Recovery plan for the endangered native jute species, Corchorus cunninghamii F. Muell in Queensland




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Part of the Edward Corbold Reserve and Nature Refuge (1996)


4
Part of the Edward Corbold Reserve and Nature Refuge (1996)

Water Supply Reserve under Brisbane City Council control


Water Supply Reserve under Brisbane City Council control
Fee Simple land held by Brisbane City Council

562 Exotic weed invasion

Inappropriate fire regime

Possibly grazing and recreation



63 Exotic weed invasion

Inappropriate fire regime

Possibly grazing and recreation



> 5000 Exotic weed invasion

Inappropriate fire regime

Possibly grazing and recreation


Low population number

(inbreeding depression)

Exotic weed invasion Inappropriate fire regime Possibly grazing

Low population number

(inbreeding depression)

Exotic weed invasion Inappropriate fire regime Possibly grazing

50 Exotic weed invasion

Inappropriate fire regime

Possibly grazing, recreation and damage from slashing alongside trails



153 Exotic weed invasion

Inappropriate fire regime


9


Possibly grazing and recreation

Low population number

(inbreeding depression)

Exotic weed invasion Inappropriate fire regime Possibly grazing, recreation and

damage from slashing alongside

trails



9
Brisbane

Forest Park

Brisbane City Council- Enoggera Creek Catchment
2726’37S
15253’55E

Forest Reserve Low population number


1


(inbreeding depression)

Exotic weed invasion

Inappropriate fire regime

Possibly grazing and recreation


10

Mount Cotton


Redlands Shire Council- Tingalpa Creek Catchment
2736’907S
15312’847E
Road Reserve and 28

freehold land
Exotic weed and non-native plant invasion

Inappropriate fire regime

Possibly clearing, grazing, recreation and damage from slashing alongside trails





TOTAL > 5, 878


Table 3: Site summary for Corchorus cunninghamii populations in Queensland (for further information see Section 2.2 and 2.4). Population estimates and latitude/longitude values obtained from Parr, 2001. All populations occur within the southeast Queensland bioregion.

2.3 Critical habitat and populations
In general populations of C. cunninghamii occur on upper hillslopes or hillcrests with a south- easterly or easterly aspect (Halford, 1995a; Simmonds, 2000). This aspect is moister, cooler and has less exposure to solar radiation than other aspects. The species is closely associated with the subtropical rainforest-open eucalypt forest ecotone and common canopy species that occur alongside C. cunninghamii include Eucalyptus propinqua (grey gum), Lophostemon confertus (brush box) and Eucalyptus siderophloia (grey ironbark). The vegetative composition and density of the understorey is variable between sites. However, at most sites introduced weed species such as Lantana camara (lantana), Rivina humilis (coral berry) and Ageratina adenophora (crofton weed) are present. The location of C. cunninghamii populations show no association with a particular elevation or geology, although soils are shallow, stony and well drained with a loam or clay consistency.
All existing populations of C. cunninghamii occur in the southeast Queensland bioregion (IBRA) with the Wongawallan sites occurring on land characterised by regional ecosystem (RE) 12.11.2 and the remainder of the populations by RE 12.11.5 (Sattler and Williams,

1999). Given that the conservation status of neither of these ecosystems is “of concern at present” and both are represented in protected areas, and the ten C. cunninghamii populations occur at sites with no particular physical characteristics in common, there would not appear to be critical habitat for the species. However, at least seven of the ten populations appear to be critical to the survival of the species (see individual site descriptions in Section 2.2 for specific information). Currently four (Sites 4, 5, 8 and 9) of the ten existing populations have less than ten individuals and are likely to disappear without effective management and one population (Site 6) has declined 12-fold since the 2000 census. Other critical populations for the species include one at Mount Cotton (Site 10) which is genetically distinct from those at other locations and as such may be necessary to preserve the genetic diversity of the species in the long-term and one site at Wongawallan (Site 3) which currently has more than 85% of the total number of plants in Queensland. Although this site would appear to be thriving presently, in recent years numbers have not been constant at this site. Population estimates declined from 5452 in 1992 to only 239 in 2000 and have now increased to over 5000 individuals. This fluctuation reflects how susceptible the species is to extinction at a particular site if not effectively monitored and managed.



2.4 Life History and Ecology
Lifespan and reproduction

C. cunninghamii is a perenial, herbaceous plant with a short lifespan of approximately three to four years (Halford, 1995a). The growth rate for newly emerged seedlings has been estimated at 11mm per day, while the average growth rate of young mature individuals (50-75cm in height) was 33cm per year (Simmonds, 2000). For mature plants the growth rate was higher during October to April than for the cooler months of the year (April-October). A previous

field study by Halford (1995a) indicated that of individuals that had germinated between March to May, 29% flowered and 12.5% had produced fruit in December of that year. Thus the species would appear to be capable of reproduction within a year of germinating. C. cunninghamii is not capable of vegetative reproduction and its propagation is dependent on the production of seed. Breeding studies/pollination trials indicate that the species is self- incompatible (Halford, 1995a; Simmonds, 2000), which is a problem for populations that are small and isolated. Effective reproduction of the species would appear to be reliant on pollinator activity of insects such as the introduced honey bee (Apis mellifera), native honey bees or stingless bees (Trigona sp.), sand wasps (Bembix sp.) and possibly ants (Halford,

1995; Simmonds, 2000).

Flowering and fruiting

In south-east Queensland C. cunninghamii produces its characteristic small yellow flowers primarily between the months of October and May, although some individuals appear to flower throughout the year (Halford, 1995a; Cameron, 1997). Plants in cultivation tend to flower for about two months at a time, and individual flowers remain open for only one day (Halford, 1995a).


Green, narrow, ellipsoid shaped fruiting capsules appear on the plant primarily between the months of December and May. As the capsule matures it darkens to a dark brown/black colour and splits longitudinally to release its seeds.

Seed dispersal and germination

Seeds of C. cunninghamii drop to the ground and are not forcibly ejected from the fruiting capsule and as such dispersal distances are generally short. Some seed dispersal is also likely to arise through the activity of foraging birds or animals and through the transport of seed in soil trapped in tyres of slashers, track graders or recreational vehicles (Stewart, 2000). It is also possible that seeds are transferred from one site to another on the soles of shoes.


C. cunninghamii seeds are released in a dormant state and appear to require some factor such as heat or other mechanical disturbance to facilitate their germination (Halford, 1995a; Cameron, 1997; Simmonds, 2000). Studies conducted by Halford (1995a) showed that most C. cunninghamii seeds are viable (82 and 98%) but that the proportion of dormant seeds was as high as 98%. Manually nicking the seed coat with a knife was effective in breaking the dormancy of 84% of seeds and oven temperatures of 80, 90, 100 and 107C gave germination rates of 14, 47, 38 and 28% respectively. A similar effect was observed when boiling water was applied to seeds. In the absence of the boiling water pre-treatment only 1.3% of seeds germinated but when boiling water was applied 55% of seeds germinated (Cameron, 1997). Smoke in the presence of high temperatures has also been shown to facilitate seed germination (Simmonds, 2000). Given the low level of seedling recruitment that occurs under natural conditions the species is likely to accumulate a persistent soil seed bank. Germination studies have indicated that collected seeds remain viable for at least three years (Simmonds, 2000) but the longevity of soil stored seed is unknown.
Role of fire and disturbance

Seed germination trials and field observations have indicated that disturbance in the form of heat/fire or mechanical disturbance is necessary to promote the germination of C. cunninghamii seeds. Disturbance benefits however, are dependent on the type, intensity and frequency of the disturbance. Monitoring studies conducted by Halford (1995a) revealed that a 80% of seedlings at the Ormeau in Queensland (Sites 4 and 5) occurred in areas where the ground had been disturbed by animals. This sort of natural disturbance, which is likely to occur continually, would over time produce a population with a mixed age structure. Other

types of mechanical disturbance or activities that appear to have facilitated the germination of

C. cunninghamii seeds at particular sites include brushcutters and tractors (Sites 6, 10), recreation (Sites 3, 7), weeding (Site 7), grazing (Site 10) and forestry (N.S.W. sites: Stewart,

2000).
A positive germination response to fire has also been observed at a number of Queensland populations, particularly Sites 1, 2, 3 and 6. Most noticeable is the change in population numbers observed at the Wongawallan 3 site (Table 2). A high-intensity fire passed through this area in sometime in 1991/1992 and again in November 2000. Population counts conducted one to two years after these fires indicated that more than 5,000 individuals occurred at this site. However the 2000 census, which was conducted prior to the 2000 fire, showed that the population had declined to 239 individuals over a period of eight years. These observations suggest that the fluctuation in population numbers recorded at this site was related to the fire history of the area.


As an obligate seed regenerator, persistence of the species after fire is dependent on the presence and germination of soil stored seed. If fires are too frequent plants may have insufficient time to build up the soil seed bank to replace plants that are killed in the fire. By contrast, a low intensity fire may be unable to stimulate the germination of seeds, particularly if they are buried deeply (Simmonds, 2000). The timing of the fire may be important as seasonal differences (e.g. rainfall, soil temperatures, amount of sunlight) are also likely to effect seedling recruitment (Stewart, 2000). Although the germination of C. cunninghamii seeds are facilitated by fire, further research is needed to determine what the optimal frequency, intensity and timing of these fires should be to sustain or enhance population numbers.


Threatening processes

Populations of C. cunninghamii are declining in both Queensland and New South Wales. Threatening processes such as clearing, habitat loss, weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes, grazing, recreation and timber harvesting would all appear to be contributing to this decline. Clearing and habitat modification is likely to have been responsible for extinction of the species at Pullenvale and other locations in Queensland and N.S.W. For example, over the years the Pullenvale area has been subdivided into residential blocks and the vegetation has been cleared or substantially modified through the introduction of non-native plants by landowners. At all locations exotic weed species such as Lantana camara (lantana), Ageratina adenophora (crofton weed) and Rivina humilis (coral berry) pose a threat to C. cunninghamii through competition and habitat alteration. Given that relatively high temperatures are beneficial for the germination of C. cunninghamii seeds, tall dense thickets of lantana may also reduce fire intensity and frequency and this may in turn have a detrimental impact on the long-term survival of the species. Although many of the above-

mentioned factors are generally considered threatening processes, it should be noted that some disturbance is beneficial to the species and as such the impact of these threatening processes needs to be assessed on a site-by-site basis.


Genetics and morphology

Preliminary cytological studies indicate that C. cunninghamii is a natural tetraploid, with a chromosome number of 2n=28 (Halford, 1995a).


Isozyme studies have been used to determine the level of genetic diversity within and between populations of C. cunninghamii in Queensland and N.S.W (Simmonds, 2000). Individuals from all 13 known populations (10 in Queensland; 3 in N.S.W) were found to be homozygous at the 15 loci examined indicating that genetic diversity in this species is low. The mean expected panmictic heterozygosity (He) value for C. cunninghamii was 0.087, which is lower than that reported for other short-lived perennial herbaceous species (He= 0.116) but similar to that of other endemic species (He= 0.096). Of concern is the fact that the mean number of migrants (Nm) was determined to be 0.00. In general values greater than one are considered necessary to prevent local differentiation between populations due to genetic drift (Slatkin,

1987). Mean genetic distance between populations was 0.102 (range 0.0000-0.2624), which is high compared to some other Australian trees and woody shrubs (Sampson et al., 1995). Unique alleles and loci identified in the Mount Cotton and Toonumbar (N.S.W) populations increased the genetic distance between the populations and revealed that the Mount Cotton site is genetically located between the other Brisbane populations and Toonumbar. These studies indicate that populations in Queensland and N.S.W will need to be conserved in order to maximise the genetic diversity of the species.


Morphological variations in leaf, fruit, flower and stem characteristics have been noted between populations of C. cunninghamii (Halford, 1995a). However, studies conducted by Simmonds (2000) indicated that leaf characteristics (width and length) were not significantly different between populations, and suggested that minor differences may be due to site microclimatic conditions. Morphological differences between populations requires further investigation.

Propagation and cultivation

Over the years C. cunninghamii has been cultivated by the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, North Coast Botanic Gardens in Coffs Harbour and the Australian National Gardens in Canberra (Halford, 1995a). In the 1990’s, a population was established at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens from seeds previously collected from the Pullenvale area in Queensland. The species had been recorded at Pullenvale in 1983 but had not been seen at this site for many years before seeds, which had been stored by the North Coast Botanic Gardens, were provided to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens for germination and the eventual re-introduction of the species to the Pullenvale location. The effectiveness and status of this re-introduction program is currently unknown and needs to be investigated. C. cunninghamii plants established at Brisbane Botanic Gardens have also provided valuable information regarding the reproduction and growing condition requirements of the species (Cameron, 1997; Simmonds,

2000). Plants appear to prefer a sheltered site with sufficient sunlight and well-drained, cool soil since prolonged periods of soil moisture can lead to bacterial rot of stems and roots (Halford, 1995a; Cameron, 1997). In addition plants may be grown from soft or hard tip

cuttings, with the latter being a more successful method (Halford, 1995a). It should be noted that most of the cultivated material is likely to have originated from only a few individuals and populations, and as such should not be relied on to rescue the species from extinction.




2.5 Reasons for listing
C. cunninghamii is a naturally rare species due to its restricted geographical distribution, low level of seedling recruitment in the absence of fire or other mechanical disturbance, and the fact that the species has a short lifespan and is not self-compatible, requiring other individuals in close proximity in order to produce seed. Although the number of individuals currently in the wild is relatively high (approximately 6000 individuals) and the number of populations has increased since 1993 in Queensland, as recently as 2000 the total number of individuals was estimated at only 1032 individuals. This fluctuation reflects how susceptible this species is to extinction if populations are not effectively monitored and managed in the long-term. At some sites, population numbers are currently so low that they are likely to disappear unless some form of natural disturbance, or human intervention is able to facilitate the germination of seeds (if present) from the soil seed bank in the near future.
A further concern is that genetic diversity within populations of C. cunninghamii are very low. This may reduce individual fitness in the short-term and lower the populations viability and ability to adapt to change in the long-term.
The species is also threatened by weed invasion. Dense infestations of Lantana camara (lantana) and other introduced weed species threaten to displace surviving populations and alter the subtropical rainforest-open eucalypt forest ecotone that C. cunninghamii grows in.


2.6 Existing conservation measures
C. cunninghamii is listed as an endangered species in Queensland and New South Wales under the under the Queensland Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation, 1994 (Schedule

2, Part 2) and the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (Schedule 1) respectively. It is also listed as Endangered by the Commonwealth under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999. As an endangered plant species it is an offence to, or to attempt to gather, pluck, cut, pull up, destroy, dig up, fell, remove or injure a protected plant or any part of a protected plant, other than under those exceptions listed under Sections 62 (1) and 89 (1).


Most of the known populations of C. cunninghamii occur in protected areas, or land that is secured by conservation agreements, ownership or tenure. In Queensland, the largest Wongawallan and both Ormeau sites have been secured since the original conservation statement and draft recovery plan was written in 1995 (Halford, 1995a). However, until sustainable land management strategies are implemented, with respect to fire and disturbance regimes, the species is far from secure.
New South Wales is also currently preparing a recovery plan for C. cunninghamii and conducting research into the life history, population dynamics and the role of fire and mechanical disturbance in the long-term management of the species. A shared interest in conserving in-situ populations of C. cunninghamii and the exchange of information between

states (Queensland and N.S.W) is likely to benefit the conservation of the species in the long- term.




3. Recovery objectives, criteria and actions
The overall objective of this recovery plan is to protect known populations of C. cunninghamii in Queensland from further decline, and to maintain and/or enhance sustainable population levels in the wild, in the long-term with minimum management. Given current population numbers and improved management of individual populations it is foreseeable that within 10 years of implementing the current recovery plan that the conservation status of C. cunninghamii would be downlisted from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’.


3.1 Recovery objectives
 Update and improve existing knowledge of the ecology and distribution of C. cunninghamii in south-east Queensland.

 Protect and/or enhance wild populations of C. cunninghamii and their habitat from further decline by developing management strategies for land managers.

 Increase community awareness and involvement in maintaining and enhancing populations of C. cunninghamii.

 Improve the conservation status of C. cunninghamii from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’

within 10 years and to double the number of plants in critical populations within 5 years.




3.2 Recovery criteria

 Achieve an understanding of population dynamics, reproductive biology, and the role of fire and disturbance in the life history of C. cunninghamii.

 Secure an appropriate level of protection for the habitat of existing populations of C. cunninghamii.

 Maintain or enhance existing populations of C. cunninghamii.

 Rehabilitate habitat where populations of C. cunninghamii currently exist.

 Develop sustainable land management strategies for C. cunninghamii populations based on monitoring and recovery programs.

 Increased community awareness of C. cunninghamii through the distribution of educational information on the species, through voluntary involvement in habitat recovery and monitoring programs, as well as consultation with indigenous groups regarding conservation of the species and the land on which it occurs.




3.3 Recovery actions

Action 1: Investigate population dynamics by tagging and monitoring the life history of individual plants in existing populations of C. cunninghamii.

Action 2: Investigate the role of fire and weed disturbance on the ecology of individual plant populations.

Action 3: Implement management programs (e.g. fire and weed disturbance regimes) that improve the habitat of known populations of C. cunninghamii and increase population numbers.

Action 4: Consultation and involvement of indigenous groups that have an interest in land on which C. cunninghamii occurs.

Action 5: Preparation and distribution of educational material (bookmarks and posters) highlighting the endangered status of C. cunninghamii to conservation groups and the general public.

Action 6: Recruitment of community volunteers to participate in monitoring and habitat recovery programs.


3.3.1 Action 1 Investigate population dynamics.

To gain insight into the demography of this short-lived species a monitoring program is currently being undertaken. The total number of individuals, condition, age structure, and the number of flowering and fruiting individuals has been determined for each of the ten existing populations of C. cunninghamii in Queensland (Parr, 2001). Individual plants from five of these populations (Sites 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10) have been permanently tagged and further monitoring, to determine the life history of these individuals and the species in general, will be conducted on a six-monthly basis over the years 2001 and 2002. After this time monitoring will be conducted at these sites annually. In addition to monitoring individual plants a region surrounding the tagged individuals, ranging from 100–2500m2, will also be examined to determine if the soil seed bank adjacent to the tagged individuals is viable, at what rate seedlings are being recruited and whether the population is stable, increasing or in decline. Results obtained from the monitoring program will be provided to the Queensland Herbarium and other interested parties (e.g. N.S.W National Parks and Wildlife Service), as well as being included in the monitoring reports, that will be submitted to the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) in October 2001 (Parr, 2001) and October 2002.




3.3.2 Action 2: Investigate the role of fire and weed disturbance

Disturbance plays an important role in the normal life-cycle of C. cunninghamii (Halford,

1995a; N.S.W., 1999; Simmonds, 2000; Stewart, 2000), with both fire and mechanical disturbance promoting the germination of soil-stored seed. As part of the current recovery plan a variety of weed control regimes and methods, and prescribed burn regimes will be trialed at four to six (Sites 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10) of the existing populations of C. cunninghamii. The disturbance regime trialled at each of these sites will be dependent on the value of the existing habitat for C. cunninghamii (i.e. the level of weed disturbance and number of individuals), safety factors, the previous disturbance history and/or management of the site and ownership, or other management constraints. The total number of C. cunninghamii plants in the recovery site, their condition, age structure, and the number of flowering and fruiting individuals will be determined prior to disturbance and bi-monthly thereafter. Vegetation surveys will also be conducted before and after disturbance so that changes in species diversity of flora at the site, and the effectiveness of a particular disturbance regime can be ascertained. Results obtained from the disturbance studies will be made available to the landholders/managers of sites where C. cunninghamii populations occur and be included in monitoring reports that will be submitted to the NHT in 2001 (Parr, 2001) and 2002.


3.3.3 Action 3: Implement management programs

Results obtained from recovery Actions 1 and 2 are necessary to determine how populations of C. cunninghamii may be most effectively managed and conserved in both the short and long-term. Action 3 of the recovery plan aims to implement fire and disturbance regimes that have been found to be effective in maintaining, increasing or extending the range of C. cunninghamii populations and the subtropical rainforest-open eucalypt forest ecotone that it occurs in. Dissemination of effective management strategies to landholders/managers in Queensland and New South Wales will be straightforward given that most of the known populations of C. cunninghamii occur in protected areas, or land that is secured by conservation agreements, ownership or tenure. In Queensland, the largest Wongawallan and both Ormeau sites have been secured since the original conservation statement and draft recovery plan was written in 1995 (Halford, 1995a). Individuals involved in the management of the four Queensland locations are all members of the recovery team (RERT), as well as being the main instigators of the recovery plan for C. cunninghamii in Queensland. These individuals will therefore be supportive and assist in implementing the recommended management regimes. Information about management strategies for C. cunninghamii are also likely to be well received in New South Wales, given that a recovery plan for the species is also being prepared in this state. An exchange of information, with respect to management and other issues, between states will benefit the conservation of C. cunninghamii in the long- term.




3.3.4 Action 4: Consultation and involvement of indigenous groups

Based on available information the species does not appear to have cultural significance for indigenous peoples. However, Action 4 aims to identify which groups have land claims at C. cunninghamii locations so, that if identified, they can be informed and their role, interests and knowledge can be accommodated and/or utilised in the current recovery plan. Two groups (the Turrabul and Gurrumngar tribes) may have an interest in the BFP location, however it is still necessary to confirm this. So far no groups have been identified with regard to the Wongawallan, Ormeau and Mount Cotton populations but this will require further investigation. Once groups are identified it will be necessary to consult and involve the relevant groups with regard to implementing the recovery plan actions and possibly identify additional actions. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Environmental Protection Agency currently has the expertise to identify and liaise with the indigenous groups and relevant Shire Councils, and will be responsible for implementing this action in conjunction with Shire Council officers and members of the recovery team.




3.3.5 Action 5: Preparation and distribution of educational material

Educational material has been prepared in an attempt to increase the awareness of the general public and targeted community groups to the presence and endangered status of C. cunninghamii in Queensland. To date a set of three posters, an identification brochure and identification bookmark have been produced. One poster provides information, photographs and diagrams that will aid in the identification of C. cunninghamii, as well as additional information on its habitat, distribution, status and the conservation measures needed to protect this species from further decline. The second poster describes the rainforest ecotone recovery team (RERT) and its plan to implement a monitoring and recovery program for C. cunninghamii, while the third poster identifies other rare or threatened ecotonal plant species. It was suggested by the Queensland Herbarium that C. cunninghamii be been given the common name Cunningham’s Jute. This name has been adopted by the recovery team and has been included on all educational material. Educational material will be displayed and/or

distributed to: community conservation groups such as the Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP) and the Brisbane Rainforest Action Information Network (BRAIN), Brisbane Forest Park, selected nurseries and libraries, landholders, shire council or community display areas in regions where the species is likely to occur, and at organised events such as Threatened Species Day. The Project Co-ordinator and/or other members of the recovery team will speak about the project to interested community conservation groups and provide information for community group newsletters and the media. Increased community awareness resulting from the presentation and distribution of information about C. cunninghamii, will facilitate the recruitment of volunteers for the monitoring and habitat recovery programs (Action 6) and will assist in identifying additional populations of the species on both freehold and already protected land.


3.3.6 Action 6: Recruitment of community volunteers

Community volunteers will play an integral role in successfully implementing the recovery plan for C. cunninghamii. Volunteers are required to participate in the monitoring (Action 1) and habitat recovery (Action 2) programs, as well as assisting in disturbance regimes that will improve the habitat of known populations of C. cunninghamii (Action 3). It is estimated that approximately 1000 volunteer hours per year will be needed to achieve Actions 1, 2 and 3 of the recovery plan. Action 5 and the increased community awareness it provides will facilitate the recruitment of these volunteers. Volunteers have and will continue to be recruited directly through members of the recovery team, or through the actions of the Project Co-ordinator. These actions will include advertising in local newspapers, liaison with local community groups, school groups and recovery team members. The Project Co-ordinator and other members of the recovery team will be responsible for supervising and training the volunteers in species identification, monitoring populations, weed removal, habitat recovery and safety requirements. A valuable source of volunteers has been obtained from the already well- established volunteer program in operation at Brisbane Forest Park (BFP), where four of the ten populations of C. cunninghamii occur. Volunteer groups that currently assist in new projects and managing BFP’s natural resources include Green Reserve Volunteers and Resource Volunteers. To date these groups have been involved in monitoring the C. cunninghamii populations at BFP and Wongawallan, as well as playing a role in the recovery of habitat at BFP. Given the number of BFP volunteers and other individuals that have already participated or shown interest in the project, the inability to recruit volunteers is unlikely to be a problem in implementing the current recovery plan.




3.4 Recovery team
The Rainforest Ecotone Recovery Team (RERT), which is responsible for instigating the current recovery plan for C. cunninghamii in Queensland, was formed in 1999. Members of the recovery team will meet every two to three months to review progress made towards implementing the recovery plan, review the outcome of actions and develop strategies to continue the actions identified in the recovery plan. The Project Co-ordinator, funded by an NHT grant (2000–2002), will co-ordinate the recovery meetings, liaise with stakeholders about project requirements, problems or changes to the monitoring or recovery program, implement recovery actions and prepare monitoring/progress reports. Representatives on the recovery team, individuals that have provided input into the current plan and authorities responsible for implementing the specific actions of this recovery plan include:

 Bruce Noble (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service/Brisbane Forest Park)



 Jason Searle (Gold Coast City Council)

 Rosalie Eustace (Redlands Shire Council)

 Tina Manners (Brisbane City Council)



 Shannon Parr (RERT Project Co-ordinator)

 Wil Buch (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)

 Sylvia Millington (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)



 Dr William McDonald (Queensland Herbarium)

 David Halford (Queensland Herbarium)

 Klaus Querengasser (Brisbane Rainforest and Action Information Network (BRAIN)/ University of Queensland)



 Melanie Simmonds (University of Queensland)

 Dr Julia Playford (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service/University of Queensland)

 Dr Marion Saunders (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service/University of Queensland)



 Philip Cameron (Brisbane Botanic Gardens)
3.5 Implementation schedule



Action


Task description description


Priority


Feasibility

(%)


Responsible

Party


Time frame


1

Investigate population

dynamics by tagging and monitoring the life history of individual plants in existing populations of C. cunninghamii.


1

100 %


Project Co-ordinator

and Recovery Team in conjunction with volunteers.



Initial phase will be

completed by Aug

2003, but will continue after this time on an annual

basis.



2

Investigate the role of

fire and weed disturbance on the ecology of individual

plant populations.

1

100 %


Project Co-ordinator

and Recovery Team in conjunction with volunteers and QPWS

and BFP staff.


Initial phase will be

completed by Aug

2003, but will continue after this time



3

Implement management

programs (e.g. fire and weed disturbance regimes) that improve the habitat of known populations of C. cunninghamii.


2

90 %


Recovery Team in

conjunction with the Project Co-ordinator, volunteers and QPWS and BFP staff.



Ongoing


4

Consultation and

involvement of indigenous groups.


1

100 %


Queensland Parks and

Wildlife Service and Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with Brisbane City Council, Gold Coast City Council, Redlands Shire

Council and Recovery

Team members.



Initial approaches

and consultations should be completed by 2003, but is

likely to be ongoing



5

Preparation and

distribution of educational material (bookmarks and posters) highlighting

the endangered status of C. cunninghamii to conservation groups

and the general public


1

100 %


Project Co-ordinator,

Recovery Team and Redlands Indigiscapes Centre staff.



Preparation

completed by Nov

2001.

Distribution will be ongoing.




6

Recruitment of

community volunteers to participate in monitoring and habitat recovery programs.


1

100 %


Project Co-ordinator

and Recovery Team.



Ongoing

4. Acknowledgements
 The original conservation statement and draft recovery plan for C. cunninghamii, prepared by David Halford in 1995, provided the basis for the current recovery plan and as such is acknowledged here.

 We would like to thank Bill Faulkner (N.W.S NPWS) for providing us with a copy of the draft recovery plan for C. cunninghamii in N.S.W, and Dr. Barbara Stewart (Landmark

Ecological Services Pty Ltd) for providing us with copies of Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports resulting from studies conducted on N.S.W populations of C. cunninghamii.

 The team would also like to acknowledge research done on the species by Melanie

Simmonds as part of her Honours studies in 2000, and for providing us with copies of her thesis.

 The team would like to thank Glenn Leiper for allowing us to use his photographs in posters and educational material (recovery plan Action 4).

 Klaus Querengasser’s input in generating vegetation species lists for the Queensland sites and his help in monitoring changes in floral diversity is greatly appreciated and acknowledged, as is Sylvia Millington’s efforts with regard to the Ormeau sites.



 Funding for the Project Co-ordinators salary was provided though a Natural Heritage

(NHT) Grant.

 This plan was written as a result of funding from Brisbane City Council, Gold Coast City

Council, Redlands Shire Council and Brisbane Forest Park.




5. References
Cameron, P.M. (1997). Towards the preservation and conservation of Corchorus cunninghamii F. Muell.: an endangered species in southeast Queensland. Danthonia 6: 6-7.
Halford, D.A. (1995a). Conservation statement and draft recovery plan for Corchorus cunninghamii F. Muell. Tiliaceae. Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Endangered Species Program, Project No. 515.
Halford, D.A. (1995b). Notes on Tiliaceae in Australia, 2. A revision of the simple-haired species of the genus Corchorus L. Austrobaileya 4: 297-320.
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Appendix



Figure 1: Locations of currently known and previous collections of Corchorus cunninghamii. (Map provided by Dr J. Playford)



Figure 2: Wongawallan population locations (Map provided by S. Millington)



Figure 3: Ormeau (Darlington Range) population locations (Map provided by S. Millington)



Figure 4: Brisbane Forest Park population locations (Map provided by T. Manners)


Figure 5: Mount Cotton population location (Map provided by C. Psenicnik)
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