Recovery of critically endangered shrub through translocation

Grevillea brachystylis subsp. grandis with flowers and fruit
Grevillea brachystylis subsp. grandis with flowers and fruit DPaW

The future of a critically endangered local shrub is brighter following the success of a seed germination and translocation program coordinated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Grevillea brachystylis subsp. grandis, listed as threatened flora in 2002 due to severe habitat fragmentation, is found south-west of Busselton, with just 195 plants remaining in eight, small roadside populations.

Parks and Wildlife's Busselton-based Blackwood district has led the recovery of the precious shrub by working closely with land managers, controlling weeds at the site and surveying suitable habitat for new populations.  

Parks and Wildlife Conservation Officer Ben Lullfitz said more than 1000 seeds were collected from existing populations of Grevillea brachystylis subsp. grandis between 2009 and 2012.

“A small number were germinated by the department's Threatened Flora Seed Centre to determine their viability and these were then grown on at the Kings Park and Botanic Gardens nursery to produce seedlings,” Mr Lullfitz said.

“We were able to plant 92 seedlings in 2012 and 172 in 2013 at a secure site within a nature reserve close to the existing populations, after receiving funding through the Commonwealth’s Caring for our Country program.”

Mr Lullfitz said the translocation had been very successful, with 97 to 99 per cent of the plants surviving after the first two years, 95 per cent of them flowering and 80 per cent bearing fruit.

“This translocation has more than doubled the known number of plants of Grevillea brachystylis subsp. grandis and will help ensure the conservation of the species into the future,” he said.

“The new population has 260 healthy young plants, which represent genetic material from seven of the original eight populations.

“These will be used as a source of seed to establish new populations, along with further seed from the existing populations, and will further enhance plant numbers.”

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Last modified on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 12:35