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Added protection for Norfolk Island's unique plants.



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Media Release Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage The Hon. Dr David Kemp

13 November 2003

K0247

Added Protection for Norfolk Island's Unique Plants

In a move that reflects the uniqueness of Norfolk Island's natural environment, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced 46 plant species on the island will be added to the national list of threatened species.

"This is the first time threatened plants on Norfolk Island have been listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) 1999 and this decision reflects the importance of these species," Dr Kemp said.

"Thirty-three of these species are only found on Norfolk Island and 11 species have fewer than 50 individuals remaining. Threats to these species include invasive weeds and predation by rats. One species, the Mountain Procris, grows in only seven sites on the island, with a total of just 76 mature plants. Another species, known locally as the "Kurrajong", numbers only 155 mature plants and the population is severely fragmented.

"As I indicated during my recent visit to Norfolk Island, the Australian Government is keen to work with the island community to help conserve the Territory's unique biodiversity.

"Many of the plants we need to protect are found on private land and under the EPBC Act there are restrictions on activities which could harm these species or their habitats. We are keen to develop voluntary partnerships or conservation agreements with a number of landholders to ensure the long-term survival of these plants.

"Through this arrangement, landholders and representatives from the Department of Environment and Heritage will develop strategies on how best to preserve the plants. In some cases, financial assistance may be provided for on-ground work such as fencing, weeding and replanting.

"I would also like to assure people who assist in the recovery of these endangered species by planting them in their gardens, that they will not be restricted by these listings. The listings will actually assist them in these activities."

As part of the Australian Government's commitment to keeping islanders informed of decisions which affect them, representatives from the Department will be visiting the island from 24 to 29 November to talk to local landholders, the Norfolk Island Government and interested groups about how the new listings could affect them and how they may get involved in the conservation of these species.

During this time, comments will be sought on a draft information booklet which outlines what the EPBC Act does, which species have been listed and what these new listings mean for the people of Norfolk Island. Copies of the draft booklet are available on the island from the National Parks office and the Norfolk Island Administration office or on the internet at http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/index.html

Norfolk Island residents are invited to come and chat with Paul Garrett and Marina Walkington from the Department of Environment and Heritage staff at the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Hall on the following dates:

Tuesday 25th November and Thursday 27th November 9.30am-1.30pm Wednesday 26th November 2.00pm-4.00pm

If people would like to arrange meetings outside of these times, they can contact Paul or Marina at the Whispering Pines. General information on threatened species and ecological communities under the EPBC Act can be found on the departmental web site at www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened or by calling +61 2 6274 1292. A full list of the 46 plant species now listed under the EPBC Act is attached.

Plants on Norfolk Island added to the national list of threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Critically endangered:

Abutilon julianae Achyranthes margaretarum Boehmeria australis var. australis Calystegia affinis Clematis dubia Elymus multiflorus var. kingianus Euphorbia norfolkiana Hibiscus insularis Melicytus latifolius Myoporum obscurum Phreatia limenophylax Achyranthes arborescens Elatostema montanum Meryta latifolia Wikstroemia australis

(Norfolk Island Abutilon) (a shrub) (Tree Nettle, Nettletree) (a creeper) (a creeper) (Phillip Island Wheat-grass) Norfolk Island Euphorbia (Phillip Island Hibiscus) (Norfolk Island Mahoe) (Popwood, Sandlewood, Bastard Ironwood) (Norfolk Island Phreatia) (Chaff Tree, Soft-wood) (Mountain Procris, a herb) (Broad-leaved Meryta) (Kurrajong)

Endangered:

Blechnum norfolkianum Coprosma baueri Coprosma pilosa Crepidomanes endlicherianum Dendrobium brachypus Lastreopsis calantha Marattia salicina Muehlenbeckia australis Pennantia endlicheri Phreatia paleata Pouteria costata Pteris kingiana Pteris zahlbruckneriana Senecio evansianus Streblus pendulinus Zehneria baueriana

(Norfolk Island Water-fern) (Coastal Coprosma) (Mountain Coprosma) (Middle Filmy Fern) (Norfolk Island Orchid) (Shield-fern) (King Fern) (Shrubby Creeper, Pohuehue) (Pennantia) (an orchid) (Bastard Ironwood) (King's Brake Fern) (Netted Brake Fern) (a daisy) (Siah's Backbone, Sia's Backbone) (Native Cucumber, Giant Cucumber)

Vulnerable:

Cordyline obtecta Dysoxylum bijugum Euphorbia obliqua Hypolepis dicksonioides Ileostylus micranthus Melicope littoralis Melicytus ramiflorus subsp. oblongifolius Meryta angustifolia Pittosporum bracteolatum Rapanea ralstoniae Senecio australis Senecio hooglandii Taeniophyllum muelleri Tmesipteris norfolkensis Ungeria floribunda

(Ti) (Sharkwood) (a herb) (Downy Ground-fern, Brake Fern) (Mistletoe) (Shade Tree) (Whiteywood) Narrow-leaved Meryta (Oleander) (Beech) (a daisy) (a daisy) (Minute Orchid, Ribbon-root Orchid) (Hanging Fork-fern) (Bastard Oak)

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Last Updated: Friday, 14-Nov-2003 14:27:15 EST