Tephrosia filipes
, a New Threatened Species
The NSW Scientific Committee has made a Preliminary Determination that a small
plant of the pea family,
Tephrosia filipes,
is a Vulnerable species. The
Tephrosia
was
declared threatened following a nomination by Patricia and myself two years ago.
We had found the 40cm high, pink flowering plant growing in two small populations
near the Shannon Creek dam site in 2003, and made the nomination after learning it
had only been recorded at a handful of NSW sites, all within the Clarence Valley.
In preparing the submission, we were required to show the species was poorly
represented in the national park system, and unless protected, was under threat of
extinction in NSW.
This was not a difficult task. Only two small populations had been found near
Shannon Creek, one numbering perhaps twenty plants was close to the dam wall site,
and another fifty plants in the path of the proposed access road to the dam.
Consultants for the dam project reportedly undertook over 400 person/days of
general flora surveys, and were unable to find any other populations of
Tephrosia
on
the 5,000 hectare property. Despite being advised of the nomination, no attempt was
made to realign the road, and as a result both populations have now been wiped out.
It is not all bad news for
Tephrosia filipes
, we have found a small group of plants in
the nearby Chambigne Nature Reserve, and it had previously been identified growing
in small numbers in the Nymboida and Guy Fawkes National Park.
* * *
The recently declared vulnerable species,
Tephrosia filipes
.