will discuss genetics of rare species, as is conducted in our
laboratory at the University of Queensland. Population genetic theory provides
an expectation that rare plants will exhibit low species level variation
compared to more common species and low population and individual variation
due to the effects of random genetic drift and inbreeding in isolated populations.
This reduction in variation may result in reduced species survival. We
will discuss the significance of this information for the long-term survival
of species under recovery plans.
The forum has been created at a very appropriate time. Queensland`s
first recovery team will be meeting a few days after the forum to discuss
Austromyrtus gonoclada, the angle-stem myrtle. The genetic studies on this
species show that it does not conform to the population genetic expectations.
Although it shows significant reduction in fecundity, that is very limited
seed production and no seedling establishment, it does not show lowered
allozyme variation in comparison with other rare and common species of
The recovery team are including conservation genetics and the maintenance
of diversity as one of their priorities in conservation of the species,
as well as site rehabilitation and management. We believe that localised
discussion groups such as this forum will provide useful information to
people doing revegetation and rare plant reintroduction in particular regions.
They ensure that those doing research are able to provide specific information
to people working on replanting schemes and that the research that is needed
will be passed back to the scientists.
For further information, contact Julia Playford on:
Phone: (07) 8365 2645
Fax: (07) 8365 1699.
Second National Meeting of the ANPC
Mark Richardson, National Coordinator
The 2nd National Meeting of the ANPC was held on 27 September, 1995
in Perth, in conjunction with the 4th International Botanic Gardens Conservation
Congress. The meeting was attended by about 45 members from across Australia,
as well as several international visitors interested in learning more about
Mark Richardson (ANPC National Office) gave a general report on the
progress of the ANPC since our first national meeting in Hobart in 1993.
Among the main things noted were the continued increase in the membership
of the ANPC (now about 250), the pleasingly small `drop- out` rate and
the further broadening of the range of members represented. Jeanette Mill
(ANPC National Office) then spoke on the regional groups that have been
formed. Since 1993, regional meetings have been held in 5 States and Territories
and four of those groups now have co-ordinators and programs for the next
Representatives from all of the ANPC working groups were present at
the meeting and each group had completed a draft document by the time of
the meeting. The speakers were: for the Germplasm group, Jock Morse (Australian
Tree Seed Centre), for the Information group, Stephen Harris (Tasmanian
Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment and Land Management)
and for the Translocation group, Ken Atkins (Conservation and Land Management,
WA). It was agreed at the meeting that the groups will have completed documents
by the middle of next year. Jeanette Mill also gave a brief presentation
on the progress of the National Endangered Flora Collection and plans for
the production of the second edition. The possibility of including the
holdings of overseas organisations was raised and is to be explored further.
The current activities of the ANPC were then discussed in more detail
to provide the resolutions that would determine the ANPC's main activities
over the coming two years. The principle topics for discussion were regional
networking, the development of national plant conservation guidelines,
and training in plant conservation techniques. The outcome of these discussions
is reflected in the resolutions (see opposite). Other topics discussed
included the expansion of the ANPC to include New Zealand, the format of
Danthonia and also future ANPC national meetings. The resolutions concerning
all of these topics were further discussed the following day at a meeting
of the ANPC Advisory Committee.
The main outcome of the 2nd National Meeting has been to give direction
to the two main activities that were proposed at the Hobart Conference.
These are the regional groups and the working groups. In the time between
Hobart and Perth both the projects have been well advanced and easily meet
the objectives of the Hobart resolutions. However, there is a need to give
those projects further guidance and in the case of the working groups,
identify a time in which the documents will be completed. By the time of
the next ANPC conference, it is planned that the working groups will have
completed their tasks and the documents they have produced will have been
ratified at a national level by the Australian and New Zealand Environment
and Conservation Council.
It is proposed that the 3rd ANPC National Meeting will be a conference
held in July 1997 in north-east NSW.
2nd National Meeting, 27 September 1995, Perth, Western Australia
The meeting recommended:
- that the development of the ANPC regional groups be continued. The major
roles for the groups were identified as:
* providing an effective conduit for information between members, and
* promoting the ANPC and its activities;
- that each regional group appoint a co-ordinator;
- that the conservation guidelines/standards being produced by the three
working groups be completed by 30 June, 1996;
- that an attempt be made to have the guidelines/standards ratified by
the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC)
by the 3rd National ANPC meeting;
- that the availability of the draft of the germplasm and translocation
guidelines be advertised in the December 1995 copy of Danthonia along with
a synopsis of each set of guidelines;
- that the availability of the first draft of the information guidelines
be advertised with the September edition of Danthonia;
- that ANPC request BGCI to identify any collections of Australian threatened
species held outside of Australia for inclusion in the National Endangered
- that the inclusion of representation from endangered communities in
the National Endangered Flora Collection be explored;
- that the Conservation Techniques Course was worthwhile and that consideration
be given to it being run again;
- that the framework of the conservation course be written up for application
by regional groups;
- that regional groups should collate information on local courses relevant
to plant conservation for dissemination through Danthonia;
- that Danthonia maintains its current format but be reviewed again at
the next national meeting;
- that the extension of the Network to include New Zealand be considered
with the possibility of renaming the organisation the Australasian Network
for Plant Conservation or similar to reflect any change. This recommendation
is in view of the recommendation to seek ratification of ANPC documents
by ANZECC made at the 1st National Conference;
- that future ANPC national meetings be held independently of other meetings
so as to cater for its now very broad membership.
December sees a new editor taking over from Lyn Meredith and Iris Philp
- a lot to live up to! I'm Deborah Edwards, with a background from accounts
to conservation: having a lifelong love of flora and fauna, I always come
back to conservation in one way or another. This includes membership of
the Society for Growing Australian Plants, working with a Greening Australia
Farm Forestry team, and 16 months with the Australian Heritage Commission.
I also love working with people and words, so to be with the ANPC, and
Danthonia editor, combines these three admirably!
Unfortunately we are losing co-founder and National Coordinator, Mark
Richardson, who is heading for hotter, drier Alice Springs to become Curator,
Botany at the new Desert Wildlife Park and Botanic Gardens. He'll be sadly
missed by staff of both ANPC and the Australian National Botanic Gardens,
yet at the same time we hope he enjoys the new position. As usual we have
a range of articles and reports, including those from the rapidly growing
regional groups. Thank you to all the contributors for coping with the
changeover of editors, and getting your articles in so promptly.
We'd like to start including information about your projects for which
you'd like help. You never know what help you might get from other members!
So keep your information rolling in. And if anyone has been to any event
you think others would like to know about, feel free to send in a report.
May you all have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and safe driving
if you're travelling.
Farewell to ANPC from Mark Richardson
Mark Richardson, National Coordinator
As of the end of December this year, I will be resigning as Curator,
Living Collections at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and will
be starting as Curator, Botany at the new Desert Wildlife Park and Botanic
Gardens in Alice Springs. Because of this change, I will also be resigning
as the National Co-ordinator of the ANPC.
The past four and a half years have been both enjoyable and fruitful.
We have seen the successful establishment of the ANPC and its growth to
become a recognised, though still small, national conservation organisation.
The intent of the network has been to provide people around Australia with
the opportunity to promote their own conservation work and to learn from
the work of others. I believe it has succeeded in doing this and it has
become noted for its ability to attract a very wide range of participants.
When the ANPC was started it was a conscious decision that we would not
seek to develop a large membership from the start. Rather we started with
a smaller 'core' membership and our numbers have increased by virtue of
people learning of the ANPC from those core members and at conferences,
and deciding that it is worthwhile to join. It has been very heartening
to not only see the numbers slowly increasing but to see the range of members
broadening and to have have a very low drop-out rate. I now think that
it is time for the ANPC to promote itself much more actively and to seek
to significantly increase the membership, particularly in some of the less
traditional plant conservation areas. Recent memberships from organisations
such as NSW's Pacific Power and the Australian Army encourage me in this
Since 1991 the ANPC has progressively changed. When it was first formed
it was viewed as being mainly applicable to ex situ conservation. By the
first national meeting the importance of integrating in situ and ex situ
activities was well accepted and the ANPC was taking on a broader role.
Over the past two years the membership has broadened yet further to include
a range of land managers and the possibility of it extending to include
New Zealand has been raised. In the coming two years, I suspect that the
number of non-traditional members will continue to increase and I hope
that the 1997 meeting will provide the ANPC with the opportunity to further
bridge perceived differences between organisations that, cooperatively,
can go a long way to assist in the conservation of Australia's flora. I
also expect that the organisation and development of the regional groups
will be well progressed and the guidelines being developed by the working
groups will be completed. By then it will be time for the members of the
ANPC to look at new projects to take the organisation to the end of the
millenium (sounds impressive doesn't it!). Leaving the national office
of the ANPC I would like to thank several people.
The early establishment of the network was achieved with the support
of both Lyn Meredith and Geoff Butler. Perhaps Lyn's most valuable contribution
to the ANPC (apart from his sense of humour) was the large amount of editing
that he did for the majority of the editions of Danthonia to date and the
Proceedings of our first two conferences. Even when not at the National
Office Lyn has continued to be a strong supporter. Geoff's knowledge of
the Australian flora, his enthusiasm and committment to conservation have
been a very valuable asset. Without his assistance and energy the establishment
of the ANPC and the running of our first conservation techniques course
may not have happened.
I would also like to thank the other ANPC employees. Both Isobel Crawford
and Joe Swartz were employed on projects in the early stages of development.
Isobel started the National Endangered Flora Collection and Joe the development
of an ANPC database. Much of Joe's work has become the basis of the ANPC
recommendations for conservation databases. Since the first national conference,
Jeanette Mill has been the force behind the establishment of the regional
groups. Jeanette has started and shepherded all of the groups, most of
which are successfully entering their second year and starting to determine
their future role. In addition, Jeanette has continued the development
of the National Endangered Flora Collection and also assisted in the organisation
of the conservation course and our second national meeting. To take advantage
of her experience within the ANPC, Jeanette will be the next National Co-ordinator.
Deborah Edwards has only recently started but as the new editor of Danthonia
she will add considerably to what the National Office has to offer ANPC
I would also like to thank Iris Philp, Maureen Travers, Katrina Jensz
and the staff of the ANBG for all their help over the past four years.
Special thanks go to volunteers Kerry Blakston and particularly, Jeanne
Trebeck who has, over the past two years, worked at the office ensuring
that we know who our new members are and whether you need another reminder
about your membership! The initial ideas for the activities of the ANPC
have come largely from members at the national meetings. However, to help
develop these ideas, the National Office has had the able assistance of
the Advisory Committee. The members of the Advisory Committee are, along
with those of the three ANPC working groups, already very busy people and
I am very appreciative of the time that they have so generously given.
It should be noted that all of the members of the Advisory Committee attending
meetings have demonstrated their own and their organisations' committment
to the ANPC by funding meeting attendance themselves. While member's subscriptions
have been important to fund the operation of the ANPC National Office the
assistance received from the Australian Nature Conservation Agency has
been considerable both in terms of funding from the Endangered Species
Program and in kind from the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
However, the success of the ANPC has largely depended on the support
of the members, for which I give my sincere thanks. Although I will be
somewhat out of the ANPC action at my new home in Alice Springs, I will
continue to be a keen supporter and hope to catch up with many of the people
that I have come to know and respect at the next ANPC national meeting.
A Message from Brien Meilleur
Brien Meilleur, President, Center for Plant Conservation,
Reprinted from Plant Conservation, a publication of the
CPC St Louis
CPC and ANPC were privileged to have been invited to co-sponsor the
4th International Botanic Gardens Conservation Congress held in Perth,
Western Australia the week of September 25-29, 1995. Organized conjointly
by Botanic Gardens Conservation International and Kings Park and Botanic
Gardens, the plenary sessions, workshops, training sessions, and informal
discussions that occurred at the Congress collectively provided a wide-ranging
picture of the challenges and successes of the ex situ plant conservation
As financially frustrating as the 1990s have been for many U.S. botanic
gardens and conservation networks, it was sobering to see what the economic
fragility of our times has wrought upon some botanical gardens in less
developed countries. While the CPC Participating Institutions vigilantly
strive to provide high quality conservation services to protect the rapidly
degrading U.S. flora - for example, by trying to keep pace with the new
tissue culture, genetic fingerprinting, and seed banking technologies that
will enhance their conservation programs - many conservation-oriented botanical
gardens elsewhere in the world struggle for their very survival.
In spite of the obstacles to plant conservation that were widely discussed
at the Congress and are common in greater or lesser degrees to nearly all
conservation-oriented gardens, what was so thrilling about this Congress
was that its collective message was hardly a negative one.
Rather, over and over we heard about the fundamental value of our conservation
work in maintaining the biological health and integrity of our planet.
We also heard about new and effective partnerships that are developing
everywhere among botanical gardens, researchers, governments, land managers,
educators, and other groups. In my view, the greatest message of this Congress
- an exceedingly positive message of hope - was transmitted again and again
through the entrepreneurial spirit of the world's botanic garden conservation
professionals as they described their efforts and successes. By so strongly
emphasizing creative problem-solving, the 270 delegates from 40 countries
- some facing constraints almost unimaginable to conservation gardens in
western industrial democracies - showed me a side of plant conservation
that I can only characterize as truly inspiring.
Newly Rediscovered Endangered Species: Elaeocarpus
Nan Nicholson, Landmark Ecological Services P/L, The Channon,
Elaeocarpus sp. Minyon (ROTAP code 2E) is listed as known only from
the type specimen (Sheringham and Westaway 1995) but the species is in
fact alive and moderately well. It is a small to medium-sized tree occurring
in rainforest in northern New South Wales. It has simple, alternate, ovate
leaves with long petioles and distinctive pale leaf-backs with golden hairy
veins. Older red leaves on or below the tree are a ready identification
clue. The pendulous flowers are white, fringed as with most Elaeocarpaceae,
and held on racemes 5-8 cm in length. Fruits are globular, about 2 cm diameter,
blue, and with a thin flesh around a stony endocarp which is clothed in
dense fibres. The trunk is fluted with small buttresses and is smooth when
young with vertical rows of lenticels which become corky with age. The
blaze and heartwood are a deep orange-red.
The species occurs in warm temperate rainforest (simple notophyll vine
forest) on moderately fertile soils with a mixture of basaltic and rhyolitic
influences. Trees found so far occur at altitudes of around 400m, with
an annual rainfall of about 2000mm. Species commonly occurring with Elaeocarpus
sp. Minyon include Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus), Crabapple (Schizomeria
ovata), Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), Mangobark (Canarium australasicum)
and some more sclerophylous species such as Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus grandis)
and Forest Oak (Allocasuarina torulosa). Dispersal of fruits is assumed
to be effected by birds, flying foxes, small ground mammals and water,
as with the similar Blue Quandong (Elaeocarpus grandis). Pollinators are
Until two years ago Elaeocarpus sp. Minyon was known only from herbarium
specimens collected in 1936 from the Minyon Falls area, north of Lismore,
and was assumed to be extinct. However, in 1993 a small unusual tree was
found on the banks of Rocky Creek Dam and a specimen was sent to Gordon
Guymer at the Queensland Herbarium. He was excited to realise that the
speciment was the 'lost` tree. The tree fruited in November 1993 and two
nurseries were given some fruit to propagate. However, attempts were unsuccessful
as the seed was not viable. Some limited success was achieved with cuttings
but it looked as if propagation of the plant was going to be uncertain
if not impossible.
Then in October 1995 a new population of 30 plants was found on the
eastern side of the dam, close to recently commenced logging operations.
This population included seven fruiting adults, some up to 30m tall with
trunk diameters up to 30cm, and 23 saplings and seedlings. The fruits from
these trees appeared to have viable embryos. They have now been distributed
to several nurseries and botanic gardens to establish whether seedlings
can be propagated easily. Further investigations in the same habitat type
have since been carried out and about 120 plants have been found in Whian
Whian State Forest. Recently, an entirely new population of about 100 plants
was found 15km to the north in Nullum State Forest, within an area that
has recently been heavily logged. Many of these plants have been seriously
damaged, and some cut down. Small plants are likely to have been destroyed.
The greatest current threats are continued unsurveyed forestry operations.
In addition, poaching of fruit and/or seedlings by individuals or commercial
growers is likely to occur as the demand for rare plants increases. Further
research is needed urgently in all potential habitat types to determine
the extent of those areas in which it does or may occur.
Sheringham P and Westaway J. 1995. Significant Vascular Plants
of Upper North East NSW.
New Electronic Address. The US Centre for Plant
Conservation (CPC) now has a World Wide Web Home Page. The address for
the page is http://www.mobot.org/CPC/
welcome.html. [As at June 2005, this had become
http://www.centerforplantconservation.org/]. The page has basic information about the CPC and its Participating
Institutions, programs and publications, and lists of taxa in the collection,
etc. From the home page you can also access other home pages such as that
of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the database of the Germplasm Resources
Information Network (GRIN). Eventually a link will go to the Botanic Gardens
Conservation International (BGCI) also [http://www.bgci.org.uk/]. The page will enable greater access
for conservationists and the public to rare plant information and programs.
CPC also has a new e-mail address for general queries and correspondence,
which is - email@example.com.
New Network - PlantNet
In March 1996 a
new network will be officially launched at a conference at the University
of Oxford in Britain. It's called PlantNet: the Plant Collections Network
of Britain and Ireland. One of its main aims is to be a forum for exchanging
ideas and information for people working with plants in the British Isles.
The initiators believe there is much to gain from sharing information from
people at all levels of involvement. The PlantNet newsletter has already
had two editions published to disseminate information, and a draft constitution
has been drawn up and circulated for comment. In addition there will be regular meetings, and in fact several have
already happened, covering such topics as commercialisation and working
with volunteers. Membership subscriptions will be introduced after March
1996. The PlantNet Working Party includes Professor Rob Marrs, Chair; Mr
Timothy Walker, Convenor; Mrs Judith Cheney, Newsletter editor; and Dr
Peter Wyse Jackson of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. The conference
in March is called `Plant Collections: Management and Future Use`. For
further information, contact Mr Timothy Walker, PlantNet Convenor, University
of Oxford Botanic Garden, Rose Lane, Oxford OX1 4AX UK. Tel/fax 01865 276920. [http://www.dti.gov.uk/ost/ostbusiness/puset/sciconn/plantnet.html]
Report on the Roadside Management Workshop, Braidwood,
9 November 1995.
Nicki Taws, NSW Roadside Environment Committee.
The workshop was organised by the NSW Roadside Environment Committee
(REC) and aimed to highlight the need for planned management of roadsides.
It also provided an opportunity for the REC to raise awareness of its activities
and the support which is available for roadside managers to undertake roadside
management planning. Braidwood provided an appropriate location for the
workshop as the centre of the Tallaganda Shire which is about to embark
on the roadside management planning process. Sixty-five people from a variety
of government, private and community organisations attended.
Mark Sheahan, Chairman of the REC, provided an introduction to roadside
management planning. The area of roadsides in NSW is roughly equivalent
to the area of land in National Parks and is therefore a significant land
resource. Many roadsides have important ecological values but are also
used for a variety of other activities, such as carriage of electricity,
gas and communication utilities, grazing of stock, storing of road materials,
strategic lines for fire control, and rest and recreation by motorists.
This wide variety of uses of the roadside has the potential to create conflict
between the users.
Bill Bott of the Local Government Association provided a personal account
of conflict which arose between the Corowa Shire Council and residents
over use of the roadside which was damaging native vegetation. Part of
the solution was provided by the undertaking of a roadside vegetation assessment
in the Shire to determine areas of high, medium and low conservation value.
A similar situation has arisen in the Tallaganda Shire where some residents
are concerned about conservation of native vegetation on roadsides, while
increasing traffic volumes have created the need for wider clearance along
roadsides. Royce White, Director of works for the Tallaganda Shire, outlined
the Shire's roadside project which has recently been granted funding under
the National Landcare Program. The project aims to identify and assess
the significance of roadside vegetation along 500km of Council roads.
The NSW Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) is the manager of significant
areas of roadside gazetted as Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves (TSRs).
Sandy Prell, of the RLPB Executive Council, outlined the role of TSRs in
providing for the movement of stock, and relief in times of drought or
fire. Alison Morgan, the RLPB Environmental Officer, discussed her current
project involving assessment of native vegetation over a large area of
TSRs in the central west. This project will eventually produce management
guidelines for the conservation of native vegetation and protection of
significant areas on the TSRs in the study area.
The workshop also heard presentations on soil management on roadsides,
the role of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority in roadside management,
and the conservation value of roadsides on the Southern Tablelands, with
an emphasis on endangered plant species and communities known to occur
on roadsides and TSRs. A bus took participants to lunch beside the Shoalhaven
River, and then along a number of roads to view a range of roadside management
issues in the Shire. This provided an opportunity for many informal discussions
between the participants, which is often when the valuable exchange of
information and ideas (the networking!) takes place.
Remnant Vegetation Research And Development Workshop
Taken with permission from Intersect (news from the
Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation - LWRRDC),
Issue 10, November 1995.
The socioeconomic, policy and related aspects of managing bushland,
or remnant vegetation, were given special attention at a recent joint LWRRDC
and Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA) workshop in Melbourne.
This was part of the National Rehabilitation, Management and Conservation
of Remnant Vegetation R&D Program managed by LWRRDC and ANCA and funding
several large projects. These are to identify the factors influencing regeneration
and health of remnant vegetation, and to develop improved, practical methods
of bushland management. The program is also examining the economic and
social factors influencing attitudes to, and management of, remnant vegetation.
Workshop participants were asked to discuss the value landholders and
rural communities place on remnant vegetation and its ecological significance,
as well as the barriers and constraints to active management of remnants
and ways to overcome them. The result was that the workshop:
- generated ideas on ways to improve policies and programs aimed at promoting
and supporting on-ground management of vegetation;
- identified knowledge gaps about social and economic aspects of managing
remnants, and R&D priorities to address them; and
- improved methods for the two-way interaction between landholder and
community needs and biological and socioeconomic research.
ANCA and LWRRDC will use the results on socioeconomic aspects to commission
new remnant vegetation R&D within the national remnant vegetation research
program. The results of the workshop are being prepared for publication
as a joint Occasional Paper. This will be available early in 1996 from
the shopfront of the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry and Energy.
The shopfront has a freecall number: (008) 020157. For more information
about the program, contact Dr Phil Price on (06) 257 3379.
Dr Jim Willis, world-renowned botanist and much-respected and liked
man, died suddenly on the 10th November 1995. He was 85, and had apparently
been unwell for some time following a mild stroke, yet in September he
opened the biennial conference of the Association of Societies for Growing
Australian Plants with a clear and humorous talk which I enjoyed. I was
told by someone sitting next to me that his lectures and talks always attracted
a good audience. He apparently had a huge amount of enthusiasm and was
very interested in everything and also very interesting, with an immense
memory, and could talk for hours in front of an audience and keep them
Jim Willis worked in the National Herbarium in Victoria and was Assistant
Government Botanist for some years. He often wrote for the newsletter of
the Victorian Field Naturalists as well as participating in many of the
group`s activities. He was known as a great man with a very good overview
of many aspects of natural history, with in-depth knowledge in quite a
few areas to the extent that he knew many of the latest names for mosses,
fungi and the Helichrysum splits. Undoubtedly, he was up-to-date with a
great many plant groups. He knew a lot of grasses. He also had some knowledge
in geology and fauna. So we have lost a well-rounded, interesting and well-known
man, who has left botany, natural history and a lot of people undoubtedly
FOG field day
As part of the Friends of Grasslands spring 1995 field program, a lively
band of grassland supporters turned up to a typically cold and windy Bungendore,
NSW, to take part in a Grasslands Conservation Ratings Workshop. The workshop,
held on Saturday 21 October, was hosted by Rainer Rehwinkel, Monaro Grasslands
Project Officer with the NSW NPWS Queanbeyan District Office. Also lending
their valuable botanical expertise were private consultants Alison Rowell,
Isobel Crawford and Peter Barrer, SGAP's Jo Walker and ACT Parks and Conservation's
grassland expert Mark Dunford. The day was well supported by Friends of
The aim of the day was to familiarise participants with the conservation
rating system which was initiated by Stuwe in Victoria in the 1980's and
further developed by ACT Parks and Conservation in the 1990's. This system
has been applied to all significant grasslands in the ACT, and is currently
being implemented by the NSW NPWS in the grasslands of the Monaro and areas
east of Canberra. Another aim was to initiate Canberra grassland enthusiasts
to some very interesting sites across the border in NSW.
Briefly, the conservation rating system, which is based on subjective
assessment, takes into consideration the quality of a site based upon its
native species diversity and the state of disturbance to that site as assessed
by the exotic weed diversity. The outcome of such assessment is a five
tiered rating score, with a site judged to have a rating of 1 considered
to have national significance, scaling down to a site with a rating of
5 having very little conservation value. An additional layer of information
is added with the application of a T rating, which signifies that the site
provides habitat for a threatened or otherwise significant species (either
plant or animal, vertebrate or invertebrate).
Despite the bitterly blowing easterly, the first site visited, the Turallo
Range grassland site on the Hoskingtown Road south of Bungendore, was enough
to gladden the heart of the most cynical grassland expert. This grassland,
a former travelling stock reserve, which as stories go, has had some heavy
but intermittent grazing in its past life, was ablaze with an incredible
diversity of grassland forbs. Notable amongst these were the carpets of
white daisies of Calotis anthemoides, a tiny greenhood, Pterostylis sp.
and flights of the aptly named golden moth orchids, Diuris lanceolata,
which were fairly flapping in the stiff breeze. The site showed promise
for things to come in the rosettes of blue devils, Eryngium rostratum,
tight little buds of hairy buttons Leptorhynchus squamatus, the silvery
sheen of golden buttons Chrysocephalum apiculatum, and the succulent leaves
of Velleia paradoxa, a species rarely recorded in lowland grassland situations.
We all agreed that this site should be given a very high conservation rating.
Jo Walker made the comment that the grassland reminded her of Western Australia!
By contrast, an active travelling stock reserve across the road from
this site was given a lower rating. This was because, despite it being
as species rich (in terms of absolute number of species counted) the overall
diversity (in terms of frequency of occurrence of the species present)
was much lower than the Turallo Range grassland. This site too, had notably
greater weed cover. Both of these Hoskingtown Road sites retain a very
good cover of kangaroo grass, Themeda triandra and wallaby grasses Danthonia
spp. The third site visited on the day, a patch of grassland at the Brooks
Hill reserve, gave participants a chance to see some different grassland
types (ie a grassy woodland and a grassland dominated by low growing woody
shrubs). Similarly, this site provided an opportunity to apply the conservation
rating system, because it demonstrated a position somewhere between the
first two in terms of native plant diversity and weediness.
For more information about the rating system, and the Project, contact
Rainer Rehwinkel, Monaro Grassland Project Officer, Queanbeyan District
Office, NSW NPWS, 6 Rutledge St Queanbeyan NSW, 2620 or ring (06) 2980303.
Rare Orchids of the Perth Region
Andrew Batty, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth, WA
With support from Western Power (Western Australia's electricity company)
and the facilities at Kings Park and Botanic Garden, an integrated conservation
program is underway to improve the conservation status of some rare orchid
species. The Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid (Drakaea elastica), Grand
Spider Orchid (Caladenia huegelii), the Blue Babe in the Cradle
Orchid (Epiblema grandiflorum ssp. cyanea), Purdies Donkey
Orchid (Diuris purdiei), Swamp Donkey Orchid (Diuris micrantha)
and the Cinnamon Sun Orchid (Thelymitra dedmaniarum) are all typical
examples of orchids being threatened in the Perth Metropolitan area. Unless
specific attempts are made to try and turn the tide for these orchids they
too will be lost from our flora. Orchids are vulnerable because they have
complex and specific associations with other organisms such as mycorrhizal
fungi. Small changes to a habitat can have devastating effects on a population.
Major risks include the ever-increasing sprawl of major cities. Drakaea
elastica Lindley (Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid).
This orchid is easily recognised by its shiny, light green, heart-shaped
leaf and solitary flower and prominent insectiform labellum. This labellum
plays a critical part in attracting male thynnid wasps for pollination.
By producing both pheromone and visual cues the unsuspecting male is lured
to the orchid. Such a complicated and specific pollination strategy makes
the orchid vulnerable not only from direct habitat destruction but also
habitat degradation affecting the life cycle of the pollinator and mycorrhizal
associates . The orchid is confined to several populations on deep sandy
soil in Banksia woodland and is found in association with Kunzea ericifolia
in low-lying situations adjoining winter-wet swamps. Flowering occurs from
October to November. As is the case for many terrestrial orchids there
is a basic understanding of fungal associations but little progress has
been made developing a successful propagation and conservation program.
The best form of conservation at this stage is to maintain existing habitats
through appropriate management while undertaking strategic ex situ research.
Diuris purdiei Diels (Purdies Donkey Orchid). This orchid has
laterally presented flowers, up to 8 on a single spike, which are prominently
yellow with red-brown markings at the base of the labellum and on the undersurface
of the petals. Leaves are 5-10 spirally twisted and up to 10 cm long. The
species flowers from September to October and usually only after summer
fires. The orchid is restricted to winter-wet swamps on the coastal plain
between Perth and Yarloop (south of Perth).
This species tends to be confined to private and shire land in the Metropolitan
region. These populations are highly vulnerable due to clearing for urban
development, weeds and disease. The populations to the south occur in nature
reserves and are thus highly valuable for the future of the species. One
of the main management requirements essential for the survival of the species
is to restrict burns to outside flowering and vegetative phases, that is
July-November. Other populations may exist in unburnt sites. Suitable habitat
needs to be monitored on an opportunistic basis following summer burns.
Management of existing populations in reserves is essential for the orchid's
survival. Those sites on private land need to be protected where possible.
Epiblema grandiflorum R. Br.var. cyanea Dixon. (Baby Blue
Orchid). This sky blue variety is an attractive orchid in the endemic genus
of Epiblema. The general appearance of the flowers is similar to
that of sun orchids with major differences arising in the appearance of
the column and labellum. Flowers show no response to changes in temperature
as seen in sun orchids. Flowering occurs from November to December. The
orchid inhabits wet peaty swamps amongst paperbarks and dense sedges. During
the initial stages of growth the orchid's single leaf is often submerged
in water with water levels receding by the time of flowering. The main
population of this rare orchid is known from a single winter-wet swamp
on the outskirts of Perth. The species was under threat from housing development
but prompt action has enabled protection of the swamp area containing the
orchid. The future of this orchid is perilous unless management of current
sites is maintained. Its long term survival would be improved if introductions
to more secure sites can be achieved.
Work on these orchids and the others in the endangered plant rescue
program are part of a three year PhD research project addressing conservation
issues facing these orchids including propagation methods, population genetics
and reintroduction issues. Western Power is providing financial backing
for the project and although only 6 months old, good progress has already
been made in securing ex situ germplasm.
Hoffman, N. and Brown, A. (1992). Orchids of south-western Australia. 2nd
Ed. University of Western Australia Press.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne: A New Approach
Mark Jenkins, Ecologist, Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne (RBGC) provides a unique concept
for botanic gardens by combining natural bushland, designed gardens, recreational
spaces and a centre for scientific learning and study. It is administered
by the Royal Botanic Gardens Board. The 350 ha Gardens are located 55 km
south-east of Melbourne, on the outskirts of the city of Cranbourne.
There are four key components in the long term vision
for the RBGC: an Australian Garden, Botanic Collection, Woodland Recreation
Zone and Conservation Zone. A masterplan for the Australian Garden has
been finalised. This garden will explore the influence of Australian plants
on contemporary Australian life - including our spiritual connection with
the Australian flora, its medicinal benefits, the relationship of Australian
plants to the environment and the influence of Australian flora on music,
literature and design. Broad scale concepts have been developed for the
Botanic Collection and Woodland Recreation Zone. The Botanic Collection
will contrast the flora of varied ecosystems and explore the ecological
relationships between plant and animal communities. The variation in ecosystems
will range from wetlands and Red Gum woodlands to temperate rainforest.
In the Woodland Recreation Zone, visitors will enjoy picnics and leisure
activities in an open woodland setting with an opportunity to explore environmental
themes in new and innovative ways.
Already realised, the Conservation Zone is a 240 ha remnant of indigenous
vegetation. The area is of state conservation significance and comprises
intact stands of Leptospermum myrsinoides heathland, wet heathland, sedge
swampland and grassy woodland. Reference areas have been established in
each of these plant communities.
Flora and Fauna Conservation
At the recent International Botanic Gardens Conservation Congress in
Perth, Western Australia, the importance of an ecological perspective to
the design and management of botanic gardens was emphasised. It is this
emphasis that the RBGC is working toward. The ethos behind the RBGC is
to develop not only an appreciation of Australia's native flora, but its
relationship with fauna, and the interdependent, connected nature of our
In this regard, research at the RBGC is ecologically based. The site
has seen a number of projects including factors affecting plant distribution
and community composition, reproductive strategies of flora and fauna,
pollination mechanisms, palynological analyses of swamp sediments and studies
of the habitat requirements of the Southern Brown Bandicoot and Swamp Rat.
Fire is an integral component of the heathland vegetation of the site and
a current focus for research. The effect of fire on plant species richness
and abundance, seedling recruitment after fire, post-fire regeneration
strategies of plants, and the effect of fire on fauna abundance and recolonisation
are aspects of fire ecology research and monitoring currently being undertaken
by the Gardens.
Other research in consultation with Melbourne University includes a
study of the effects of antagonistic bacteria on Phytophthora infection.
The scope for research is enormous and future foci of interest may include
ex situ and in situ conservation of rare plants, the conservation biology
of small populations and study of plant-invertebrate interactions.
Plants, Animals and People
The increased profile of the RBGC through 1995 has seen a developing
interest by visitors in the relationship between people, plants and animals.
What pollinates this plant? Why do you need to burn heathland? Will this
isolated population survive in the long term? What strategies do these
plants and animals have for surviving in a dry environment? The questions
indicate that the community is interested in environmental management,
the ecology of plants and animals and the importance of island refuges
such as the RBGC.
The RBGC and other conservation organisations have a responsibility,
especially in this age of technological and computer wizardry, to cultivate
a renewed interest in nature. The approach needs to address more than the
parts/species, for in a deep ecological sense, `the whole is more than
the sum of the parts'. The approach must be holistic and promote the concept
that biodiversity is intricately bound to ecological relationships and
interactions. Plans for the RBGC coupled with scientific research will
advance the realization of this new approach.
Special Events at Myall Park
Taken from the article by Carol McCormack in the Friends
of Myall Park Botanic Garden Newsletter Vol 4 No 3
On Saturday 5th August, Myall Park had a grand opening of its new gallery.
For the occasion Dorothy Gordon's flower paintings and landscapes were
hung. People also wandered the garden and the walking trail. At 2pm, the
official proceedings began, with secretary Dorinda Schwennesen as MC. Betty
McKenzie's book One Man's Dream, was launched by Dr Bob Johnson, Director
of the Queensland Herbarium 1976-90, and associated with these gardens
for 40 years. The book is about 96-year-old Dave Gordon, and the lifetime
of hard work he put into developing Myall Park.
Mrs Lorna Murray, President of the Society for Growing Australian Plants
(SGAP), Qld Region, presented Dave with a special Australian Plants Award.
Dave's knowledge and expertise regarding Australian flora have been recognised
by the scientific and horticultural communities both in Australia and internationally.
He was a foundation member of the SGAP, kept extensive records in his herbarium,
donated land to the Qld Government which became the Erringibba National
Park, and promoted the well known plant, Grevillea `Robyn Gordon`, which
turned up as a natural hybrid in Myall Park and was the first cultivar
registered by the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA) in
The opening address was given by Professor Henry Nix head of the Centre
for Resource and Environmental Studies at the Australian National University,
and Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the ANPC. Professor Nix was
a founder of the SGAP Canberra Region and of the Canberra Ornithologists`
Group, and thus came to know Dave and Dorothy and Myall Park. He supports
regional botanic gardens, and said that Myall Park is in the middle of
the Brigalow Zone. Professor Nix also pointed out the close connection
between art and science and commented on the garden and gallery as examples
of this. He urged people to join the Friends of Myall Park Botanic Garden.
Next, Nita Lester, chairman, gave a history of the gallery development,
pointed out special features such as the stained glass windows, and thanked
architects, builders, the Tara Shire Council and all the volunteers. She
said that Dave gets a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from sitting with
Dorothy`s paintings. Jean Harslett, Dorothy Gordon's sister, then opened
the complex formally, Nita Lester thanked all, and some informal tributes
were given to speakers and others, followed by afternoon tea. Dave Gordon
was delighted with the day and must feel a lot of pride and pleasure at
the achievements of himself and all others involved and the recognition
he and the Garden now have.
Australia's Most Threatened Ecosystems: the southeastern lowland
native grasslands. 1995. Kirkpatrick J, McDougall K and Hyde M. Surrey
Beatty & Sons in association with The World Wide Fund For Nature Australia.
This important book was launched by Federal Minister for the Environment,
Senator John Faulkner, at Parliament House, Canberra, on 13th December.
It is part of the outcome of a project funded by a grant from the National
Estate Grants Program (NEGP) administered by the Australian Heritage Commission
(AHC) to the World Wide Fund For Nature Australia (WWF). The latter employed
a team of specialists, including Jamie Kirkpatrick and Keith McDougall,
to document lowland native grasses throughout southeastern Australia. Sharon
Sullivan, Executive Director of the AHC, gave a quick introduction, quipping
that often to get people interested in grasslands you have to refer to
them as "short forests"! She spoke briefly about the NEGP grant
and then introduced Senator Faulkner.
Senator Faulkner pointed out that "the ecosystems that contain
the most plant species and plant communities threatened with extinction
are native grasslands - not our tropical rainforests or our eucalypt forests."
They include grasses, sedges and flowering herbs. In southeastern Australia
they have been reduced from about 2 million ha to less than 10,000ha, but
are worth protecting because they "contribute significantly to Australia's
biodiversity....provide habitat...form the vital understorey of healthy
woodland and forest ecosystems...provide resistance against fire and drought...stabilise
soil on riverbanks and steep slopes." They are also of economic value
as they need less water and upkeep, and have a potential for horticulture
These grasslands now only occur in small patches and are thus more vulnerable.
Senator Faulkner congratulated the NSW Government on including some specific
grasslands for protection under the State Environmental Planning Policy
46. Non-government organisations are now working to protect and appropriately
manage these remnants. The Commonwealth has various programs in place,
such as the Grasslands Ecology and the Save the Bush Programs, and has
made grasslands a priority for its Endangered Species Program. The AHC
is placing all significant identified grasslands on the Register of the
National Estate. The book is being sent to councils in southeastern Australia
to inform their land managers and environmental officers.
In launching the book Senator Faulkner congratulated the WWF and the
authors, stating that the book "will help to demonstrate to the wider
community the value of grasslands, their plight and the ways people can
protect them." In response Jamie Kirkpatrick thanked the Minister,
the Federal Government and the governments of the ACT, NSW and Victoria
for progress in grassland conservation in Australia. There is still a long
way to go but the gravity of the situation has been realised. He hopes
this will percolate to local government eventually. A lot are working for
grasslands so he's optimistic. He'd like to see the same criteria developed
as exist to protect forests.
Professor Kirkpatrick mentioned the hard work done by people such as
Tim Barlow and Keith McDougall, and described them as a great bunch of
people. From the work came a technical report on which the book was based:
it gives more of an overview. He suggested not locking up remnants, because
often they're there as a result of a disturbance history and still need
some disturbance. He also encouraged people to keep up the good work. David
Butcher from WWF told us that the book brought the complex scientific results
of about 10 years of research into a `popular` form most can understand.
Recommendations from the research are going on into projects now. He thanked
all involved: governments, authors and the publishers for taking on the
book. Sharon Sullivan thanked all for coming and we adjourned for morning
tea, buying copies of the book and networking.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
Threatened Plant Species Management in the Arid Pastoral Zone of
South Australia. 1995. Davies, R.
A report prepared for the Pastoral Management Branch, Department of Environment
and Natural Resources, South Australia. Available from Natural Resources
Information Centre, GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA 5001, for $8.00 plus postage.
Conservation Australia. No 1. 1995. Australian Nature Conservation
Promoting the diverse nature conservation ideas, activities and expertise
of the Agency, with themes including biodiversity, the involvement of indigenous
peoples and sustainability.
Sub-tropical Australian native gardens: How to select, plant and
nurture native trees, shrubs, flowers, ferns, palms and orchids in your
sub-tropical garden on the North Coast of NSW. 1994. 2nd Edition,
1995 with corrections. Edited by Calder Chaffey. Far North Coast District
Group, SGAP NSW Ltd. GPO Box 4083, Goonellabah, NSW. 2480.
We hope to have a review of this book for the next edition of Danthonia.
A Handbook for Botanic Gardens on the Reintroduction of Plants to
the Wild. 1995. Compiled by John Akeroyd and Peter Wyse Jackson.
Botanic Gardens Conservation International, in association with IUCN Species
Survival Commission (Reintroductions Specialist Group). Surrey, UK.
Second Conference: Network of Regional Botanic Gardens Tropical and
Subtropical Zones February 1996: the dates are likely to be 23rd-25th.
It will be held in South-East Qld, on the Sunshine Coast. The provisional
items are: election of office bearers; members' progress reports possibly
with videos/slides; a key note speaker and others; data about funding/assistance
programs; a workshop following on from the Perth IBGCC meeting with specific
reference to RBG networks; resolutions about the direction of the Network;
etc. To find out more, ring NRBG Chairman Lawrie Smith on (07) 3857 1445,
or write to PO Box 313 Maroochydore Qld 4558.
Horticulture on the Edge
15-16 March 1996 at the Hyatt Kingsgate Hotel, Sydney. Presented by
the Australian Institute of Horticulture. Can Australian horticulture answer
the challenges of the 21st century? The conference will look at such issues
as reclaiming and rehabilitating contaminated urban sites; water supply
and conservation; integrated pest management; sustainable domestic landscape
design; and many others. Keynote speakers include Robyn Williams, AM; Dr
Robert Spooner-Hart, Senior Lecturer in plant protection at the University
of Western Sydney - Hawkesbury and consultant on biological control; and
others include Robin Buchanan, bushland regenerator and TAFE lecturer.
Details can be obtained from Hildegard Wilkinson, AIH Administrator, 15
Bowen Cres. West Gosford, NSW 2250. Phone (043) 25 4088; Fax (043) 24 2563.
1996 Ramsar Conference.
19-27 March 1996, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. 6th Conference
of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance:
the Ramsar Convention. The Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA)
are the lead organisers, with the Qld Department of Environment and Heritage,
Brisbane City Council and the Australian Littoral Society (representing
the Australian Wetlands Alliance). At the Conference members will review
progress, decide new priorities, set the agenda for the next three years,
discuss the latest research and management techniques, and debate and adopt
a strategic plan to guide the Convention into the next century. There will
also be three days of technical workshops with a focus on Oceania. For
more information on the Conference, Ramsar and/or wetlands, contact the
National Wetlands Program, Australian Nature Conservation Agency, GPO Box
636, Canberra ACT 2601. Tel. (06) 250 0385; fax (06) 250 0384.
The Role of Technology in Parks and Recreation
April 29-30 1996. Hilton International Hotel, Adelaide. Royal Australian
Institute of Parks and Recreation (RAIPR). Information, communication and
plant and equipment technology; application of technology in customer service;
the role of technology in best practice. For further information contact
RAIPR National Seminar, c/o Les Clayton, 54 Bellaview Ave, Flagstaff Hill
SA 5159, or c/o Jackie Thompson, Adelaide Events, PO Box 800, Glenelg SA
5045, phone (08) 296 9610, fax (08) 296 8188.
Wild Grasses of Victoria
Run by Graeme Lorimer, Ph.D. and covering identification, ecology, propagation
and management. The book being used now is the Flora of Victoria Vol. 2,
and extensive notes will be provided. No previous botanical knowledge is
required. Graeme runs these courses in November and December (possibly
January in high country) as this is when grasses are flowering and are
easier to identify. The cost for this season is $110/$80 concession. Graeme
can arrange to run the course in rural areas also on an as-need basis.
For further information ring Graeme on (03) 9728 5841.
Graduate Program in Environmental Law
Faculty of Law, ANU, Canberra. Two coursework streams: one for stuidents
with a law degree and one for those with other degrees. Graduate Diploma
in Legal Studies; Graduate Diploma in Law; Master of Law; Master of Legal
Studies. For application forms apply to: The Registrar, The Australian
National University, Canberra, ACT 0200. Or phone the Course Administrator,
Faculty of Law, on (06) 249 0510.
Save the Bush Habitat Conservation and Management
National Trust of Australia (Victoria). Units in Land Management Philosophy;
Bushland - the Ideal; Impacts on Bushland; Techniques for Managing Bushland.
Previous field trips have gone to places such as Point Nepean National
Park; Yarra Bend Trust Park and Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. The
course also has a context of exploring decision-making and planning processes.
A wide range of experienced people are used as teachers, and the course
gives a great chance to meet them and others working in the same field.
It's 15 weeks part-time, and classes are held in Collingwood. For further
information phone the National Trust (Victoria) on (03) 9654 4711.
The Conservation of Biodiversity on Roadsides - The Protocol System?
9 February 1996: University of Queensland. AUSTROADS workshop organised
by Queensland Transport. AUSTROADS is the association of road transport
and traffic authorities in Australasia. Through this organisation, ARRB
Transport Research (ARRB TR) wants to develop, through consultation, ideas
to conserve biological diversity on roadsides, and is considering a National
Protocol System for coordinating the work needed. The workshop is the first
in a series to review and develop this System. For more information, contact
Quentin Farmar-Bowers, ARRB Transport Research Ltd, phone (03) 9881 1629;
fax (03) 9887 8104.
Report on the Meeting
at the Hunter Region Botanic Garden, October 14 1995
By Terry Tame
About fourteen members attended the first scheduled meeting of the Sydney
Region at HRBG near Raymond Terrace. Following a morning tea and welcome
by the Chair of the Board of Directors of HRBG, Jack Shield, and some house-keeping
matters, the guest speaker, Robbie Economos, was introduced.
Robbie is the Environmental Planner with the Lake Macquarie City Council
and she spoke about the Council's approach to the conservation of rare
species in its area, in particular the species Tetratheca juncea. She outlined
the problems the Council faced in trying to afford protection to sites,
as well as the options which can be pursued and which may lead to some
successful outcomes. Many questions flowed from this discussion.
Although the weather was earlier unsettled, a late morning tour of the
Gardens was led by Terry Tame with assistance from Heather Clarke. The
group looked at the successes and failures of endangered plants in cultivation
at HRBG which provided opportunity for much discussion by members. At the
end of lunch, the continuing discussion had to be terminated so that the
meeting could be transferred to Kooragang Island (also known as Ash Island),
in the Hunter River estuary.
On a rather windy but sunny afternoon, Maria Matthes from the NPWS Endangered
Species Unit and Michaela Birrell from the Kooragang Island Restoration
Scheme led the group across the marshy expanses of the northern part of
the island. Here we examined the early stages of the rehabilitation of
the once extensive rainforest which has been, over time, reduced to some
small remnants. Among these survive a few plants of the endangered climber
Cynanchum elegans. The tour of the restoration scheme generated a lot of
discussion which continued for some time after the group returned to the
vehicles. There was also a meeting held at Minnamurra, south of Sydney,
on December 9th, and there'll be a report in the next edition.
The next meeting is planned to take place at Taronga Zoo on Saturday
February 10th. For information contact Ian Jackson or Sean Lillis on (02)
978 4790. Notices will be sent out closer to the day.
For further information about the group, please contact Group Coordinator,
Tracey Armstrong, at Mount Annan Botanic Garden on (046) 462 477.
Lesley Hammersley, Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne
A meeting of the Victorian Region of ANPC was held at the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Cranbourne on Saturday 9th September 1995. Approximately 16 people
attended and were given a general introduction to the site and development
plans for the future. Mark Jenkins, the Gardens' ecologist, gave a general
overview of the conservation aimsand future scope of the Gardens for in
situ and ex situ conservation of rare and threatened plants. Strategies
for the management of the 200 ha remnant of indigenous bushland in keeping
with the aims of the Royal Botanic Gardens were discussed. An outline of
work being undertaken for the ecological fire management for flora and
faunal habitat conservation on site was also given, along with a run down
on the scientific reference areas which have been established to monitor
vegetation changes over time.
After this short information session indoors, the meeting adjourned
for a walk around some of the Bushland Conservation Zone, to enable members
to observe the vegetation on site and conservation strategies in place.
It was generally agreed that this had been a worthwhile program to enhance
members' understanding of RBG Cranbourne's focus on conservation.
Note: for further information about the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne,
please refer to an article printed on page 19 of this edition.
The next meeting will be in February 1996, at the Healesville Sanctuary,
with the date to be confirmed. Notices will be sent out closer to the day.
Report of the meeting 7/10/95
by Jan Tilden
A meeting of the Sub Tropical Group of the Australian Network for Plant
Conservation was held at the Barung Landcare Centre in Maleny on Saturday
7th October. (As well as housing a Landcare group, this centre also boasts
a nursery specialising in the propagation of local native rainforest plants
for rehabilitation work in the Blackall Range area). Seventeen people attended
the meeting, including a contingent of five from Mullumbimby, putting some
local non-attenders to shame! Guest speaker was botanist and plant ecologist,
Mike Olsen, for the Griffith University, who talked about the ecology of
vegetation remnants and methods of rehabilitation.
His talk was followed by an excellent share lunch, then discussion about
future directions of the group. Jan Tilden, who chaired the meeting, raised
the issue of whether we wanted to take a more action oriented approach
and focus on a particular issue of common interest. Several issues were
suggested, including rainforest rehabilitation in the sub-tropics and working
with local government.
The feeling of the meeting was that information exchange within the
region - the function currently being fulfilled by the network - was a
good focus and that there was no particular need to be more action oriented
(although some thought this was a good idea). Klaus Querengasser offered
to take on the role of coordinating the Sub Tropical Group and undertook
to organise the next meeting in early February. This meeting will be held
in Brisbane at the Botanic Gardens (Mt Coot-tha) with a view to getting
maximum attendance from throughout the region. It will be a planning meeting
for 1996, with a guest speaker.
Editor: Klaus contacted Ross McKinnon at the Gardens and the 10th February
is suitable. This would make the meeting just after the Conservation Outside
Reserves Conference being held between 5-8 Feb. Notices will be sent out
closer to the date to confirm.
SENSW and ACT Regional Meeting
4th November 1995
Australian National Botanic Gardens Theatrette
About 30 people heard 2 presentations, with about 20 staying for the
planning meeting held afterwards. Bill Logan, Wildlife Research Unit, ACT
Parks and Conservation, spoke about the new ACT Endangered Species Legislation,
passed in 1994 and developed to conserve ACT biodiversity generally and
lead to increased formal recognition and protection of threatened species
Roger Good, Senior Scientific Officer, NSW National Parks and Wildlife
Service, talked about the NSW Endangered Fauna (Interim Protection) Act.
This was to expire in November, but had a 2 month extension. Flora are
to be included in the new Act. Roger also spoke about SEPP 46, the aim
of which is to prevent inappropriate native vegetation clearance, not all
clearing. The Department of Land and Water Conservation (LWC) and the NPWS
assess and approve plans. If someone fails to comply there can be considerable
fines. He raised some questions including: What are "understory plants"?
What's a grassland? What exemptions exist? How to police the policy?
- Regional Groups:
Mark Richardson spoke about the Draft Plan for ANPC Regional Groups produced
following the ANPC 2nd National Meeting in Perth, including ideas for the
role of group coordinator, and the role of the National Office in Regional
- Group Coordinator:
John Wilkes said he'd fill the position and as no-one contested this he
is now the coordinator and will organise the meetings, reporting in Danthonia,
etc. For his contact number see below.
The group decided it would meet roughly 3-4 monthly, and move around the
region. Many good ideas were aired. eg. to first identify and contact other
key interest groups and people with different views, interests and knowledge
from us. They could get local speakers and facilitate. We would also network
through the groups and spread the word on their activities. Suggestions
for meeting places included: Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens; Merimbula; Nowra;
Cootamundra; Temora; Albury Gardens; people`s paddocks; Tumut`s Grevillea
site; workshop on SEPP 46; Bredbo Landcare sites. From these, a rough timetable
was worked out, with the first meeting to be on the coast at Eurobodalla
in about late Feb - early March. John Wilkes and others to meet on 15th
November, 12.30 at ANBG to organise the timetable and publication in the
December Danthonia: see following.
Co-ordinator: John Wilkes. You can contact John by phone and fax on
(06) 238 2490.
SE NSW/ACT Region 1996 Program
March 9-10: Field trip to Eurobodalla Native Botanic Gardens.
Organiser: John Knight - (044) 71 3348.
May 18-19: Meeting in Wagga Wagga on 18th with groups from South
West Slopes and Riverina areas, to discuss the role of ANPC and issues
relevant to the region. Field trips planned for the 19th. Organiser:
Roger Good - (06) 298 9718.
July/August: Meeting at Wollongong Botanic Garden in conjunction
with the Sydney Region group. This will be an issues session. Organiser:
Anders Bofeldt - (042) 27 7468.
October: Meeting at Dalgety to discuss conservation issues with
local groups, plus a field trip to a cold-climate nursery which provides
plants for restoration projects. Details to be announced next year.
December 7: Seminar in Canberra on progress under the Commonwealth's
Endangered Species Protection Act 1992, the ACT Nature Conservation (Amendment)
Act 1994 and relevant NSW legislation. This will be another issues session.
Details are to be announced next year.