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Plant species back from the brink

Acacia leptoneura
Acacia leptoneura Parks and Wildlife

A Wheatbelt native species of plant thought to be extinct now has a fighting chance of survival as the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Greening Australia team up to ensure its long-term future.

Acacia leptoneura was thought to be extinct after it had not been seen since it was described in 1840 by James Drummond. It was rediscovered on a road verge in the Wheatbelt shire of Dowerin in 2008.

Parks and Wildlife Wheatbelt officer David Jolliffe said as part of the recovery efforts for the critically endangered species a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the department and Greening Australia.

“Currently there are only two live adult plants in the wild, a roadside specimen found in 2008 and a second on a nearby private property, both found by Joel Collins, a former Parks and Wildlife flora conservation officer,” Mr Jolliffe said.

“The MoU’s sole focus is on practical, onground recovery actions for the critically endangered plant, including fencing, weed management, rabbit control, seed collection, the future establishment of new plants and the installation and maintenance of onsite reticulation.”

Mr Jolliffe said additional surveys would be carried out in a bid to locate more plants in the wild.

Greening Australia team member David Collins said the agency was extremely excited about the opportunities the MoU would create and was looking forward to working with Parks and Wildlife to ensure the long-term survival of this endangered plant.

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