Acacia ataxiphylla 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Leguminosae

Scientific Name: Acacia ataxiphylla
Species Authority: Benth.
Common Name(s):
English Large-fruited Tammin Wattle

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-09-08
Assessor(s): Malcolm, P.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Acacia ataxiphylla is a small sub-shrub that has a disjunct distribution in the eucalyptus woodlands and heath of southwest Western Australia. There are two known subspecies, subsp. magna in the north and subsp. ataxiphylla in the south. The former is listed and Endangered only with 204 mature plants known and in decline. The latter is classified as poorly known and the extent of occurrence for this subspecies could classify it as Vulnerable (EOO ~6,300 km²>). There are threats to the species with reports from a declining habitat quality and number of subpopulations and the habitat where this species occurs is highly fragmented. However, the extent of occurrence (EOO) for the whole species does not warrant the listing of a threatened category. Therefore, this species is rated as Near Threatened. It is possible that with more information on total population numbers, that this species may warrant a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Acacia ataxiphylla is endemic to Australia, scattered and infrequent in southwestern Western Australia. Subsp. magna is seemingly restricted to the Tammin area while subsp. ataxiphylla occurs from Darkan south to Albany.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Western Australia)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 50
Upper elevation limit (metres): 300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A. ataxiphylla subsp. magna was first collected in 1889. Surveys since that time have located 14 populations and a total of 204 mature plants on road verges and private property over a range of 15 km south of Tammin and Cunderdin. The largest population contains 56 plants, however, nine of the remaining 13 populations contain less than 10 plants in mostly disturbed, degraded habitats. The total population size of subsp. ataxiphylla is unknown but the species is infrequent.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A small subshrub that grows in sand over laterite in low heath, shrub mallee and low Eucalyptus woodland. subsp. magna is associated species with Allocasuarina campestris, Xanthorrhoea preissii, Eucalyptus macrocarpa and several species of Dryandra, Hakea and Acacia within the habitat. Two other species of Declared Rare Flora - Hakea aculeata and Acacia subflexuosa subsp. capillata, ranked as Endangered and Critically Endangered respectively, are found in the area of some populations of A. ataxiphylla subsp. magna.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overall, in the Avon Wheatbelt and the Jarrah Forest regions where this species occurs extensive clearing of native vegetation has led to extensive salinity problems (expected to affect up to 30% of the region's area) and a highly fragmented habitat. The main threatening processes include weed invasion, changed in fire regimes, pathogens (dieback), grazing pressure and continuing clearing of native vegetation (Australian Natural Resources Atlas 2009). The main threats to subsp. magna are road maintenance, weed invasion, restricted habitat, poor recruitment, inappropriate fire regimes and grazing. The majority of this subspecies populations occur on linear road reserves that contain limited potential for habitat expansion and are not buffered from climatic extremes such as drought, increased wind velocity, inundation and frost. Recruitment levels are extremely low with just five seedlings recorded in the vicinity of 204 mature plants. No fruit was found on plants visited in 1997 and 222 seeds were collected in 1998 from one population. Heavy predation of fruits was observed in two of the three populations visited in 2001 with low or variable fruit production noted. No specific information is available about the response of Acacia ataxiphylla to fire.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is not known to occur within a protected area. The subsp. magna was not found at previous recorded sites within Charles Gardner Nature Reserve. subsp. ataxiphylla is listed as 3KC- in Briggs and Leigh (1995) a poorly known taxon with a geographic range more than 100 km2 that is known to occur within a reserve but the population size is not known. It is also listed as Priority 3 in Smith (2010) taxa which are known from several populations, at least some of which are not believed to be under immediate threat. Subsp. magna is listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It is also listed as 2KC- in Briggs and Leigh (1995) a poorly known species with a geographic range less than 100 km2 that is known to occur within a reserved but the population size is not known. It is listed as Priority 2 in Smith (2010), taxa which are known from one or a few (generally ex situ conservation measure.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.2. Problematic native species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.2. Area-based Management Plan

Bibliography [top]

Australian Natural Resources Atlas. 2009. Biodiversity Assessment - Avon Wheatbelt. Available at: (Accessed: 08-09-2010).

Briggs, J.D. and Leigh, J.H. 1995. Rare or threatened Australian plants. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Canberra.

Commonwealth of Australia. 1999. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Available at: (Accessed: 10 June 2010).

Harris, A. and Brown, A. 2003. Large-fruited Tammin Wattle (Acacia ataxiphylla subsp. magna). Interim recovery plan 2003-2008. Plan No 157. In: Department of Conservation and Land Management (eds). Wanneroo.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Orchard, A.E. and Wilson, A.J.G. 2001. Mimosaceae, Acacia part 1. In: B.R. Maslin (ed.), Flora of Australia Volume 11A, ABRS, Canberra.

Smith, M.G. 2010. Declared Rare and Priority Flora List for Western Australia, 25 March 2010. Dept of Environment and Conservation, Como, W.A.

Citation: Malcolm, P. 2012. Acacia ataxiphylla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T19891997A19997059. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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