Presumed extinct native species rediscovered

The underground orchid, Rhizanthella gardneri
The underground orchid, Rhizanthella gardneri
  • Annual review of WA's threatened species list released

A native bee that was presumed extinct since 1994 has been rediscovered after a specimen was collected in Banksia woodland at Pinjar in Perth's northern suburbs.


The Douglas's broad-headed bee, Hesperocolletes douglasi, which was only known to exist on Rottnest Island before it was presumed extinct, has been added to the list of critically endangered species in Western Australia.


The bee is just one of the recommended amendments to the list of threatened flora and fauna approved by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, based on the advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.


The committee is made up of 10 independent scientists with specialist knowledge of the State's flora and fauna, and the conservation of threatened species.


Further studies into the flora and fauna of Western Australia have resulted in two species of fauna and nine species of flora being added to the threatened species list.


The Western Barred Bandicoot, Perameles bougainville, once thought to be a single species was re-evaluated and found to be a complex of five distinct species.


Two of these species, the Nullarbor barred bandicoot, Perameles papillon; and the Marl, Perameles myosuros, were added to the threatened fauna list as presumed extinct. These species have not been collected since the 1890s and 1920s respectively.


The underground orchid, Rhizanthella gardneri, has been split into two species and now the southern populations of the species are considered to be the separate new species Rhizanthella johnstonii.


Three species of flora improved in threat status, Leucopogon sp. Ongerup, Caladenia hopperiana and Stylidium coroniforme subsp. amblyphyllum, due to surveys that located new populations and increased number of plants.


Seven species of threatened fauna increased in their national threat status as a result of targeted survey work and habitat assessment. These were Calidris canutus piersmai, Calidris canutus rogersi, Calidris ferruginea, Calidris tenuirostris, Dasyornis longirostris, Limosa lapponica menzbieri and Numenius madagascariensis.


Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"This annual review is crucial in our understanding of the plants and animals that need our attention and ensures they are provided with added legal protection, and inclusion in recovery programs.


"The McGowan Government is committed to biodiversity conservation so setting priorities is very important, with those ranked as critically endangered having the highest priority for recovery planning and management, as well as allocation of resources.


"This review highlights the work being done by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to protect our native species through wildlife conservation programs."

Last modified on Friday, 14 September 2018 10:15