New population of rare orchid,
Geodorum terrestre,
found near Grafton
In April 2008, Patricia and I undertook the flora survey of a National Parks Service
Reserve near Grafton, taking several days spread over about a month. This is
something we have done for several reserves in the area, compiling species lists,
hoping The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW)
would one day receive funding to pay us for the work, money that could go to
the
Clarence Environment Centre to help keep our shop-front open as rent and other
costs escalate.
We have undertaken a couple of official surveys in the past to assist
the Department with compiling Management Plans, one pro bono (Chambigne
Nature Reserve c2003), while payment for the other (Ramornie National Park)
benefited the Centre.
During the April 2008 survey we found an orchid that we identified as
Geodorum
densiflorum
which, unbeknown to us at that time, was actually listed as an
endangered species. One reference book we used - “Significant Terrestrial Plants of
Upper North East NSW" (Sherringham and Westaway), did not include the species at
all, while the other, “Flora of NSW" (Harden Vol 4), gave no clue to its scarcity
stating only that it:
“Grows in dry sclerophyll forest, north of the Macleay".
As it happens, the
Geodorum,
which has recently had its
name changed to
Geodorum
terrestre,
has only previously
been recorded in NSW north
of Evans Head, and then only
in very limited numbers, so
this find near Grafton is
significant in that it extends
the species' known range
southwards considerably.
It was not until I was checking
the Council's final Draft of its
Biodiversity Management
Strategy for threatened
species omissions against
DECCW's official list, that I
was alerted to its endangered
status.
However, before we added it
to the Strategy's list of
threatened species occurring
in the Clarence Valley, we
needed to have it verified.
A fruiting specimen of the endangered orchid
Geodorum
terreste.
Three specimens have been found near Grafton.