Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) Recovery Plan

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Recovery Plan Number 1
Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)
Recovery Plan
September 1998
© NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1998.
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the
Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced without prior written
permission from NPWS.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
43 Bridge Street
(PO Box 1967)
HURSTVILLE NSW 2220
Tel: 02 95856444
www.npws.nsw.gov.au
For further information contact
Threatened Species Unit, Sydney Zone.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1967
HURSTVILLE NSW 2220
Tel 02 9585 6978
Cover illustration: Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) female cone.
Cover illustrator: David Mackay
This plan should be cited as following
NPWS (1998) ‘Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan’, NPWS, Sydney.
ISBN: 0731076354
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Recovery Planning Program
Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)
Recovery Plan
Prepared in accordance with the New South Wales
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
September 1998
Acknowledgments
The research into, and management of, the Wollemi Pine has been a joint effort of
the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Sydney (RBG). This Recovery Plan has been the combined effort of many
people who have contributed to the survey and research on the species. The NPWS
would like to thank the following people;
David Noble (NPWS) who discovered the species;
Sharon Nash and Julie Ravallion (NPWS) who prepared this plan;
Wyn Jones (NPWS) who contributed to the field work for the ecological monitoring
of the species and who helped draft early versions of this Recovery Plan;
Michael Sharp (NPWS), Jan Allen and Hayden Washington for their work in the
field;
The Wollemi Pine Conservation Team and Recovery Team for overseeing the
project;
Cathy Offord, Graeme Errington, Glen Fensom, Peter Cuneo, Patricia Meagher,
Carolyn Porter and Joanne Tyler from Mt Annan Botanic Garden for their work in
the field and on the propagation and cultivation of the species and for their
contributions towards the text of this document;
Ken Hill, Don Blaxell, John Benson, Brett Summerell, Barbara Briggs, Jaime Plaza,
from the RBG Sydney, Bob Conroy and Tony Auld of the NPWS, and Rod Peakall
from the Australian National University, for their work on the species and their
comments on drafts of this plan;
Jamie Slaven (NPWS) for technical assistance in completing this plan;
Ron Haering and Kerry Oakes for formatting the final plan;
Irina Dunn for editorial assistance;
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. for donating field equipment;
The neighbours of Wollemi National Park, who continue to assist this project in
many ways.
Foreword
The conservation of threatened species, populations and ecological communities is
crucial for the maintenance of this State’s unique biodiversity. In NSW, the
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) provides the framework for
conserving and recovering threatened species, populations and ecological
communities through the preparation and implementation of recovery plans.
The preparation and implementation of recovery plans is identified by both the
National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity and the
draft NSW Biodiversity Strategy as a key strategy for the conservation of threatened
flora, fauna and invertebrates. The object of a recovery plan is to document the
research and management actions required to promote the recovery of a threatened
species, population or ecological communities and to ensure its ongoing viability in
nature.
The Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan is the first recovery plan approved under the TSC
Act. This plan describes our current understanding of the Wollemi Pine, documents
the research and management actions undertaken to date, and identifies the actions
required and parties responsible for ensuring the ongoing viability of the species in
the wild.
The Wollemi Pine represents a whole new genus belonging to an ancient family, the
Araucariaceae. The discovery of the Wollemi Pine has generated enormous
scientific and community interest throughout Australia and internationally due to the
Pine’s uniqueness, taxonomic significance and its aesthetic appeal.
The preparation of the Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan has been a joint effort of the
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Royal Botanic Gardens and has
been assisted by many people. I thank these people for their efforts to date and I
look forward to their continued success.
Executive Summary
Introduction
The Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis W.G. Jones, K.D. Hill & J.M. Allen) was
discovered in Wollemi National Park in 1994 by David Noble, an officer of the NSW
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). It represents a whole new genus
belonging to an ancient family, the Araucariaceae (Jones et al. 1995).
This Recovery Plan describes our current understanding of the Wollemi Pine,
documents the research and management actions undertaken to date, and identifies
the actions required and parties responsible for ensuring the ongoing viability of the
species in the wild.
Legislative context
The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) is NSW’s most
comprehensive attempt at establishing a legislative framework to protect and
encourage the recovery of threatened species, populations and communities. Under
the TSC Act, the Director-General of National Parks and Wildlife has certain
responsibilities, including the preparation of recovery plans for threatened species,
populations and ecological communities. This Recovery Plan has been prepared in
accordance with the provisions of the TSC Act.
Preparation of Plan
This Recovery Plan has been prepared with the assistance of a recovery team, a nonstatutory group of interested parties with relevant expertise, which was established
to discuss and resolve issues relating to the plan. Components within the plan do
not necessarily represent the views nor the official positions of all the individuals or
agencies represented on the recovery team. The information in this Recovery Plan
was accurate to the best of the NPWS’knowledge on the date it was approved.
A draft of this Recovery Plan was placed on public exhibition from 7 July 1997 to 25
August 1997. Five public submissions were received. The comments of the
Scientific Committee were also sought and this plan was finalised in view of these
comments.
The plan will be reviewed and updated 5 years from the date of publication.
Current species status
The Wollemi Pine is currently known from two sites consisting of a total of
approximately 40 adult plants and 200 seedlings. The populations are separated by
about 1 km in Wollemi National Park on the Central Tablelands of NSW.
The Wollemi Pine is considered endangered in NSW and is listed on Schedule 1 of
the TSC Act. The directory of Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (RoTAP) also
lists the species as endangered with a geographic range in Australia of less than 100
km and with its total population in reserve (Briggs and Leigh 1996). Populations
within Wollemi National Park are potentially threatened by the introduction of
pathogens, collectors and catastrophic fire events.
Recovery objectives
The overall objective of this Recovery Plan is to protect the known populations of
the Wollemi Pine from decline induced by non-natural sources and to ensure that the
wild populations of the Wollemi Pine remain viable in the long term.
Specific objectives of this Recovery Plan are to:
•
•
•
•
•
protect and maintain the known populations and their habitat from humaninduced threatening processes in the long term;
understand the ecology of the species;
determine the range of genetic variability of the known populations;
establish representative ex situ populations in botanic gardens; and
determine if further wild populations exist and to protect any new populations
and their habitat.
Recovery criteria
Recovery criteria are that:
•
•
•
•
wild populations do not suffer any net reduction in individuals due to humaninduced causes;
analysis of genetic variability of the wild populations is undertaken;
genetically representative ex situ populations exist within botanic gardens; and
wild populations are protected by appropriate mechanisms.
Recovery actions
Recovery actions will be directed towards:
•
•
•
•
•
implementing a management program which ensures the security of
populations in the wild;
undertaking a program of ecological monitoring of known wild populations;
undertaking a program of genetic variability analysis;
establishing genetically representative ex situ collections within suitable
botanic gardens; and
systematically surveying likely habitat to locate any new populations.
Biodiversity benefits
The discovery of the Wollemi Pine highlights the importance of habitat conservation
and the integral role that national parks play in the conservation of biodiversity. It
also shows the importance of conserving areas of diverse vegetation types. The
conservation and study of the Wollemi Pine will also benefit other species which
share the same habitat.
Through awareness of the Wollemi Pine the profile of all threatened species is raised
in the general community. This in turn leads to greater opportunities for the
conservation of threatened species and increased protection of biodiversity.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Foreword
Executive Summary
1 Current conservation status ............................................. 1
2 Description ......................................................................... 1
2.1 Taxonomic description.........................................................1
2.2 Taxonomic significance........................................................2
3 Distribution ........................................................................ 7
3.1 Current and historical distribution ........................................7
3.2 Tenure ............................................................................. 8
4 Ecology ............................................................................... 9
4.1 Habit, growth rate and longevity .........................................9
4.2 Phenology...........................................................................9
4.3 Reproductive biology.........................................................13
4.4 Population structure ..........................................................16
5 Disturbance ...................................................................... 17
5.1 Fire ...................................................................................17
5.2 Drought ............................................................................17
5.3 Seed predation ..................................................................17
6 Habitat............................................................................. 18
6.1 Vegetation .........................................................................18
6.2 Soil characteristics .............................................................19
6.3 Light intensity ....................................................................20
7 Relevant legislation.......................................................... 21
7.1 State and Commonwealth listing ....................................... 21
7.2 Recovery plan preparation and implementation ................. 21
7.3 Critical habitat................................................................... 21
7.4 Environmental assessment................................................. 22
8 Management issues .......................................................... 23
8.1 Threats and reasons for decline ........................................ 23
8.2 Social and economic consequences .................................. 23
8.3 Biodiversity benefits......................................................... 24
9 Previous actions undertaken ........................................... 26
9.1 Wollemi Pine Recovery Team .......................................... 26
9.2 Wollemi Pine Access Strategy........................................... 26
9.3 Wollemi Pine Community Relations Strategy .................... 26
9.4 Site Hygiene Protocol....................................................... 27
9.5 Fire Management Protocol ............................................... 27
9.6 Mycological research ....................................................... 27
9.7 In situ ecological research and monitoring........................ 28
9.8 Survey.............................................................................. 29
9.9 Ex situ propagation .......................................................... 30
9.10 Preliminary genetic variability analysis ........................... 31
10 Species’ability to recover ............................................. 32
11 Recovery objectives and performance criteria............ 33
11.1 Objectives of the Recovery Plan..................................... 33
11.2 Recovery performance criteria......................................... 33
12 Recovery actions ............................................................ 34
12.1 Management strategy ...................................................... 34
12.2 Ecological research and monitoring ................................. 36
12.3 Genetic studies................................................................ 38
12.4 Ex situ collections ........................................................... 39
12.5 Systematic survey............................................................ 41
13 Implementation.............................................................. 43
14 Preparation details ........................................................ 44
14.1 Date of last amendment...................................................44
14.2 Review date ....................................................................44
References ........................................................................... 45
List of figures
Figure 1.
Figure 2a.
Figure 2b.
Figure 2c.
Figure 3.
Figure 4.
Figure 5.
Figure 6.
Figure 7a.
Figure 7b.
Figure 8.
Figure 9:
Habit of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza) ................................ 3
Foliage of the Wollemi Pine - adult orthotropic
(Photo Jaime Plaza) ......................................................................... 4
Foliage of the Wollemi Pine - juvenile plagiotropic
(Photo Jaime Plaza) ......................................................................... 4
Foliage of the Wollemi Pine - adult plagiotropic
(Photo Jaime Plaza) ......................................................................... 5
Reproductive parts of the Wollemi Pine
(Drawing by D. Mackay) ................................................................. 5
Evolutionary relationships of the Wollemi Pine
(K. Hill pers. comm.) ....................................................................... 6
Location of Wollemi National Park, New South Wales .................. 10
Coppicing habit of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza).............. 11
Male strobili of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza).................... 12
Female strobili of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza) ................ 12
Germination (%) of the Wollemi Pine seed at 24oC day
and 16oC at night (C. Offord pers. comm.) .................................... 14
Size distribution of trees and seedlings at Site 1 ............................. 16
List of tables
Table 1:
Table 2:
Table 3:
Species recorded in the vicinity of the Wollemi Pine*..................... 18
Soil chemical characteristics of the Wollemi Pine at Site 1.............. 19
Implementation schedule................................................................ 43
Appendices
Appendix 1:
Appendix 2:
Appendix 3.
Appendix 4.
Site Hygiene Procedures
Wollemia nobilis plants in propagation as at 12 January 1998
Wollemi Pine Access Strategy
Budget for implementation
1
Current conservation status
The Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis W.G. Jones, K.D. Hill & J.M. Allen) of the
family Araucariaceae is currently known from two populations consisting of
approximately 40 adult plants and about 200 juveniles/seedlings from within the
Wollemi National Park. It is assumed that the current population of the Wollemi
Pine has been relatively static over hundreds to thousands of years but may be in a
very slow state of decline due to natural factors.
The Wollemi Pine is considered endangered in NSW and is listed on Schedule 1 of
the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act). The Wollemi Pine is
also listed as endangered at the national level under the Endangered Species
Protection Act 1992 (ESP Act). The directory of Rare or Threatened Australian
Plants (RoTAP) lists the species as endangered with a geographic range in Australia
of less than 100 km2 and with its total population in reserve (Briggs and Leigh
1996). Populations within Wollemi National Park are potentially threatened by the
introduction of pathogens, collectors and catastrophic fire events.
2
Description
2.1
Taxonomic description
The Wollemi Pine is a monoecious tree which grows to 40 metres, frequently
coppicing from the base (Figure 1). Trunks range up to 1.2 m in diameter and are
broadest at about one-third the height of the tree. The crown is slender and
columnar. The bark peels in thin, fragile, equidimensional dark red-brown scales on
younger stems. On older trunks the bark becomes densely covered with soft and
spongy nodules or tubercules to 10 mm diameter and 15 mm long which form a
layer up to 20 mm deep (Jones et al. 1995). Successive whorls of primary branches
arise from the vertical shoot. Subsidiary branches in older trees grow from
epicormic shoots that develop from the trunk where lateral branches have fallen
(Jones et al. 1995).
The adult lateral branches grow for three to eight years before being terminated by a
male or female cone (strobili). Female cones are borne on branches above male
cones. After bearing cones the tree sheds the branches at the basal abscission zone
(Hill 1995).
There are three different kinds of shoots or branches produced according to the age
and position of the branches. These are:
•
adult vertically growing shoots (orthotropic), which have a helical
arrangement of leaves. The leaves taper to an acute angle at the tip, have a
sharp point, are narrowly triangular and 3-10 mm long and 2-4 mm wide at the
base (Figure 2a);
1
•
juvenile and lower canopy lateral shoots, which are horizontal, with leaves
arranged in two opposite ranks. The leaves are twisted with the upper surface
towards the sky and are linear to narrow triangular (Figure 2b);
•
adult lateral shoots (plagiotropic), which are initially nearly vertical then
become horizontal and later pendulous. Leaves are opposite or sub-opposite
and present the upper surface to the sky (Figure 2c).
Seeds are flat, brown and papery with a single circumferential wing. Seeds are 7-11
mm long and 5-7 mm wide, and 5-9 mm wide with the wing (Jones et al. 1995)
(Figure 3).
2.2
Taxonomic significance
Wollemia is a monotypic genus with only a single species known. The Wollemi Pine
is of considerable significance in the study of the evolutionary relationships of early
flora on the Gondwana continent. Wollemia is a new genus in the family
Araucariaceae, and although it possesses morphological characteristics from the
related genera Agathis and Araucaria, it also possesses unique features (Hill 1995).
The evolutionary relationships within the Araucariaceae are unknown. There are no
other species of Wollemia, either fossil or extant, and it is not possible to make any
definitive statements at this stage. (K. Hill pers. comm.). One suggestion of the
evolutionary relationships of the species is shown in Figure 4.
2
Figure 1.
Habit of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza)
3
Figure 2a.
Foliage of the Wollemi Pine - adultorthotropic (Photo Jaime Plaza)
Figure 2b.
Foliage of the Wollemi Pine - juvenileplagiotropic (Photo Jaime Plaza)
4
Figure 2c.
Foliage of the Wollemi Pine - adult plagiotropic
(Photo Jaime Plaza)
Figure 3.
Reproductive parts of the Wollemi Pine
(Drawing by D. Mackay)
(a) microsporophyll, (b) female bract-scale complex with attached seed,
(c) seed, (d) female bract-scale complex with seed detached.
5
Nageia
Wollemia
Ag. atropurpurea
Ag. borneensis
Ag. corbassonii
Ag. dammara
Ag. lanceolata
Ag. macrophylla
Ag. montana
Ag. robusta
Ag. ssp.nesophila
Ag. australis
Ag. ssp.flavescens
Ag. moorei
Ag. ovata
Ag. silbai
Ag. labillardieri
Ag. microstachya
Ar. araucana
Ar. angustifolia
Ar. bidwillii
Ar. hunsteinii
Ar. bernieri
Ar. cunninghamiana
Ar. heterophylla
Ar. schmidii
Ar. subulata
Ar. biramulata
Ar. columnaris
Ar. luxurians
Ar. montana
Ar. muelleri
Ar. rulei
Ar. humboldtensis
Ar. laubenfelsii
Ar. scopulorum
Ar. nemorosa
Figure 4.
comm.)
6
Ag. = Agathis
Ar. = Araucaria
Evolutionary relationships of the Wollemi Pine (K. Hill pers.
3
Distribution
3.1
Current and historical distribution
The Wollemi Pine is a relict species currently known to occur in only two sites
located about 1 km apart in Wollemi National Park on the Central Tablelands of
New South Wales in south eastern Australia. (See Figure 5). The known sites
(referred to as Site 1 and Site 2) are located in a deep sandstone gorge. The gorge
walls are composed of Triassic sandstones from the Narrabeen Group.
Evidence suggests that major gymnospermous forests or woodland strata were once
widespread in Australia, and Araucariaceae fossils have been found in every
Australian state from the Tertiary period (Lange 1982). Studies of pollen deposits
in north Queensland show a sharp and sustained decline in Araucaria forest and a
concomitant increase in sclerophyll vegetation from 130 000 years BP to the present
(Sluiter and Kershaw 1982). A decline in the distribution of Araucaria species
appears to have taken place over millions of years through natural causes such as
major climate changes, the evolution and dominance of the environment by
angiosperms, and a probable severe reduction in numbers as a result of increasing
fire frequency. Fire frequency over the last 130 000 years has greatly increased and
this is suspected to be caused by human interference rather than climate change
(Singh 1982). The distribution of the Wollemi Pine may have undergone a decline
similar to that of other species of Araucariaceae. Its distribution is now an area of
less than 1 hectare.
The Araucariaceae had a world-wide distribution in the Cretaceous. Fossil
representation of the family is known from the Triassic period (c.200 million years
BP). The distribution of the Araucariaceae contracted at the end of the Cretaceous
(c.65 million years BP) when the species became extinct in the northern hemisphere.
The genera in the southern hemisphere have slowly declined in distribution and
diversity since that time (Hill 1995). Palaeobotanical analysis indicates that the
pollen of the Wollemi Pine is similar to the fossil pollen of the species Dillwynites,
which is known from the late Cretaceous (c.91 million years BP) (MacPhail et al.
1995). There is no conclusive fossil evidence to indicate when the Wollemi Pine
evolved. It has a number of advanced morphological features, but its pollen matches
that of more ancient species (Benson 1996). There is no evidence indicating
knowledge of the Wollemi Pine in more recent times from either Aboriginal or
European historic sources (W. Jones pers. comm.).
7
3.2
Tenure
The known populations of the Wollemi Pine occur within Wollemi National Park,
which is managed by the NPWS. The security of this National Park tenure is
governed by the provisions of the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974 (NPW
Act). The land is zoned 8a - National Park.
8
4
Ecology
4.1
Habit, growth rate and longevity
The typical form of the Wollemi Pine in the wild is a tall long-lived tree which has a
coppicing habit (see Figure 6). Mature trees are usually multi-trunked with up to
100 stems of various size (Offord 1996). The habit of coppicing makes it difficult to
identify which trunks represent an individual tree. The height of the largest trees are
25 to 40 metres (W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.). When the primary branches have
been shed from the trunk (after they have borne mature strobili), the trunk produces
epicormic shoots with a juvenile leaf arrangement which create a second crown.
These shoots eventually become mature branches and mature trees may have a
branched crown (Hill 1995).
Adult trees have been observed to increase by one additional growth unit (referred
to as stem segments) per year from orthotropic shoots (vertical growing shoots),
and no more than one segment from plagiotropic reproductive shoots (lateral
growing shoots) (C. Offord pers. comm.). The nature of the multi-trunk habit
makes it difficult to measure growth rate in the short term.
Extrapolation from ring counts of a broken branch of 90 mm diameter indicates that
the largest living trunks may be about 500 years old (J. Benson pers. comm.).
Extrapolation from the fallen trunks of some of these trees indicate that the trees
may be much older (W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.). The current cohort of mature
trees may have occupied its current site for more than 1 000 years.
4.2
Phenology
The Wollemi Pine is a monoecious species with the reproductive organs borne on
specialised leaves called sporophylls. These are arranged in cones or cone-like
structures called strobili (Harden 1990). The male strobili (Figure 7a) are located at
the end of lateral growing shoots and are 109 mm long and 19 mm wide. The small
dark red-brown scales of the male strobili are numerous (more than 500) and are
helically arranged. Each has 4-9 elongated, drooping microsporangia in which the
oval-shaped, granular, unwinged pollen is formed.
Female strobili (Figure 7b) are located at the end of leafy adult lateral growing
(plagiotropic) shoots and are usually borne on ascending branches above the male
strobili. They are globular to broadly egg-shaped, measuring up to 125 mm long
and 100 mm in diameter. Each strobili has numerous bract-scales (between 250300) flattened with a lateral wing. The female strobili are mid-green at first and then
become brown and shed their individual bract-scales at maturity (Jones et al. 1995,
C. Offord pers. comm.).
9
Figure 5.
10
Location of Wollemi National Park, New South Wales
Figure 6.
Coppicing habit of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza)
11
Figure 7a.
Male strobili of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza)
Figure 7b.
Female strobili of the Wollemi Pine (Photo Jaime Plaza)
12
4.3
Reproductive biology
4.3.1
Vegetative reproduction
The Wollemi Pine may be a clonal species. All but one of the adult trees appear to
have a multi-trunked habit in the wild (W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.). Vegetative
reproduction occurs through rudimentary buds which are carried in the axils of
leading vertical shoots. Initially, these buds can replace the leading shoot if it is
damaged. If they do not replace the leading shoot they become buried under the
thickening bark. These buds may remain dormant for long periods of time until they
sprout from older trunks or from the base of the trunks (Hill 1995). This coppicing
leads to a number of trunks of various ages in a mature tree. In the wild, most
trunks arise from a common base but some may derive from a suckering of larger
roots. Trunks have also developed from the epicormic shoots of fallen branches (W.
Jones, J. Allen, field obs.).
4.3.2
Breeding system
The Wollemi Pine is probably wind-pollinated like other members of the
Araucariaceae. Field observation indicates that only the largest (oldest) trunks on
any one plant reproduce sexually. Secondary branching of the larger trunks appears
to have created large side branches which also reproduce sexually (W. Jones, J.
Allen, field obs.).
4.3.3
Fruiting
Observation in the field suggests that production of female strobili may occur year
round at Site 1. Three ages of female strobili have been observed to occur at one
time on the most fecund trees at this site. In contrast to Site 1, only one age of
strobili has been recorded at any time on the trees at Site 2. Male strobili production
is seasonal, with maturation occurring in late September and early October. The
male strobili shed their pollen by late spring and early summer
(November/December) (W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.).
4.3.4
Seed production
After fertilisation the seed develops on the bract-scale of the female strobili and the
seed and bract-scale are shed from the strobili at maturation (Jones et al. 1995).
Seed is persistent in the canopy and most probably matures in autumn (C. Offord
pers. comm.). At Site 1, trees have been observed to drop small amounts of seed
almost year round although the main period of seed shed is late summer to early
autumn (W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.). Approximately 300 strobili matured and
dropped seed in the 1996 season and produced an estimated 4000 seeds (Offord et
al. 1996).
13
4.3.5
Seed viability and germination factors
Field observations of wild seedlings indicate germination of seed in situ (W. Jones,
J. Allen, field obs.). Initial research into seed biology indicates that the number of
viable seeds set is low (5%) (Offord 1996). Results of germination trials have
confirmed that it is possible to judge germinable seed by eye (C. Offord pers.
comm.). A high percentage germinability of all seed deemed viable (over 90% ) has
been obtained at 24oC by day, using a limited number of seeds and seed cones, but
there is a considerable lag period (Figure 8) (C. Offord pers. comm.).
Optimal germination occurred between 25 and 30oC. Better rates of germination
may be obtained by a period of stratification (C. Offord pers. comm.). Early
findings suggest that seeds germinate steadily after a period of less than six months
in storage and that there may be a short dormancy period which varies widely
between seeds (C. Offord pers. comm.).
100
90
80
70
Cumulative
60
percentage
50
of seeds
40
germinated
30
20
10
0
0
30
60
90
120
150
Days from sowing
Figure 8.
Germination (%) of the Wollemi Pine seed at 24oC day and 16oC
at night (C. Offord pers. comm.)
14
4.3.6
Seed dispersal and seedling establishment
Seeds of the Wollemi Pine are light and winged and it is most probable that they are
dispersed by wind. Aerial dispersal appears to be in a down-canyon direction as the
seedlings occur up to 30 metres downslope of the nearest tree but do not occur
upslope.
Seedlings have been identified in the wild population by the presence on the plants of
cotyledons and cotyledon scars. They occur in the wild on a variety of substrates
including rocks, logs, tree ferns and in the soil litter layer (W. Jones, J. Allen, field
obs.). Seedling recruitment in the wild may be adversely affected by the extremely
low pH of the soil and interactions with other factors such as low light availability.
This will be examined by ex situ experimentation on seedlings (Offord et al. 1996).
4.3.7
Seedling growth
Growth of seedlings in the wild appears to be very slow (W. Jones, field obs.). An
estimate of the growth rate of seedlings in the wild will be more reliable after their
growth is recorded for a minimum of 5 years. From current observations they
appear to increase by more than one growth segment per year, but this may depend
on the site and season of germination (W. Jones field obs.). In cultivation growth is
much faster. Two-year-old cultivated seedlings are nearly 1 m tall. Although
mycorrhizal associations have been identified (B. Summerell pers. comm.), as yet no
mycorrhizal association appears necessary for seedling growth and survival (C.
Offord pers. comm).
15
4.4
Population structure
In all, there are approximately 40 adult plants and about 200 juveniles. Figure 9
shows the size distribution of the trees and seedlings within the population in the
main gorge at Site 1. Adult trees may have up to 100 trunks (Offord 1996) which
vary in diameter from a few centimetres to over 1 metre. The diameters of trunks
show a highly skewed distribution with very few trunks between 25 mm and 200
mm (W. Jones, J. Allen, field data). This may indicate that the stands are slow in
replacing cohorts of mature, cone-bearing trees or that at some time in the past a
recruitment event occurred which has led to the population consisting of similar
aged individuals. Alternatively, conditions may not have been favourable in the
recent past for the establishment of new individuals.
120
100
80
No. of
60
individuals
40
20
0
0-25
2650
5175
76100
101125
126150
151175
176200
>200
Trunk and stem circumferences (mm)
Figure 9:
Size distribution of trees and seedlings at Site 1
All non-reproductive plants in the population which are below 3m in height and not
identifiable as seedlings by the presence of cotyledons or cotyledon scars have been
classified as juveniles. As the Wollemi Pine may be a clonal species, some of the
plants classed as juveniles may in fact be suckers. Excavation of these plants and
genetic analysis of these stems is necessary to determine their status. At Site 2 where
there are fewer juveniles this class constitutes a smaller proportion of the total
population than at Site 1. However this may be due to lack of survey as not all the
potential areas for seedling establishment at Site 2 have yet been surveyed (W.
Jones, J. Allen, field obs.).
16
5
Disturbance
5.1
Fire
The response of the Wollemi Pine to fire is unknown. It is assumed that intense fires
will kill individuals of the Wollemi Pine and that catastrophic fire is a threat to the
known populations. However, the population at Site 1 on the eastern side of the
gorge has been exposed to a fire event in the past as evidenced by fire scars on the
pines and a dead Eucalyptus piperita (Sydney Peppermint) on the eastern gorge wall
(W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.). An appropriate disturbance regime may be required
to ensure the long-term viability of populations in the wild. Further in situ
monitoring is required to assist with providing information on the role of fire in the
survival of the Wollemi Pine.
5.2
Drought
The Wollemi Pine is restricted to specialised habitats in rainforest communities in
deep sandstone gorges. These wet micro-habitats act as refugia for species which
are not tolerant to drought or to high fire frequencies because they are sheltered
from the hot, dry, fire-prone conditions of the surrounding forest and woodland.
Conditions within these microhabitats have enabled the Wollemi Pine to survive and
to share the habitat with other canopy species, particularly coachwood and eucalypt
species. A regime of disturbance is operating within this habitat. It appears to
consist of major events over a long time frame such as catastrophic events (fire
events and rock falls) and individual tree deaths, which produce the canopy gaps that
may be necessary for successful regeneration. More research is required before the
precise nature of this disturbance regime is known (J. Benson pers. comm.).
5.3
Seed predation
Birds, mainly Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans), have a significant impact on
seed fall. Crimson rosellas have been observed in the field grazing along the leafy
branches and disturbing the shattered strobili. Many seed coats falling into the seed
traps have been neatly split and the contents removed. Rodent or marsupial
toothmarks have also been found on viable looking seed. Predation from these
sources appears to destroy at least 37% of putative viable seed (C. Offord pers.
comm.).
17
6
Habitat
6.1
Vegetation
The Wollemi Pine occurs in the warm temperate rainforest and rainforest margins in
a Eucalyptus spp. forest/woodland complex within the Sydney Sandstone Biome of
the eastern coast and tablelands of New South Wales (Floyd 1984). This warm
temperate rainforest habitat is dominated by coachwood Ceratopetalum apetalum
and sassafras Doryphora sassafras. Most individuals of the Wollemi Pine occur on
large ledges or are inserted in crevices in the cliffs. Species recorded in the vicinity
of the Wollemi Pine are listed in Table 1.
Scientific Name
Common Name
Canopy Species
Scientific Name
Common Name
Understorey
Species
Ceratopetalum
apetalum
Coachwood
Dicksonia
antarctica
Soft tree fern
Doryphora
sassafras
Sassafras
Cyathea australis
Rough tree fern
Acmena smithii
Lily pilly
Eupomatia laurina
Bolwarra
Quintinia sieberi
Possumwood
Lepidosperma
urophorum
Sword sedge
Sticherus
flabellatus
Umbrella fern
Todea barbara
King fern
Cissus hypoglauca
Water vine
Clematis aristata
Clematis
Eucalyptus piperita Sydney peppermint
Pandorea
pandorana
Wonga Vine
Angophora
floribunda
Rough barked apple
Parsonsia
straminea
Silkpod
E. punctata
Grey Gum
Adjacent species
(*W. Jones field obs.)
Table 1:
18
Species recorded in the vicinity of the Wollemi Pine*
6.2
Soil characteristics
Soils are sandstone-derived boulder alluvium, with high organic matter, some shale
component and a substantial basalt wash from the higher reaches of small tributary
canyons (Jones et al. 1995). The soil is very shallow. In some areas there is little or
no soil layer. Roots of the Wollemi Pine plants grow into rock fissures or extend for
tens of metres away from the main groups of trunks. The soil has a poor structure
and appears to have water-repelling qualities. Levels of nutrient are low and the soil
is extremely acidic, often in the range 3-4 pH, with low levels of most elements
although high in aluminium, sulphate and iron. There are patches of highly saline
soil. Salt probably leaches from the parent material (Offord et al. 1996, C. Offord
pers. comm.) (See Table 2).
Senescent branches fall and contribute substantially to the litter layer (Hill 1995).
Decomposition of these fallen branches may contribute to the low pH of the soil and
this acidity and lack of nutrients may contribute to the slow growth of mature trees
and seedlings (Offord et al.1996).
Characteristic
pH(inH20)
pH(in CaC12)
Electrical Conductivity
Sodium
Potassium
Calcium
Magnesium
Aluminium
Phosphorus
Ammonium
Nitrate
Iron
Sulphate
Zinc
Copper
Maganese
Table 2:
Range
3.8-4.6
2.9-4.2
0.1-1.9 mS/cm
0.0-0.14 meq%
0.15-0.8 meq%
0.3-2.9 meq%
0.5-2.24 meq%
0.1-4.9 meq%
0-3.3 mg/kg
10-42 mg/kg
0.1-20.7 mg/kg
179-357 mg/kg
73-176 mg/kg
1.6-2.6 mg/kg
0.6-2.3 mg/kg
1.1-7.7 mg/kg
Interpretation
strongly-extremely acidic
strongly - extremely acidic
low-highly saline
good
low-good
very low - marginally good
low-high
trace-very high
none - low
low
low-good
high - good
high - good
low
low
low
Soil chemical characteristics of the Wollemi Pine at Site 11
1
Seven areas across the site were tested and fall within the range presented. Each characteristic is
interpreted in terms of requirements for normal plant growth
19
6.3
Light intensity
Field recordings show that light on the canyon floor at Site 1 is very low, with less
than 10% ambient light. Due to their orientation both Wollemi Pine sites receive
only limited light at most times of the year. The amount of available light is further
reduced at Site 1 by shading from competing flowering trees. Site 2 receives even
less light than Site 1 due to aspect and the narrowness of the canyon. Some areas of
Site 1 receive direct light in the middle of the day for a very short time, possibly less
than one hour (Offord et al. 1996).
20
7
Relevant legislation
7.1
State and Commonwealth listing
Due to its small population size and restricted distribution, the Wollemi Pine is
considered endangered in NSW and is listed on Schedule 1 of the TSC Act.
The Wollemi Pine is also listed as a nationally endangered species on Schedule 1 of
the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (ESP Act). The
schedules in the ESP Act are based on the lists compiled by the Australian and New
Zealand Environment Conservation Council. As a nationally listed species the
Wollemi Pine is eligible for funding under the federal Endangered Species Program
and is protected under Commonwealth legislation.
7.2
Recovery plan preparation and implementation
7.2.1
Recovery plan preparation
The TSC Act requires that the Director-General of National Parks and Wildlife
prepare recovery plans for all species, populations and ecological communities listed
as endangered or vulnerable on the TSC Act schedules. The TSC Act includes
specific requirements for both the matters to be addressed by recovery plans and the
process for preparing recovery plans. This plan satisfies these provisions.
A draft version of this plan was placed on public exhibition from 7 July 1997 to 25
August 1997. Five public submissions were received and subsequently considered
by the NPWS and the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team. The comments of the
Scientific Committee on the draft plan were considered in the finalisation of this
plan. Amendments were made to the draft plan, where necessary, as a consequence
of these submissions.
7.2.2
Recovery plan implementation
The TSC Act requires that a government agency must not undertake actions
inconsistent with a recovery plan. The two government agencies relevant to this
plan are the NPWS and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney (RBG). Consequently,
the NPWS must, as the relevant land manager, manage the Wollemi Pine within
Wollemi National Park in accordance with this plan. Relevant land management
issues include fire management and visitor access. Likewise, the RBG must
undertake research in accordance with the priorities identified in this plan and
subject to the controls outlined in this plan (eg the site hygiene protocols).
7.3
Critical habitat
The TSC Act makes provision for the identification and declaration of critical habitat
for species, populations and ecological communities listed as endangered. Once
declared, it becomes an offence to damage critical habitat (unless the action is
21
specifically exempted by TSC Act) and a species impact statement is mandatory for
all developments and activities proposed within critical habitat.
To date, critical habitat has not been declared for this species under the TSC Act.
The identification of critical habitat is not considered to be a priority for this species
as all known populations occur within a National Park and no demonstrable
conservation outcome would accompany identification and declaration.
7.4
Environmental assessment
The TSC Act amendments to the environmental assessment provisions of the
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) require that
consent and determining authorities consider relevant recovery plans when
exercising a decision-making function under Parts 4 & 5 of the EP&A Act. As it is
highly unlikely that new populations of the Wollemi Pine will be discovered outside
Wollemi National Park, the only relevant determining authority for this plan is the
NPWS. The NPWS, when considering any activity in Wollemi National Park which
may affect the Wollemi Pine, must consider the conservation strategy outlined in this
plan.
22
8
Management issues
8.1
Threats and reasons for decline
The Wollemi Pine may have been in a state of slow natural decline over hundreds of
thousands of years and is now a relict species. The Wollemi Pine is considered to be
an endangered species due to its extremely restricted distribution (1 km), the
possibility of a very restricted number of genetic individuals, its seemingly slow rate
of recruitment of new genetic individuals, its low level of seed set and the long time
before sexual maturity. The species is considered to be threatened by unauthorised
seed collection (this may impede the long-term replacement of reproductive plants
and cause a loss of genetic diversity), catastrophic fire events, the introduction of
pathogens, especially fungal species such as Phytophthora cinnamomi, and other
impacts from unauthorised site visits such as trampling of seedlings, compaction of
soil and the introduction of weeds.
8.2
Social and economic consequences
8.2.1
Intrinsic ecological value
The Wollemi Pine has the same right of existence as any other native species. It is
likely that the species plays a crucial role in the ecology of its habitat and of the
other species which may depend on it for any ecological function such as host, food
or shelter. The discovery of the Wollemi Pine highlights the importance of
conserving areas of undisturbed habitat which are large and diverse enough to
provide species with opportunities for refuge from threatening processes and to
allow evolutionary processes to occur in a geological time scale.
8.2.2
Scientific and taxonomic value
To the scientific community the Wollemi Pine is of very high scientific value as it is
the sole living representative of an ancient genus which has survived to the present
day. Study of this species will enable scientists to gain knowledge about the
evolutionary relationships between species in the Araucariaceae and to get an insight
into an ancient species which until now were known only from fossils.
8.2.3
Biodiversity value
As a monotypic genus the genetic diversity within this species constitutes the full
genetic range of the genus. Therefore each genetic individual plays a key role in the
future evolution of the genus. The microflora and other species associated with the
microhabitats provided by the species are important and unique components of the
biodiversity of Wollemi National Park and New South Wales and, indeed, the
Australian continent.
23
8.2.4
Pharmaceutical value
The chemical properties of the Wollemi Pine and the microflora associated with it
are unknown. Some preliminary work has been done on extracting a chemical
named Taxol, which is a known anti-cancer agent. Future harvesting of the Wollemi
Pine for chemical extraction is a possibility.
8.2.5
Social benefits
The species belongs to all people and as the known locations are protected within a
National Park there is no cost incurred by private landholders in the management of
the Wollemi Pine. In situ management costs are minimal and are borne by the whole
community through the NPWS. The RBG will provide opportunities for the public
to view the species by establishing groves in its gardens. All people will, therefore,
benefit from the research and management of this species and future generations will
continue to enjoy these benefits. Through awareness of the Wollemi Pine the profile
of all threatened species is raised in the general community. This in turn leads to
greater opportunities for the conservation of threatened species and increased
protection of biodiversity.
8.2.6
Commercial value
The Wollemi Pine may be of immense horticultural value as both a rare and an
attractive species (C. Offord, pers. comm.). There is potential for the commercial
propagation of the Wollemi Pine to generate significant revenue. Revenue raised
from the commercialisation of the Wollemi Pine will be directed to fund research
into the Wollemi Pine and other threatened species. Commercialisation will allow
members of the public to own a specimen of the Wollemi Pine with no threat to the
wild populations. Tourism opportunities will be created through groves in botanic
gardens and various installations such as “The Edge” theatre at Katoomba in the
Blue Mountains of NSW. Opportunities to increase awareness of other threatened
species are available through the sale of film, books and other merchandise about the
Wollemi Pine and its habitat.
8.3
Biodiversity benefits
The discovery of the Wollemi Pine highlights the importance of habitat conservation
and the integral role that national parks play in the conservation of biodiversity. It
also shows the importance of conserving areas of diverse vegetation types. It
outlines the crucial role that rainforests play in the environment in providing a
relatively stable habitat through periods of great changes in other habitats. The
rainforest habitat of the Wollemi Pine has provided a refuge for the species during
the great climatic changes experienced in Australia (Hill 1995).
The conservation and study of the Wollemi Pine will also benefit the other species
which share the same habitat. Field studies so far have resulted in the collection of a
number of invertebrates from the seed traps and these have been passed on to the
Australian Museum for identification. Several species of fungi have been collected
24
from the Wollemi Pine plants and from the soil and litter adjacent to the trees.
These species and their relationship to the Wollemi Pine and its habitat are
undergoing further research (Offord et al. 1996).
25
9
Previous actions undertaken
9.1
Wollemi Pine Recovery Team
The Wollemi Pine Conservation Team was convened by the NPWS and the RBG in
1994 to oversee the interim research and management of the Wollemi Pine. With
the passing of the TSC Act and the legislative need for a recovery plan, the Wollemi
Pine Recovery Team was formed to oversee the initial investigations (see below)
and guide the NPWS preparation of the recovery plan.
9.2
Wollemi Pine Access Strategy
The RBG and NPWS have adhered to a policy of highly restricted access to the site
for both staff and the public in an effort to minimise any risk to the in situ
population. The Wollemi Pine Access Strategy outlines the protocols for site access
and restricts access only to people authorised by the NPWS. These measures will be
further codified in the Wollemi National Park Plan of Management (in prep.) and the
Wollemi National Park Fire Management Plan (in prep.)
The location of the pines is to be kept secret, with only essential staff being made
aware of the location of the natural population. Official visits to the sites for
research purposes have also been monitored by the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team.
Only essential on-site work has been authorised and all officer visits must be
approved. Impact on the sites is minimised by programming the use of walking
routes. Recording of the use of the routes will enable assessment of the impact of
visitation in the future.
9.3
Wollemi Pine Community Relations Strategy
A draft community relations strategy has been developed by the NPWS. All
community relations initiatives are linked to key management objectives. The major
objectives of the strategy are to:
• discourage the general public and special interest groups from trying to find and
visit the site within Wollemi National Park; and
• increase community awareness of the Wollemi Pine in an effort to encourage
community support for the protection of the site and for research into the species.
A number of actions in the community relations strategy have already been
undertaken, such as the production of a poster, contact with key park neighbours
and regular media updates.
26
9.4
Site Hygiene Protocol
A threat to the known populations of the Wollemi Pine is the introduction to the site
of pathogenic fungi, particularly Phytophthora cinnamomi. A Site Hygiene Protocol
has been developed by the RBG (See Appendix 1). Strict quarantine measures have
been enforced during all site visits by staff of the NPWS and the RBG. This
protocol includes the use of clean clothes and sterilised footwear at all times on site.
All equipment used for sampling is also sterilised before it is introduced into the site.
9.5
Fire Management Protocol
As part of the Wollemi National Park Fire Management Plan (in prep.), the NPWS
has developed a protocol for fighting a fire which threatens a population of the
Wollemi Pine. In addition, the fuel management plan for Wollemi National Park will
include a hazard reduction strategy to protect the known habitat of the species in
Wollemi National Park. These interim measures will provide a response specifically
for the protection of the Wollemi Pine from fire and are designed to reduce the fire
hazard, the intensity of any fire which is deemed to be a potential threat, the
response time in the event of a direct threat, and to extinguish any fire at the sites
with all due caution for the safety of the fire fighters.
9.6
Mycological research
Mycological research has been undertaken by the RBG to:
1. determine the presence or absence of the pathological fungus Phytophthora
cinnamomi in soils associated with the Wollemi Pine; and
2. determine the fungal flora associated with the Wollemi Pine and associated soils.
In order to gain baseline data on the levels and types of fungal organisms present on
site, samples of soil, litter, leaves, sterile seed and cone material were collected from
Site 1 in 1995 by the RBG. The samples were plated on a variety of media for the
isolation of fungi. In addition, tissue culture contaminants were plated for
identification. Soil was also baited with the cotyledons of E. sieberi to isolate P.
cinnamomi (B. Summerell pers. comm.).
P. cinnamomi was not isolated from any of the soil samples. This indicates that
there is a high likelihood that the soil is presently free of this fungus (B. Summerell
pers. comm.).
Approximately 50 species of fungi were recovered from the samples. The
identification of many of these species is still in progress (B. Summerell pers.
comm.).
The development of nodules in the bark has been observed on Wollemi Pine
seedlings. Nodules on the stems appear from below the ground and are largest at or
just above ground level. They disappear with height above the ground and, on adult
27
trees, are replaced by diamond-shaped scaly bark (W. Jones, J. Allen, field obs.).
The microbiology of these nodules serves as an interesting point of research, and
may indicate a symbiotic relationship with a specific micro-organism. The roots of
the Wollemi Pine also contain a complex nodular structure. To date one species of
mycorrhizal and three species of ecto-mycorrhizal fungi have been isolated from the
roots. It remains to be determined whether these species are specific to the Wollemi
Pine and its habitat (B. Summerell pers. comm. to J. Benson).
9.7
In situ ecological research and monitoring
An in situ ecological research program was initiated in mid-1995 under the guidance
of the Recovery Team. This program of ecological research has provided the
baseline information required for the formulation of the Recovery Plan. This
program was carried out by officers of the NPWS and the RBG and is detailed
below.
9.7.1
Description of the habit and habitat of the Wollemi Pine
Initial description of the growth habit and habitat of the Wollemi Pine was
undertaken on site and material was collected for analysis of embryology,
phenology, cuticle morphology and branching pattern studies. The main species
associated with the Wollemi Pine were identified and recorded and a description of
the general character of the habitat was recorded. This is discussed in Section 6.
Readings of light intensity were taken using a Licor Instrument at Site 1.
9.7.2
A preliminary description of the population structure at both
sites
The coppicing habit of the Wollemi Pine makes identification of individual trees
difficult in the field. In order to undertake a preliminary description of the
population structure putative individuals were identified and tagged (C. Offord
1996). The number of trunks of each putative individual was counted and the basal
diameter of each trunk was measured (W. Jones, field data). These results are
discussed in Section 4.4.
9.7.3
Mapping of the distribution of the individual trees on site
In order to map the distribution of the trees at Site 1, the position of tagged putative
individuals was fixed using a tape and compass transect for an area of the gorge
which extends beyond the limits of the populations. These locations were recorded
onto a master map for future identification of individuals at the sites (W Jones
survey data).
28
9.7.4
Tagging and measurement of seedlings for survivorship studies
Seedlings were identified in situ by the presence of cotyledons or cotyledon scars.
The seedlings were tagged with permanent numbered metal stakes and tags (C.
Offord pers. comm.). Approximately 200 seedlings have been tagged at Site 1. The
location of these seedlings was noted on the master map by associating groups of
seedlings with a tagged mature tree (W. Jones survey data). Measurements of
seedling height and basal diameter and the number of leafy branches were recorded.
Any damage to the growing tip and the condition of the foliage was assessed.
9.7.5
Preliminary assessment of the age of individual trunks
Ring counts of fallen branches were undertaken to give a preliminary assessment of
the age of standing trunks. Results are discussed in Section 4.1.
9.7.6
Edaphic factors
Small soil samples were collected from the base of selected trees for physical and
chemical analysis (Offord et al. 1996). Results are discussed in Section 6.
9.7.7
Cone counts, monitoring of pollen release and estimation of
seedcrop
Cone (strobili) counts were carried out to provide an estimate of the fecundity of the
population. Cones were counted on site and a photographic record of cone
development was undertaken (W. Jones survey data).
Pollen development was assessed by examining male cones on site. Pollen fall was
monitored by observing the site from the lower cliff. This enabled the season of
pollen shedding to be recorded.
Counts of cone numbers and seeds allowed the estimation of standing seed crop.
This information allowed the effect of the removal of seeds from the seedbank to be
assessed and minimised (G. Errington pers. comm.).
9.8
Survey
In order to ascertain the full distribution of the Wollemi Pine, a strategic survey of
suitable areas of Wollemi National Park was undertaken during 1995 and 1996.
Areas of potential habitat, ie gorge country containing rainforest communities, were
selected after aerial photo interpretation (W. Jones pers. comm.)
Survey was undertaken using low fly-overs in helicopters combined with ground
searches. Ground searching is necessary for the detection of sub-canopy and
juvenile pines. The area within 15 km of Site 1 was extensively ground searched and
300 km of gorge and canyons have been exhaustively searched by helicopter. Aerial
searches have also been carried out in other parts of the Wollemi National Park.
Several areas remote from the sites were ground searched after they were assessed
29
for suitable habitat. No further populations of the Wollemi Pine have been located
(W. Jones survey data).
9.9
Ex situ propagation
Research into the ex situ propagation of the Wollemi Pine has been carried out by
the RBG since February 1995. Cutting material has been collected from the majority
of putative trees from both Sites. Thus a full representation of all putative
individuals of both populations is maintained by the RBG to provide material for
propagation and other analyses when required (C. Offord pers. comm.).
9.9.1
Seed collection
The Wollemi Pine produces numerous fruiting cones, but the position of these cones
on the crown of the tree makes collection of seed difficult (Offord 1995). Low
impact seed traps have been constructed by the RBG and the NPWS. These traps
have been located at strategic points within Site 1 to capture fallen seed. Some seed
has been collected from the ground at Site 2. Each seed collected is assigned a
number and its progress is monitored at every stage of experimentation (Offord et
al. 1996).
9.9.2
Propagation from seed
Viable seed has successfully been germinated and seedling growth appears to be
faster ex situ than in the wild (Refer Section 4.3.7). However, the low percentage of
viable seed produced (10%), the high predation rate and the low numbers of seed
produced in the field, means that propagation from seed is not a viable option for ex
situ propagation at the present time (C. Offord pers. comm.).
9.9.3
Vegetative propagation
Only one or two trunks have been sampled from each trunk group. Each trunk is
tagged with a permanent marker to facilitate future identification in the field (Offord
et al. 1996). Initial research has shown that the Wollemi Pine can be propagated
from both juvenile and adult shoots. The natural coppicing habit of the Wollemi
Pine may allow for a propagation system similar to that used for the commercial
production of the related species Araucaria cunninghamii or Hoop Pine (Offord
1995).
For vegetative propagation, orthotropic shoots are the preferred material as they
establish a seedling-like habit. There are a limited number of these shoots available
on the trunks. Cuttings from the more numerous plagiotropic shoots (sideways
growing shoots) produce prostate or decumbent plants and are of limited use
although they are of horticultural interest (C. Offord pers. comm.).
30
Basic propagation requirements for the species have been established. Although
seed is the preferred unit of propagation, it is difficult to obtain in large amounts.
The current stock of plants is shown in Appendix 2.
9.10
Preliminary genetic variability analysis
The RBG has established a collaborative research program with the Australian
National University (ANU) to undertake genetic variability analysis on the Wollemi
Pine. These preliminary genetic studies commenced in March 1996 to develop and
use the very latest DNA fingerprinting techniques. A program of genetic variability
analysis investigating the variability between individuals and determining the number
of individuals in the stands will require the characterisation of all individuals or
potential individuals using DNA or isoenzymes.
31
10
Species’ability to recover
Species such as the Wollemi Pine are considered to have become “endangered”
through natural factors. If the threatened status of a species is not due to factors
which can be directly attributed to human interference, it may not be appropriate to
“recover” the species in the sense that it can be managed to reverse the past decline
it has experienced. However, as the Wollemi Pine is a great scientific and
commercial discovery and may henceforth be under adverse pressure from humaninduced threatening factors, it must be managed to protect it from any actions which
will cause unnatural decline of the species in nature.
32
11
Recovery objectives and performance criteria
11.1
Objectives of the Recovery Plan
The overall objective of this Recovery Plan is to protect the known populations of
the Wollemi Pine from decline induced by non-natural sources and to ensure that the
wild populations of the Wollemi Pine remain viable in the long term.
Specific objectives of this Recovery Plan are to:
•
protect and maintain the known populations and their habitat from humaninduced threatening processes in the long term;
•
understand the ecology of the species;
•
determine the range of genetic variability of the known populations;
•
establish representative ex situ populations in botanic gardens; and
•
determine if further wild populations exist and to protect any new populations
and their habitat.
11.2
Recovery performance criteria
Recovery criteria are that:
•
wild populations do not suffer any net reduction in individuals due to humaninduced causes;
•
analysis of genetic variability of the wild populations is undertaken;
•
genetically representative ex situ populations exist within botanic gardens;
•
wild populations are protected by appropriate mechanisms.
33
12
Recovery actions
12.1
Management strategy
This action consists of five main tasks which are discussed below.
12.1.1
Wollemi Pine Access Strategy
All visits to the site by the NPWS and RBG employees, or by other approved
persons, will be conducted in accordance with the Wollemi Pine Access Strategy
(see Appendix 3). This strategy will be part of the Wollemi Pine National Park Plan
of Management. A register of all people visiting the site will be maintained by the
Upper Hunter District Office of the NPWS.
Outcome
The known sites of the Wollemi Pine will be protected from damage by unauthorised
personnel entering the sites.
12.1.2
Wollemi Pine Community Relations Strategy
A number of actions in the community relations strategy have already been
undertaken and other actions in the strategy will be undertaken as funds become
available.
Sponsorship funds are being sought through the National Parks Foundation to
enable additional community awareness and education materials to be produced.
The Foundation has established a special Wollemi Pine fund for donations.
All funds raised from the sale or use of photographs, video and film footage and or
any other fundraising activities associated with the Wollemi Pine will be deposited
into a special fund to be used by NPWS and the RBG for research into, and
conservation of, the Wollemi Pine and other rare and threatened flora.
Outcome
Community appreciation of and support for the conservation and protection of the
Wollemi Pine is enhanced.
12.1.3
Wollemi National Park Reserve Fire Plan
The Wollemi National Park Fire Management Plan outlines fire hazard management
policies and procedures for the area surrounding the Wollemi Pine sites. These
management procedures will assist in the long-term protection of the species from
potentially devastating fires. Fire management procedures are tailored to provide
conservation of the habitat of the Wollemi Pine. It is currently assumed that intense
fire events will lead to individual tree deaths and a reduction in the population.
34
Outcome
The risk of damage to Wollemi Pine populations from wildfire and bushfire
management activities will be minimised.
12.1.4
Catchment management practices
The NPWS will ensure that the risk of pollution, flooding, weed infestation and
sedimentation and other adverse changes to the hydrology of the catchment of the
Wollemi Pine sites is minimised by implementing the following practices.
• The NPWS will not permit the storage or application of chemicals, oil or fuel
within the upper catchment of the Wollemi Pine site.
• All chemical spills within the upper catchment of the Wollemi Pine site will be
treated as emergencies.
• The NPWS will seek the co-operation of the Environmental Protection Authority,
Local Councils, Park neighbours, bushfire authorities and owners of properties
within the park, if appropriate, to minimise the risk of chemical, oil or fuel spills.
• Annual monitoring of blackberry and other woody weed incursions in the
catchment of the Wollemi Pine sites will be carried out and treatment of
infestations will occur when the NPWS, in consultation with the Recovery Team,
concludes that the infestation could adversely affect the population of the
Wollemi Pine.
• A weed control program for the Wollemi Pine sites using low-impact methods
(cut stump and systemic herbicide application) will be formulated as part of the
Wollemi National Park Plan of Management to ensure that blackberry and other
woody weeds do not become a threat to Wollemi Pine populations.
Outcome
The risk of pollution, flooding, weed infestation and sedimentation and other
adverse changes to the hydrology of the catchment of the Wollemi Pine sites is
minimised.
35
12.1.5
Site hygiene protocol
This task involves the continuation of the protection of the wild populations of
Wollemi Pine by the implementation of strict hygiene measures during all official site
visits and the monitoring of soil for introduced pathogens. To protect the sites
during official site visits, a protocol developed by the RBG has been adopted.
• All authorised personnel visiting the Wollemi Pine site will be required to sterilise
all footwear and equipment in accordance with the approved protocol.
• Any outbreak of fungal pathogens at the site will be treated as an emergency and
dealt with promptly and effectively using expert advice available through the
RBG, Department of Agriculture and State Forests of NSW.
• Soil sterilants and systemic fungicides may be used in emergency situations on
wild populations of Wollemi Pine if recommended by the emergency incident
management team to contain active fungal pathogen outbreaks.
• The RBG in consultation with the Recovery Team will keep under review
approved procedures for minimising the risk of introducing fungal pathogens to
the Wollemi Pine site and to ex situ populations where appropriate.
• NPWS District Officers will be trained in recognising and reporting fungal
pathogen outbreaks.
• The RBG, in consultation with the Recovery Team, will develop an emergency
management plan for dealing with fungal pathogen outbreaks and will list
appropriate contacts within State Forests, RBG and Department of Agriculture
who may be available to assist.
Outcome
The known sites of the Wollemi Pine will be protected from the introduction of
pathogens.
12.2
Ecological research and monitoring
This action consists of three main tasks as discussed below. All research programs
will be reviewed by the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team.
12.2.1
Ecological monitoring program
The ecology of the Wollemi Pine is not well understood. A number of years of low
impact in situ monitoring of the known populations is required to gather ecological
data. An ecological monitoring program will be developed and implemented by the
RBG, in consultation with the Recovery Team, to study the following aspects of the
ecology of the Wollemi Pine:
36
• Population dynamics
• Seedling recruitment
• Seedling survivorship
• Associated species
• Edaphic factors
• Biophysical factors
• Climatic factors.
Outcome
Aspects of the ecology of the Wollemi Pine will be better understood. Ecological
data gained will be used to modify the management program outlined in Section
12.1 and will assist in the tasks outlined in Section 12.4.
12.2.2
Age structure and fire history
A study of the ring chronology and fire scarring of the Wollemi Pine will be
designed and implemented by the RBG, in consultation with the Recovery Team, in
order to:
1. relate the size of standing trunks to their age;
2. determine the fire history of the sites; and
3. determine how fire history has influenced the present population structure.
Dead fallen material and a method of incremental coring which does not endanger
living trees, will be used.
Outcome
The age structure of the known populations of the Wollemi Pine and the fire history
of the sites will be determined. This information will be used to modify existing
management practices outlined under Section 12.1.
12.2.3
Mycological studies
A program of mycological studies on cultivated material is also to be undertaken to
assess the susceptibility of the Wollemi Pine to plant pathogens.
Knowledge of the susceptibility of the Wollemi Pine to the main soil-borne diseases,
particularly Phytophthora cinnamomi, is critical to the success of the ex situ
program, the wider cultivation of the species and the protection of the wild sites
from human visitation. Investigations into the effects of a range of pathogens on the
species will be undertaken by inoculation of immature plant material (seedlings or
struck cuttings) with soil-borne and foliar pathogens and observations of the effects
of the fungi on the plant and of immunological reactions in vitro.
37
Outcomes
The following outcomes are anticipated.
1. Determination of any real or potential disease problems that may be associated
with the species.
2. Identification of any mycorrhizal associations of the species.
3. Systematic survey of the fungi associated with this species.
12.3
Genetic studies
The coppicing habit of the Wollemi Pine suggests that the species may be clonal and
preliminary genetic analysis indicates that the actual number of genetic individuals in
the known populations may be far fewer than the census size of 40. Further detailed
genetic study is required to determine how many individuals occur in each
population and therefore how much genetic variation is present in the known
populations of the Wollemi Pine.
The RBG and the ANU established a collaborative research program in March 1996.
This program involves undertaking genetic variability analysis on the Wollemi Pine,
and will continue.
Genetic variability analysis consists of two main tasks, as described below.
12.3.1
DNA extraction
DNA for the genetic variability analysis will be extracted by the RBG from material
collected and maintained by the RBG. A full representation of all putative
individuals of both populations is maintained by the RBG to provide material for
genetic analyses when required.
Outcome
The DNA extracted by the RBG will be sent to ANU for analysis.
12.3.2
Genetic variability analysis
The project will be in two stages. Techniques will be evaluated and a preliminary
study of the genetic variation will be conducted. Application of the selected
techniques will address the following issues:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
38
Genetic variation within Wollemi Pine populations
Gene flow between the two Wollemi Pine populations
Clonality of the larger stem groups
Extent of cross-pollination
Representative sample for ex situ collection.
Outcome
This knowledge will provide guidelines for propagation to ensure that the ex situ
collection represents the full range of the species genetic diversity (R. Peakall pers.
comm.). An effective ex situ collection can be established and maintained using a
system which DNA “fingerprints” each individual. This ensures that there is no
unnecessary and costly duplication of clones. It will also help to clarify the structure
and the breeding behaviour of the known populations.
12.4
Ex situ collections
The production of an ex situ collection is considered necessary for the long-term
survival of the Wollemi Pine, in case of severe decline of the wild population, to
provide material for genetic study and for horticultural development. The ex situ
population will be established first by successfully propagating the species, then by
establishing its optimal growing conditions and, thirdly, by planting at a number of
locations in order to reduce the risks of a catastrophic loss at one site (C. Offord
pers. comm.).
All these phases will be assisted by knowledge of the genetic variation of the
material available in the wild. The wild population is small enough to obtain, grow
and analyse material from nearly every mature plant.
There are seven main tasks as discussed below.
12.4.1
Collection
The in situ monitoring of the population will produce counts of the cones on trees at
both sites and will be able to predict the seed fall for the following season. Seeds
will continue to be collected mainly from Site 1 (as Site 2 has very few cones).
Outcome
Seed will be available to allow:
1.
2.
3.
4.
commercial propagation;
dispersal to other conservation agencies, principally botanic gardens;
establishment of ex situ collection at RBG; and
research into seed biology.
12.4.2
Register
A register which will be kept by the RBG will specify the institution, type and
amount of material and its genetic makeup as an ongoing requirement.
39
Outcome
Dispersal of seed, plants and tissue culture stock to take place in accordance with a
Memorandum of Understanding between the NPWS and RBG.
12.4.3
Seed storage
The most efficient way of maintaining an ex situ collection is seed storage. There
are perceived problems with seed storage of this species as the family in general is
recalcitrant to long-term storage at low temperature and moisture content. Some
work has been undertaken with low temperature storage of Araucaria spp. seed
(Tompsett 1982, 1983, 1984a, 1984b). This study will be based on Tompsett’s and
others’ work with other Araucariaceae and will examine the effect of storage at low
temperature and reduced moisture content on the germination of the Wollemi Pine
seed (C. Offord pers. comm.).
Outcome
These germination experiments will determine if the seed can be effectively stored
and thus provide a means of low cost ex situ conservation.
12.4.4
Vegetative propagation
Vegetative propagation material already collected from the two known populations
will be used in experiments to find ways of rapidly propagating the Wollemi Pine. A
combination of conventional cutting propagation techniques and tissue culture
variations will be used. The species is a slow-growing woody perennial whose
closest relatives do not lend themselves easily to tissue culture (C. Offord pers.
comm.).
Outcome
Vegetative propagation is vital to the success of the horticultural program.
Techniques for rapid propagation are required for large-scale distribution of the
species for genetic and ecological studies and horticultural demand (C. Offord pers.
comm.).
12.4.5
Cultivation
This will be a series of studies designed to determine the optimum growing
conditions for the Wollemi Pine. It will include studies of nutrition, potting mix, soil
requirements, light intensity and photoperiod in combination with temperature on
propagated stock held in pots. All propagated stocks currently held as pot plants
and the growth of plants in pots is being monitored (C. Offord pers. comm.).
40
Outcome
The optimum conditions for the cultivation of the Wollemi Pine will be determined.
12.4.6
Commercialisation strategy
In order to discourage illegal trade in the Wollemi Pine and illegal collection of
propagation material from the wild populations, the NPWS and the RBG will
continue to:
• encourage and authorise the establishment of ex situ populations of the Wollemi
Pine at botanic gardens in accordance with an ex situ transfer agreement;
• encourage the marketing of Wollemi Pine to the public from ex situ material;
• pursue CITES (Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora) listing for the Wollemi Pine;
• assist the Minister for the Environment to seek appropriate trademark registration
of product names and labels associated with the Wollemi Pine; and
• seek tenders for the commercial marketing to the public of the Wollemi Pine and
associated products.
Outcome
Risks to the wild populations will be minimised by the commercialisation of the
Wollemi Pine.
12.4.7
Re-introduction
The NPWS in consultation with the Recovery Team will consider the reintroduction
of the Wollemi Pine to the original sites under the following circumstances:
1.
if the species has disappeared from the sites for more than 5 years; and
2.
the decline was related to human-induced threats which have been effectively
reduced.
The Wollemi Pine will be re-introduced with the aim of re-creating the original
population size and genetic composition. Material for re-introduction will be
sourced from a representative sample from the RBG. Any such translocation will be
undertaken in accordance with the Australian Network for Plant Conservation
Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants (ANPC in prep).
12.5
Systematic survey
Preliminary survey and aerial photo interpretation shows that there is suitable habitat
for the Wollemi Pine in much of the 500 000 ha of Wollemi National Park. Areas
41
which have not been surveyed during 1995-1996 will be surveyed from the air by
helicopter and ground sampling will then be carried out at the most likely locations.
This program of survey will be implemented through the Wollemi National Park
Plan of Management.
Outcome
An aerial and ground search for the Wollemi Pine will be conducted in all suitable
sites in Wollemi National Park.
42
13
Implementation
The following table allocates responsibility for the implementation of recovery
actions specified in this plan to relevant government agencies for the period 1997 to
2002. A budget for plan implementation is included at Appendix 4.
Table 3:
Implementation schedule
Section Description
Responsibility Timeframe
for
implementation
12.1
12.1.1
Management
Wollemi Pine Access Strategy NPWS
12.1.2
Wollemi Pine Community
Relations Strategy
12.1.3
Priority
Ongoing
Essential
NPWS
Ongoing
Essential
Wollemi National Park
Reserve Fire Plan
NPWS
Ongoing
Essential
12.1.4
12.1.5
12.2
12.2.1
Catchment management
Site Hygiene Protocol
Ecological research
Ecological monitoring
NPWS
NPWS/RBG
Ongoing
As required
Essential
Essential
NPWS / RBG
Highly desirable
12.2.2
Age structure studies
RBG
12.2.3
Mycological studies
RBG
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
12.3
12.3.1
Genetic studies
DNA extraction
RBG
Highly desirable
12.3.2
Genetic variability analysis
ANU/RBG
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
12.4
12.4.1
Ex situ collection
Collection of material for
RBG
propagation
Create and maintain a register RBG
of propagules
Seed storage studies
RBG
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
Subject to
funding
Highly desirable
Subject to
funding
As required
Highly desirable
Subject to
funding
Highly desirable
12.4.2
12.4.3
12.4.4
Vegetative propagation
research
Investigation of aspects of
cultivation
RBG
12.4.6
Commercialisation strategy
NPWS/RBG
12.4.7
Reintroduction
NPWS/RBG
12. 5
Survey of potential habitat
NPWS
12.4.5
RBG
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
Highly desirable
43
14
Preparation details
This Recovery Plan was prepared by Sharon Nash and Julie Ravallion in
consultation with the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team.
14.1
Date of last amendment
No amendments have been made to date. Minor changes were made to the internet
version of the recovery plan by Julie Ravallion on 8 June 2000. These changes
updated the Site Access Policy to reflect the current organisational structure within
NPWS. Minor amendments were also made to the text of the recovery plan.
14.2
Review date
This Recovery Plan will be reviewed within five years of the date of publication.
44
References
ANCA (1994) Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 - An outline.
Commonwealth of Australia, Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra.
ANPC (in prep) Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants, Australian
Network for Plant Conservation.
Benson J. (1996) Threatened by discovery: research and management of the
Wollemi Pine Wollemia nobilis Jones, Hill and Allen. In: Back from the Brink:
Refining the Species Recovery Process (S. Stephens and S. Maxwell, Eds). Surrey
Beatty and Sons, Sydney pp. 105-9.
Briggs J. D. and Leigh J. H. (1996) Rare or Threatened Australian Plants. Centre
for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Division of Plant Industry and the
Australian Nature Conservation Agency. CSIRO Publishing, Australia.
Floyd A. (1984) Rainforests of Wollemi & Goulburn River National Parks. NPWS
Internal Report.
Harden G. (1990) Araucariaceae in: Flora of New South Wales Vol. 1, (G. J.
Harden Ed.). RBG Sydney, pp. 81-2.
Hill K. (1995) The Wollemi Pine, watch out look around you. Friends of the Royal
Botanic Gardens Sydney Newsletter, November - January 1995-1996.
Jones W.G., Hill K.D, and Allen J.M. (1995) Wollemia nobilis, a new living
Australian genus and species in the Araucariaceae. Telopea, Vol. 6 (pp. 2-3).
Kershaw A.P. (1974) A long continuous pollen sequence from north-eastern
Australia. Nature 251 pp. 223-3.
Lange R.T. (1982) Australian tertiary vegetation. In: A History of Australian
Vegetation, (J.M.B. Smith Ed.). McGraw Hill Book Co., Australia.
MacPhail M., Hill K., Partridge A., Truswell E., and Foster C. (1995) Wollemi Pine
- old pollen records for a newly discovered genus of gymnosperm. Geology Today
Vol. 2 (p. 2).
Offord C. A. (1995) Horticultural Research on the Wollemi Pine. Friends of the
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Newsletter, November - January 1995-1996.
Offord C.A. (1996) Conservation of the Wollemi Pine: An integrated approach.
Danthonia 5(2), pp. 12-14.
Offord C.A., Errington G. and Cuneo P. (1996) Report to the management
committee work at Mount Annan Botanic Garden. Unpublished report, July 1996.
45
Singh G. (1982) Environmental upheaval. In: A History of Australian Vegetation,
(J.M.B. Smith Ed.). McGraw Hill Book Co., Australia.
Sluiter I.R. and Kershaw A. P. (1982) The nature of late Tertiary vegetation in
Australia. Alcheringa 6, pp. 211-22.
Tompsett P.B. (1984a) The effect of moisture content and temperature on the seed
storage life of Araucaria columnaris. Seed Sci. & Technol. 12, pp. 801-16.
Tompsett P.B. (1984b) Desiccation studies in relation to the storage of Araucaria
seed. Ann. Appl. Biol. 105, pp. 581-6.
Tompsett P.B. (1983) The influence of gaseous environment on the storage life of
Araucaria hunsteinii seed. Ann. Bot. 53, pp. 229-31.
Tompsett P.B. (1982) The effect of desiccation on the longevity of the seeds of
Araucaria hunsteinii and A. cunninghamii. Ann. Bot. 50, pp. 693-704.
46
Appendix 1: Site Hygiene Procedures
Procedures for hygiene and prevention of entry of disease-causing organisms at the
Wollemi Pine site.
Aim: The aim of these procedures is to prevent disease-causing organisms from
entering or being transported into the area in which the Wollemi Pines are located.
At present there appear to be no pathogens present at the site at which the Wollemi
Pine is found. Soil tests performed by the Plant Disease Diagnostic Unit, Royal
Botanic Gardens, Sydney showed that Phytophthora and other root pathogens did
not appear to be present. It is essential to ensure that these types of organisms are
not transported into the site as the effects are likely to be severe. It is likely that the
Wollemi Pine, like other members of Araucariaceae, will be susceptible to attack by
organisms such as Phytophthora cinnamomi. Prevention of these diseases is the best
method of control.
The following procedures outline steps that should be taken when it is necessary to
enter the site. Such stringent measures are the only means by which it is possible to
minimise the entry of these pathogens.
Procedures. The most important pathogens of trees are carried in the soil. All the
following procedures aim to prevent entry of soil or to disinfect those soil particles
that may adhere to personnel.
1
All material taken into the site should be free of soil. Preferably it should be
cleaned before trips to the site and should be sterilised with an appropriate sterilant
such as bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or a commercial disinfectant (eg. biogram).
Clothes and backpacks should be washed with a detergent prior to trips to the site.
secateurs, trowels, spades and other such equipment should be sterilised carefully to
ensure no possible transportation of pathogens. Shoes and boots should be carefully
cleaned prior to trips to the site.
2
A footbath should be used to clean footwear prior to entering the immediate
area around and adjacent to the trees. Again a sterilant such as bleach or biogram is
appropriate. A sterilant which requires a higher dilution rate is recommended as the
amount that is needed to be carried is much less. Shoes should be soaked in the
sterilant for one minute. It is advisable to remove shoes as the sterilant can be
damaging to the skin of some people.
3
New sterilant should be prepared on each new entry to the site. The life of
these sterilants when exposed to soil particles is very short. The old sterilant must
be removed from the immediate vicinity of the site. It must never be emptied into
watercourses.
Brett Summerell RBG, 1998.
47
Appendix 2: Wollemia nobilis plants in propagation as at 12 January 1998
Table 1. Cuttings - Site 1
Tree
1
Seedlings
(from Tree 1)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Total
Orthotropic
Total
Adult
Plageotrophic
Juvenile
Mount
Annan
Mount
Annan
Sydney
Mount
Annan
Sydney
Mount
Annan
Sydney
10
3
8
42
1
85
129
4
67
87
43
16
3
22
0
57
2
16
10
14
2
8
10
0
8
4
6
29
12
416
Sydney
10
3
10
4
0
0
0
23
0
3
0
0
0
6
0
0
0
1
0
27
4
128
Total
3
4
53
20
3
22
0
80
2
19
10
14
2
14
2
0
8
5
6
56
16
554
3
7
48
Table 2. Cuttings - Site 2
Tree
Orthotropic
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Total
Mount
Annan
13
0
6
10
4
11
7
8
5
1
65
Sydney
Juvenile
Plagiotrophic
Mount
Sydney
Annan
14
1
0
28
2
7
0
26
0
4
7
1
87
3
Total
Mount
Annan
27
0
34
17
4
37
7
12
12
2
152
Sydney
1
2
3
Table 3. Seedlings - Sites 1 and 2
Site
Date
Tree
Trap
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1995
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1996
1
1
1
2
2-9
10
10-18
12-13
11,14
16-18
17-18
18
mixed
19
cone
1
1
2
1996
1996
1996
20
mixed
mixed
Total
H, 19,24
1-4,6-8,25,26
20,28-32
D-F
39
A-C
37
38
34-36, 40
near 17/18
near 18
ground
I,15-19
ground
Number
Mt
Annan
39
178
23
11
41
1
31
1
1
11
4
13
10
79
36
6
0
485
Sydney
Kew
6
2
2
1
4
1
1
15
2
49
Appendix 3
WOLLEMI PINE SITE ACCESS POLICY
1
Introduction
The Wollemi Pine was discovered in Wollemi National Park in August 1994
by a group of bushwalkers. The Pine is known to occur only in two sites
within a gorge surrounded by sandstone cliffs. Although information
regarding the location of the Pine is known to a small number of people,
this information has not been made public despite the interest shown in the
species from both within Australia and from overseas.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Royal Botanic
Gardens have formed a Wollemi Pine Conservation Team which has been
responsible for overseeing the development and preliminary
implementation of a recovery plan for the Pine in accordance with the
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Through the early adoption of
a site access protocol and the co-operation of neighbours, staff members
and the original bushwalking group, the Team has been able to maintain
relatively tight security regarding the location of the sites.
The Team is primarily concerned with threats to the Pine arising from visits
to the site rather than or arbitrarily restricting access. These threats
include trampling of seedlings, the introduction of fungal pathogens, theft of
plant material, site pollution and increased risk of wildfires. The Team has
adopted a precautionary approach to the management of the Pine. This
site access policy will be reviewed in future years if the implementation of
the recovery plan actions are such that the risk of damage to the population
can be managed within acceptable limits.
2
Definitions
Act means the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
Regional Manager means the Manager, Blue Mountains Region, NSW
National Parks and Wildlife Service
Pine means the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)
Wollemi Pine Conservation Team means the NPWS approved recovery
team established to advise the Director-General of National Parks and
Wildlife on the conservation of the Wollemi Pine.
3
Purpose of this Policy
3.1
To minimise the risk of damage to the wild population of the Pine
arising from visitation to the Wollemi Pine Site.
3.2
To provide a consistent and transparent policy and procedure for
managing requests for access.
4
Outcomes sought
4.1
Visitation to the site is regulated to ensure the risks associated with
visits to the site are minimised.
4.2
The Pine populations within the Park do not decline as a result of
threats arising from visitation to the Park; and
4.3
Visitation to the Wollemi Pine Site results in net benefits to
threatened species conservation and Wollemi Pine conservation in
particular.
5
Policies
5.1
Visits to the Wollemi Pine Site will be restricted to those activities
necessary to achieve recovery plan outcomes.
5.2
The number of visits and the number of visitors will be restricted to
the minimum number necessary to achieve recovery plan objectives.
5.3
All visits to the Wollemi Pine Site must be endorsed by the Wollemi
Pine Conservation Team and be approved by the Regional Manager
(see exception in 5.13).
5.4
Site visits will be restricted to research, threat management and
public eduction purposes only (unless otherwise specified within the
recovery plan), and will be permitted only where a net benefit to the
conservation of threatened species and the Wollemi Pine in
particular, has been demonstrated.
5.5
The Regional Manager will determine when visits to the site need to
be curtailed. This will be when the Regional Manager determines
that ‘acceptable risk’ has been exceeded. The decision of the
Regional Manager will be final.
5.6
Non-NPWS/RBG applications to visit the Wollemi Pine site must be
in writing to the Regional Manager and must clearly demonstrate
that the purpose of the site visit is consistent with the Recovery Plan
and that there is no practical alternative to the visit. The Regional
Manager may refer the application to the Conservation Team if
standing approvals do not cover the scope of the application.
5.7
All non-NPWS/RBG visits to the Wollemi Pine site will be in
accordance with a consent issued by the Regional Manager
(attached). The number of visits and extent of each visit will be
clearly defined within that consent. Additional consents may also be
issued for the purposes of other provisions of the Regulations (eg.
filming). A confidentiality condition must be included on any consent
issued.
5.8
The Regional Manager will nominate supervisors for any nonNPWS/RBG Wollemi Pine site visitors. Supervisors will be allocated
at a ration of at least 1 supervisor to every 4 visitors.
5.9
The costs of this supervision and any other costs incurred by the
NPWS in organising site access will be met by the Applicant unless
otherwise determined by the Regional Manager.
5.10
Registers will be maintained of all persons approved to visit the
Wollemi Pine site and of all Wollemi Pine site visits. The register
will be presented to the Wollemi Pine Conservation Team at the end
of June each year.
5.11
Approvals for NPWS/RBG staff to visit the site will be reviewed and
renewed on an annual basis.
5.12
The continued co-operation of neighbours, local government,
bushwalking clubs and previous site visitors will be sought in
maintaining site confidentiality and in regulating and monitoring site
visits.
5.13
Access for emergency purposes (Rural Fires Act 1997 or the State
Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989), must be kept to the
minimum number necessary for effective management of the
incident and must be co-ordinated through the Regional Manager or
the Manager’s representative to minimise threats to the Wollemi
Pine population.
5.14
No more that 5 persons will be permitted to visit the site on any one
trip unless otherwise approved by the convenor of the Wollemi Pine
Conservation Team or the Regional Manager.
5.15
All persons visiting the site will comply with the Wollemi Pine Site
Hygiene Protocol.
6
Procedures
6.1
This policy will be made public as an appendix to the Wollemi Pine
Recovery Plan and will also be available as a free publication.
6.2
This policy will be distributed to appropriate neighbours, local
councils, bushwalking clubs, and all approved site visitors including
staff members. A register will be maintained by the Blue Moutains
Region of all persons receiving a copy of this policy. Updates will by
provided as they occur.
6.3
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Wollemi Pine
Conservation Team.
6.4
The Wollemi National Park Plan of Management and Reserve Fire
Management Plan and relevant Section 51(1)(b) bush fire
management plans will be amended if necessary to incorporate this
policy.
7
Relevant legislation
7.1
National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Section 118D(1) states that a
person must not, by an act or an omission, do anything to cause
damage to any habitat of a threatened species, population or
ecological community if the person knows that the land concerned is
habitat of that kind. The habitat of the Pine is described in the
Recovery Plan.
7.2
National Parks and Wildlife (Land Management) Regulation 1995.
Clauses 4(1)(b), 19(1) and 20(1) of the Regulation enable a park
authority to regulate certain activities within a national park.
8
Relevant policies and documents
8.1
Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan. Provides background information,
species ecology and actions and responsibilities for recovery in
accordance with the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
8.2
Wollemi National Park Plan of Management. Lists the policies and
actions to be undertaken to protect the Pine and its site from
damage in the context of the planning framework for Wollemi
National Park.
8.3
NPWS Threatened Species Information Circulars.
Contain
information relevant to threatened species management in NSW and
the operation of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 in
particular.
9.
Contacts
9.1
National Parks and Wildlife Service, Central Directorate
Manager, Threatened Species Unit
02 9585 6623
Manager, Blue Mountains Region
02 4787 8877
9.2
Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney Assistant Director, Collections
02 9231 8111
10
Policy information
10.1
Prepared by Bob Conroy, National Parks and Wildlife Service,
October 1997 and incorporates comments received from NPWS Sydney Zone, Legal Services Branch, Environmental Policy Division,
Upper Hunter District; and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
Updated by Julie Ravallion, National Parks and Wildlife Service on 8
June 2000.
11
Policy Approval
11.1 This policy was approved for adoption by the Director-General on 11
May 1998
CONSENT
I,____________________, Regional Manager of the Blue Mountains Region for the
National Parks and Wildlife Service, do hereby consent, in accordance with the
National Parks and Wildlife (Land Management) Regulation 1995
to________________________________________________
(the applicant/s) having access only to the location known to support populations of
the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) within Wollemi National Park on ___________
occasion/s only during the period ______________ subject to the conditions below.
The applicant agrees to.
1. Always be accompanied on the site by a NPWS staff member appointed by the
Regional Manager;
2. Maintain confidentiality over the location of the Wollemi Pine site and not to pass
on or make available to any person or to cause any information to be disclosed to
any person that may assist in the identification or location of the Wollemi Pine
site/s within Wollemi National Park. The Applicant agrees to use the phrase “in a
canyon in the northern section of Wollemi National Park” when referring to the
location of the site;
3. Comply with any condition or instruction imposed on the Applicant by the
Regional Manager or their representative;
4. Read and comply with the policies within the “Wollemi Pine Site Access Policy”
and the “Wollemi Pine Site Hygiene Protocol”;
5. Cause no avoidable damage to the site or any other lands within the Park;
6. Cause no annoyance, nuisance, injury or obstruction to the Director-General,
his/her staff, servants, workmen, agents or contractors;
7. Observe and comply with the provision of the Act and all Regulation made
thereunder, any Plan of Management for the Park, and all other applicable
statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements;
8. Observe and comply with the provision of the Act and all Regulations made
thereunder, any Plan of Management for the Park, and all other applicable
statutory and regulatory provisions and requirements;
9. Indemnify, keep indemnified and release the Director-General and the
Government of the State of New South Wales from and against all actions, suits,
claims, demands, proceedings, losses, damages, compensation costs (including
Solicitor and Client costs) charges and expenses whatsoever to which the
Director-General or the Government of the State of New South Wales shall or
may become liable in respect of or arising from loss, damage or injury from any
cause whatsoever to property or person caused or contributed to by the
Applicant or by any omission, neglect, breach or default of the Applicant which
may arise as a result of issuing this consent; and
10.Acknowledge that this consent may be cancelled at any time by the Regional
Manager and in such an event, the Applicant will not be entitled to any
compensation.
MANAGER, BLUE MOUNTAINS REGION
FOR DIRECTOR-GENERAL
DATE:
APPLICANT
Action Description
12.1
Wollemi Pine access strategy
Wollemi Pine comm.relations strategy
Wollemi NP fire management plan
Catchment Management Practices
Site Hygiene protocol
SUBTOTAL
12.2
Ecological research and monitoring
12.3
12.3.1
12.3.2
12.4
12.4.1
12.4.2
12.4.3
12.4.4
12.4.5
12.4.6
12.4.7
12.5
RBG
External
ESP
Other1
1998/99
NPWS
Other
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5,000
0
0
0
5000
2,000
1,000
2,000
0
1,000
6,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2,000
1000
2,000
0
200
5,200
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10000
5,000
10,000
25,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
15,000
15,000
0
8000
8000
10,500
0
10,500
0
10,000
10,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
20,000
0
0
0
0
1,500
0
21,500
6,000
1,500
20,000
3,000
23,000
0
0
53,500
0
0
10,000
0
0
0
119,500
0
0
20,000
0
0
35,500
0
0
64,000
0
0
45,000
159,200
RBG
1999/00
NPWS
2000/01
NPWS
RBG
0
0
0
0
0
0
2,000
1000
2,000
0
200
5,200
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10,000
0
0
10,000
0
0
0
0
5,000
0
5,000
0
8,000
8,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
5000
0
5000
0
0
0
0
0
1,500
0
1,500
10,000
1,500
0
0
0
1,500
0
13,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10,000
1,500
0
0
0
0
0
11,500
0
0
6,700
0
0
18,000
0
0
8,000
39,700
0
0
0
0
0
15,200
0
0
16,500
External
ESP
Other
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2,000
1000
2,000
0
200
5,200
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7,500
7,500
0
0
0
5,000
0
5,000
0
8,000
8,000
0
0
10,000
17,500
10,000
0
0
37,500
20,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
20,000
26,000
1,500
0
0
0
1,500
0
29,000
0
0
45,000
10000
10000
35,200
0
0
34,000
RBG
External
ESP
Other
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10,000
0
0
0
0
10,000
0
0
10,000
17,500
10,000
0
0
37,500
0
0
18,000
80,200
0
0
37,500
Management program to ensure security of
wild populations
12.1.1
12.1.2
12.1.3
12.1.4
12.1.5
12.2.1
12.2.2
12.2.3
1997/98
NPWS
External
ESP
Ecological monitoring program (biennial)
Age structure & fire history
Myocological studies
SUBTOTAL
Genetic variability analysis
DNA extraction
Genetic variability analysis
SUBTOTAL
Establish ex situ populations
Collection and maintenence of ex situ
Register of propagules
Seed storage trials
Vegetative propagation research
Cultivation techniques
Commercialisation strategy
Reintroduction ( if required)
SUBTOTAL
Systematic survey of likely habitat
SUBTOTAL
TOTAL BY AGENCY PER YEAR
OVERALL TOTAL PER YEAR
1. Other - Expected external sources are
commercialisation and donations
Appendix 4: Wollemi Pine Implementation estimates
0
0
10,000
43 Bridge Street
Hurstville 2220
(02) 9585 6444

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