Acacia bifaria 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Leguminosae

Scientific Name: Acacia bifaria
Species Authority: Maslin

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-09-09
Assessor(s): Malcolm, P.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Acacia bifaria is a small shrub with a restricted distribution in mallee of Western Australia between Ravensthorpe and Fitzgerald River. This shrub is only known from approximately six localities and mostly distributed outside protected areas in a highly fragmented habitat due to clearing for agriculture. The extent of occurrence warrants this species a listing of Endangered (EOO ~3,700 km²). Changes in fire regimes, increased salinity, mining activities and grazing pressure are threatening processes to this habitat. Furthermore, despite some populations known from the Fitzgerald National Park, there are concerns over the devastating effects that the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi might have on the vegetation of the area if the spread of this disease is not contained. If the current management measures to contain the spread are not successful there is a high risk that some subpopulations will become extinct. It is recommended that monitoring of the habitat status, threats and pathogen are continued.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Acacia bifaria is endemic to Australia, only known from Ravensthorpe to the Fitzgerald River (c. 30 km east of Jerramungup) in southwestern Western Australia. Recent surveys conducted around Wellstead found the species in in the area (Ecologia Environment 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Western Australia)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:6
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):320
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Total population size is not known, it was recently collected in 2008.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A small prostrate shrub that grows in clay, loam and sand, in scrub, mallee communities and woodland.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no direct threats to the species, however, according to the Biodiversity Assessment carried out for the Australian Natural Resources Atlas, the condition of the Esperance Plains region, where this species occurs, is fair to poor with a declining trend generally. Threatening processes to the area include vegetation clearing and fragmentation for agriculture, hydrological changes and salinity, feral predators and herbivores, grazing by stock and weeds. Many communities and species are localized in occurrence and vulnerable to fire events. In the Esperance region (ESP1 Fitzgerald subregion) approximately half of it has been cleared of native vegetation and agriculturally productive landscapes are now almost completely cleared (Comer et al. 2001). Despite the fact that this species is not susceptible to root-rot fungus (Groves et al. 2009) Phytophthera is changing the composition of coastal heath and scrub communities (Australian Natural Resources Atlas 2009). Most importantly, recent news reports warn that dieback root-disease is posed to tear through the Fitzgerald National Park, despite efforts from the Project Dieback to contain the spread of the pathogen (Bennet 2010). Dr. Chris Dunne from the Dieback Working Group (2009) reported that ‘The research indicates that the impacts of the disease along the south-coast are likely to be even more significant than in the Jarrah forest where the disease was first observed to cause mass collapse of forest sites. Extreme weather events, such as summer rainfall linked to northern cyclone activities, can lead to a significant spread of dieback and a mass collapse in these native vegetation sites”. Some populations are also threatened by mining activities, the species is found in proposed site for an open pit Magnetite mine (Ecologia Environment 2008) and in exiting mines in Elverdton-Desmond area (Department of Industry and Resurces; Department of Mines and Petroleum).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Although most collections do not appear to be within protected areas, this species is known to occur within the Fitzgerald River National Park. It is listed as 2KC- in Briggs and Leigh (1995) a poorly known taxon 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 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.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
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
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ 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

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.8. Abstraction of ground water (unknown use)
♦ 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 -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Phytophthora cinnamomi ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Australian Natural Resources Atlas. 2009. Biodiversity Assessment - Esperance Plains. Available at: (Accessed: 16 August 2010).

Bennett, M. 2010. Dieback devastates massive slice of WA bush. The West Australian.

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

Comer, S., Gilfillan, S., Grant, M., Barrett, S. and Anderson, L. 2001. Esperance 1 (ESP1 - Fitzgerald subregion). In: Department of Conservation and Land Management (eds), A Biodiversity Audit of Western Australia’s 53 Biogeographical Subregions in 2002.

Department of Industry and Resources. Unknown. Clearing Permit Decision Report No 1739/1.

Department of Mines and Petroleum. Unknown. Clearing Permit Decision Report Permit No 3045/3.

Dieback Working Group. 2009. Frightening Impact of Phytophthora Dieback on the South Coast. In: Dieback Working Group (ed.), Dieback Working Group Newsletter. Perth.

Ecologia Environment. 2008. Southdown Magnetite Proposal for Grande Rosources Limited. Regional Flora and Vegetation Assessment.

Groves, E., Hollick, P., Hardy, G. and McComb, J. 2009. Appendix 2 Western Australian natives susceptible to Phytophthora cinnamomi. Available at:

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

Maslin, B.R. 1995. Acacia Miscellany 13. Taxonomy of some Western Australian phyllocladinous and aplollodinous taxa (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). Nuytsia 10(2): 151-179.

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 bifaria. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T19893073A19997540. . Downloaded on 28 August 2016.
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