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Interim recovery plan no. 198 Assemblages of Organic Mound (Tumulus) Springs of the Swan Coastal Plain Recovery Plan

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Assemblages of Organic Mound (Tumulus) Springs of the Swan Coastal Plain
Recovery Plan

Department of Environment and Conservation

Species and Communities Branch, Kensington


Interim Recovery Plans (IRPs) are developed within the framework laid down in Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) Policy Statements Nos 44 and 50. Note: the Department of CALM formally became the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in July 2006. DEC will continue to adhere to these Policy Statements until they are revised and reissued.

IRPs outline the recovery actions that are required to urgently address those threatening processes most affecting the ongoing survival of threatened taxa or ecological communities, and begin the recovery process.
DEC is committed to ensuring that Critically Endangered ecological communities are conserved through the preparation and implementation of Recovery Plans (RPs) or Interim Recovery Plans (IRPs) and by ensuring that conservation action commences as soon as possible and always within one year of endorsement of that rank by the Minister.
This Interim Recovery Plan replaces plan number 56, ‘Assemblages of Organic Mound (Tumulus) Springs of the Swan Coastal Plain’, Interim Recovery Plan 2000-2003, by V. English and J. Blyth.
This Interim Recovery Plan will operate from January 2006 to December 2010 but will remain in force until withdrawn or replaced. It is intended that, if the ecological community is still ranked Critically Endangered, this IRP will be reviewed after five years.
This IRP was given Regional approval on 14 December 2005 and was approved by the Director of Nature Conservation on 15 January 2006. The provision of funds identified in this Interim Recovery plan is dependent on budgetary and other constraints affecting DEC, as well as the need to address other priorities.
Information in this IRP was accurate at November 2005.
This revised Interim Recovery Plan was originally prepared by Rachel Meissner, Val English and John Blyth, Species and Communities Branch, for the Department of CALM (now DEC).


The National Reserve System Program of Environment Australia (now Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - DSEWPaC) funded the project entitled ‘Identifying and conserving threatened ecological communities in the south west botanical province’. The project identified the threatened status of this spring community.

The following people provided valuable advice and assistance in the preparation of this Interim Recovery Plan;

Sam Burton

Groundwater Consulting Services Pty Ltd

Edyta Jasinska

Previously Zoology Department, University of Western Australia

Angus Davidson and Jeff Kite

Previously Water and Rivers Commission

Neil Gibson, Greg Keighery, Wes Manson and Peter Speldewinde

DEC, Wildlife Research Centre, Woodvale

David Mitchell

DEC’s Swan Region

Leigh Sage and Lyndon Mutter

DEC’s Swan Coastal District

Cover photograph by Mia Morley
This Interim Recovery Plan should be cited as:
Department of Conservation and Land Management (2006). Community of Tumulus (organic mound) springs of the Swan Coastal Plain Interim Recovery Plan No. 198. Perth, Western Australia.


Name: Community of Tumulus Springs (organic mound springs) of the Swan Coastal Plain.
Description: The habitat of this community is characterised by continuous discharge of groundwater in raised areas of peat. The peat and surrounds provide a stable, permanently moist series of microhabitats. Intact vegetated tumulus springs are only found at four locations. There is a high level of heterogeneity of invertebrate fauna assemblages between these sites, but all are associated with a rich, healthy fauna. Groups commonly represented include Ostracoda, Nematoda, Cladocera, Copepoda, Oligochaeta, Tardigrada, Turbellaria and Insecta.
Typical and common native vascular plant species associated with the tumulus springs are the trees Banksia littoralis, Melaleuca preissiana and Eucalyptus rudis, and the shrubs Agonis linearifolia, Pteridium esculentum, Astartea fascicularis and Cyclosorus interruptus. The following non-vascular plants have also been located on peat mounds associated with the community: Lycopodium serpentium (bog clubmoss), Riccardia aequicellularis, Jungermannia inundata, Goebelobryum unguiculatum and Hyalolepidozia longiscypha.
Common weed species include Isolepis prolifera and Pennisetum clandestinum.
DEC Region(s): Swan
DEC District(s): Swan Coastal
Shire(s): Swan, Chittering
Recovery Team: Swan Region Threatened Flora and Communities Recovery Team (SRTFCRT). Membership: representatives from DEC’s Swan Region (Chair), Swan Coastal District, Perth Hills District, Species and Communities Branch (SCB), and Science Division; and City of Gosnells, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Current status: Assessed 21 November 1995 as Critically Endangered. Also listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). (Note: community name as listed under the EPBC Act is ‘assemblages of plants and invertebrate animals of tumulus (organic mound) springs of the Swan Coastal Plain’).
Habitat requirements: Some of the fauna species have no dormant stages and depend on the maintenance of a permanent supply of fresh water. Many vascular and non-vascular plant species that inhabit the mounds are also reliant on permanent moisture. The maintenance of hydrological processes in terms of both quality and quantity of water to the mounds is essential to sustain the tumulus spring communities.

Habitat critical to the survival of the community, and important occurrences: Comprises the area of occupancy of known occurrences; areas of similar habitat within 200 metres of known occurrences; remnant vegetation that surrounds or links occurrences; and the local catchment for the surface and groundwater that maintain the habitat of the community.

The community is listed as Critically Endangered, and as such it is considered that all occupied habitat is critical to the survival of this community, and all known occurrences are important.

Benefits to other species/ecological communities: Recovery actions implemented to improve the quality or security of the community are likely to improve the status of any species within the community. No associated species are separately listed as Threatened under State or Commonwealth legislation.

International obligations: This plan is fully consistent with the aims and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by Australia in June 1993, and will assist in implementing Australia’s responsibilities under that convention. The community is not listed under any specific international treaty, however, and therefore this recovery plan does not affect Australia’s obligations under any other international agreements.

Role and interests of Indigenous people: Involvement of the Indigenous community has been sought through the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) and the Department of Indigenous Affairs to assist in the identification of cultural values for land occupied by the community, or groups with a cultural connection to the land that is important for the community’s conservation and to determine whether there are any issues or interests identified in the plan. A search of the Department of Indigenous Affairs Aboriginal Sites Register lists one camp site occurring in the vicinity of Occurrence 2.

Where no role is identified for the Indigenous community associated with this subspecies in the development of the recovery plan, opportunities may exist through cultural interpretation and awareness of the community. Indigenous involvement in the implementation of the recovery plan will be encouraged. Continued liaison between DEC and the Indigenous community will identify areas in which collaboration will assist implementation of recovery plans.

Social and economic impacts: Occurrence 2 is located on private property that is currently under residential development. Negotiations with the private owner resulted in the mound springs and a small area surrounding it to be set aside as public open space. Negotiations will continue with the land owner to help protect the occurrence.

Occurrence 4 occurs adjacent to private property where an annual four wheel drive gymkhana is held which could have adverse affects on water quality at the springs. Negotiations will continue with the adjacent land managers and regulatory authorities with respect to the future activities and impacts to this occurrence.

The implementation of this recovery plan has the potential to have some social and economic impact, where occurrences are located on and adjacent to private property. Recovery actions refer to continued liaison between stakeholders with regard to these areas.

Affected Interests: Occurrences of the Tumulus Springs are within the Local Government Authority of the City of Swan. They occur on land managed by DEC, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), and on private land. Potentially affected landholders are the developers of land on which Occurrence 2 occurs, and possibly the owners of land adjacent to all occurrences, but Occurrence 4 in particular.

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