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Kennedia retrorsa

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA FABALES LEGUMINOSAE

Scientific Name: Kennedia retrorsa
Species Authority: Hemsl.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-08-20
Assessor(s): Malcolm, P.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Kennedia retrorsa is listed as Critically Endangered in view of its restricted distribution in eucalypt woodland and riparian zones of the Gouldburn River National Park in New South Wales (the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are both ~20 km2). Fire is the main threat to the species and the extent of the largest fire in the Gouldburn area was 240 km2. Therefore the known localities are considered as one location. Furthermore, the number of mature individuals in the known subpopulations is declining and this species is fire sensitive with fire intervals of less than 10–15 years likely to result in subpopulation declines. It was initially reported within the Wollemi National Park but that is now believed to be a different species, therefore additional survey in this area is required. This species has been listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act and its seeds have been banked as an ex situ conservation measure. Under the IUCN Red List Criteria it warrants listing as Critically Endangered. It is recommended that further research is carried out on the response of this species to fire, habitat status, population size and levels of threats. Also that management plans are set in place to reduce threat from fires and for establishment of additional populations of this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Kennedia retrorsa is endemic to Australia, distributed in the states of New South Wales. It is highly restricted, with recent collections and confirmed populations known from the Mount Dangar area and the adjacent Goulburn River catchment. Historical records exist from Bilpin in the south although no voucher specimens are available for confirmation. The species has also been recorded from the Colo Heights area but investigations suggest that this population is likely to be K. rubicunda (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2000). Both the Bilpin and Colo Heights populations require additional survey.
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Total population size is not known but a recent survey suggests 12 plants in New South Wales (MSBP 2010). Furthermore, less than 1,000 plants are known to occur within Goulburn River National Park (Briggs and Leigh 1995). The species also occurs on private land, particularly adjacent to Mount Dangar and at Dingo Creek. The known occurrences of the species within conservation areas cannot be considered adequate due to the limited number of known records and the predominance of seedlings and juveniles with the population (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2000).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Climbing herb found in a variety of habitats from mountain sides to riparian zones, from sheltered forest to steep, exposed rocky ridgelines; also in eucalyptus woodland or wet forest with Eucalyptus deanei or along creeks with Leptospermum polygalifolium. At Dingo Creek it grows in association with Angophora floribunda, Eucalyptus sideroxylon and E. tereticornis. In creek systems flowing from Mount Dangar e.g. Boodles Creek, the species is in association with Angophora floribunda and Eucalyptus dawsonii and E. punctata. It generally occupies sheltered site, north facing at 0-300 m altitude. This species is pollinated by insects, but self pollination is also likely to play a role in the reproduction of this species. Its seeds are hard coated, which induces a period of dormancy and are mostly locally dispersed. Dispersal and dormancy may be assisted by action of water in riparian zones. The species is likely to be fire sensitive (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2000). Plants reach maturity at approximately 3 years following germination, peak maturity may not be reached until 4 – 6 years (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2006).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Immediate threats to this species include wildfire, inappropriate hazard reduction burns and associated fire management activities. The majority of the current known populations is reproductively immature and fire has the potential to destroy reproductively immature plants and thus lead to localized extinctions (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2000). Fire intervals of less than 10–15 years are likely to result in subpopulation declines, and fire intervals of less than three to four years are likely to result in its extinction (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2008). In the New South Wales east coast, 1.46 million hectares of both forest and non-forest landscapes were burnt in 2002-2003 (Montreal Process Implementation Group for Australia 2008); in the Goulburn River National Park the biggest wildfire in 1997-1998 burnt ~24,000 hectares, further prescribed burns were carried out every year since 2000 but the majority of the park has not been burnt since records began (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2004); in Wollemi National Park the largest wildfire in 2001-2002 burnt over ~200,000 hectares and over half of the park was burnt in the last 10 years, large areas of the park are in a moderate level of risk category due to frequent fires leading to populations of threatened species possibly being under threat of depletion if current regimes are continued (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2006). This plant is believed to be palatable, hence grazing may pose an additional threat. Juvenile plants in some populations were heavily cropped, presumably by native animals (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is known to occur within two protected areas in New South Wales, in the Goulburn River and Wollemi National Park. It is listed as a Vulnerable species under Schedule 2 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 and under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Also listed as 2VCa according to Briggs and Leigh (1995), a Vulnerable species with the geographic range less than 100 km2, with more than 1,000 plants known to occur within the reserved area. The distribution of this species overlaps with the “White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland” Critically Endangered EPBC Act-listed ecological community of which less than 0.1% remains in a near-intact condition. Much of the original habitat was cleared for agriculture, in the areas that remain, grazing has removed the native understorey (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2006). Recommendations to reduce threat by fire include: trail maintenance, bush fire suppression, mop up operations and mechanical fuel reduction should be avoided in known species locations (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2006). It is recommended that further research is carried out on the response of this species to fire, habitat status, population size and levels of threats. Also to support the recovery of this species is it recommended identification of populations of high conservation priority, raise awareness, management of the threats and establishment of additional populations (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2008). The seeds for this species have been collected as part of the Millennium Seed Bank project. Seeds are located at: Wakehurst Place, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK) and Mount Annan Botanic Garden, New South Wales (Australia).

Citation: Malcolm, P. 2012. Kennedia retrorsa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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