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Rare triggerplants benefit from prescribed burn

Stylidium wilroyense triggerplants found at Wilroy Nature Reserve.
Stylidium wilroyense triggerplants found at Wilroy Nature Reserve.

A prescribed burn carried out by Parks and Wildlife has boosted a tiny population of critically endangered triggerplants near Geraldton.

A 73ha prescribed burn in Wilroy Nature Reserve took place in May 2015 to stimulate the recruitment of the Stylidium wilroyense triggerplants, with just eight plants known to exist in the reserve at the time.

Parks and Wildlife conservation officer Janet Newell said a recent inspection by Parks and Wildlife found more than 60 small seedlings in the reserve.

“This discovery was very exciting considering the population in Wilroy Nature Reserve has declined from about 30 plants in the 1990s, with no recruitment in that time until now,” she said.

“It seems likely this species requires fire, as plants have previously been found in another area with a recent fire history, although the exact conditions are unknown.

“We will survey the Wilroy burn more extensively in spring when the new recruits may be flowering and will be more easily spotted.”

Less than 200 of the pink flowering triggerplants are known to occur across three locations in the district.

Parks and Wildlife will continue to monitor the regeneration of the burn area to guide future management.          

Last modified on Monday, 08 May 2017 15:16