Endangered plant growing tall on the Carrai Plateau

10 months ago

A survey of an endangered flowering shrub on the Carrai Plateau near Kempsey has confirmed a population of more than 800 plants and some of the tallest specimens of the species ever recorded.

National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) Ranger Patrick Lupica said the survey results are good news for the endangered Guthrie's Grevillea which is only found in two sites in NSW, at the Carrai Plateau and near Booral.

"Guthrie's Grevillea is a shrub which has green and maroon flowers and is covered in long hairs when young.

"We were delighted to record approximately 802 plants across four populations on the Carrai Plateau." Mr Lupica said.

"It was also pleasing to see some of the tallest plants ever recorded for this species, at 5-6 metres high, where we would normally expect them to be about half that size.

"The purpose of the survey was to learn the current status of this species and now that we have accurately recorded the location of the plants, we can really start to help this rare Grevillea."

The survey was carried out under the NSW Government's Saving Our Species (SoS) threatened species conservation program.

"The survey found the plants were in good condition and recorded the Grevillea's in Carrai National Park and in the adjacent Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

"It is likely there could be more plants occurring in very steep terrain nearby, which future survey work will determine," Mr Lupica said.

"Honeyeaters such as the Eastern Spinebill are fond of the Grevillea's nectar. However this plant species is vulnerable to pests such as goats, high frequency fires, and possibly disease.

"Part of the ongoing work is to research and determine threats for this rare species and help find new populations.

"The NPWS is working with the Australian National Botanic Gardens which is interested in propagating these plants and collecting its seed.

"Reassessment of fire management plans, and the monitoring and control of pests such as goats should assist Grevillea guthrieana surviving into the future," Mr Lupica said.

27 March 2017