Landholders Contribute To Recovery Of Threatened Species

May 16, 2000 Tumut & Adelong Times

Tumut Grevillea

A draft recovery plan produced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) for a Grevillea found only in a small area near Tumut highlights the valuable contribution landholders continue to make towards the species' future survival.

The Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) was discovered in 1982 and formally named and described in 1993. It is found only on a 4.5 kilometre stretch of Goobarragandra River near Tumut. The first significant efforts to conserve the endangered Grevillea began in 1991 and a formal recovery team was formed in 1992.

The Draft Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea considers the conservation requirements of the species and identifies actions to he undertaken to ensure its long term viability. NPWS threatened species officer John Briggs said that the support of landholders has been invaluable to the recovery of the species and remains a key to the future recovery and conservation of the species.

"With 80 per cent of the Tumut Grevillea population occurring on private land, the survival and recovery of this species is largely dependent on the cooperation of the landowners," said Mr Briggs. "Throughout the eight years a recovery program has been operating for the Tumut Grevillea, most of the five landholders with the species on their property have been supportive of the protection of the species and its riparian habitat."

"Currently the NPWS is working with the recovery team and landholders in the rehabilitation of habitat adjacent to a small existing population of the Grevillea on private land. The site had become overrun with a dense infestation of blackberry and the aim is to assist the natural population to expand by removing the blackberry threat."

The overall objective of the recovery plan is to down list Grevillea wilkinsonii from endangered to vulnerable within 10 years by ensuring all or most natural colonies are stable or increasing in size.

Future actions detailed in the recovery plan include; monitoring of known populations; monitoring and control of threats to each population: enrichment planting and cultivation; consultation with private landholders to develop agreed management plans, provision of information to the community and active encouragement of community participation in the recovery program.

Southern Corroboree Frog

While the species was once abundant within its limited geographic range, it has now disappeared from 70 per cent of sites at which it formerly occurred and the number of remaining adult males is estimated to be only 300-400 individuals.

"Its decline seems to be associated with high winter mortality due to a lack of water in the ponds combined with the lack of insulating winter snow. More research is needed to determine whether other factors such as ultraviolet radiation and disease are contributing to the decline." said Dr Green.

"A captive rearing operation for the Southern Corroboree Frog has been in place since 1997. "Because of the major collapse of the wild population, the captive rearing program is now an essential component of the recovery program.

"The aim of this program is to provide a source of animals for future reintroduction."

Other actions will focus on ensuring that human activities, such as interference with drainage and burning of the forest under storey, will not add increased risk to remaining populations.

To raise community awareness of the conservation significance of both frog species, the recovery plans recommend activities such as interpretive signs and training of staff from relevant agencies such as the NPWS and Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority.