The ANPC is extremely excited to announce that we have received an Environment and Conservation grant from The Ian Potter Foundation to review and update the ANPC’s Germplasm Guidelines. Called ‘Conserving our national plant treasures: guidelines for collecting, storing and growing Australian plants for restoration’, this project will fund the comprehensive update of one of our flagship publications. The Germplasm Guidelines are the definitive Australian standard for native seed and regenerative plant material collection, storage and use, last being published in 2009. Since that time, seed biology research has progressed significantly and to ensure that the latest information is passed onto practitioners and land managers, we will bring together leading experts in seed biology research and practice from across Australia to review and rewrite the Guidelines. The project will incorporate updated scientific knowledge to ensure Australia’s seed sector maintains the necessary skills and knowledge required. Read more.
The Healthy Seeds Consortium of partners from across the native seed and ecological restoration sectors has been established between the ANPC and the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Australian Seed Bank Partnership, Greening Australia, Australian Association of Bush Regenerators and the Society Ecological Restoration Australasia, to oversee the project and has held its first meeting. Martin Driver and Lucy Commander commenced in September as the Healthy Seeds Project Manager and Florabank Guidelines Project Manager respectively, and have hit the ground running. And Murray Local Land Services is about to start the audit and investigation into past and present Seed Production Areas (SPAs) in NSW. SPAs are seen as central to overcoming shortfalls in high quality native seed for ecological restoration, and for improving seed supply reliability, reducing pressure on wild populations, and for improving genetic provenance and diversity to ensure the long-term health and resilience of restored ecosystems. Read more.
While cane toads creep across northern Australia and down the eastern coastline, a far more insidious invasive species is ravaging our native trees. Scientists warn rapid extinctions of some of our most well-known tree species are on the cards if myrtle rust, an invasive, disease-causing fungus, is not rapidly brought under control. Myrtle rust, or Austropuccinia psidii, has caused extensive dieback of trees including lilly pillies, paperbarks, box brush and tea trees. The areas most affected are wet forest environments, such as coastal heath, paperbark wetlands and rainforests, along the east coast of Australia, said Bob Makinson, a conservation botanist with the Australian Network of Plant Conservation. “We know that at least four species are in what can only be termed catastrophic decline,” Mr Makinson said. “The critical endangered status that’s been afforded to three of those species in New South Wales means that they are in danger of extinction in the near future. Read more.
The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc. (ANPC) was held on Wednesday 20 November 2019 at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra. Click here to read the President’s Report on what the ANPC has achieved over 2019. Thank you to all those who attended and/or nominated for Management Committee positions. Dr Tony Auld (pictured) was nominated as President, and Dr David Coates as Vice-President. Dr Stephen Bell, Dr Andrew Crawford, Dr Paul Gibson-Roy, Dr Lydia Guja and Bob Makinson were nominated as Ordinary Members. Welcome to new committee members Tony, Stephen and Lydia. And many thanks to Dr Linda Broadhurst, Dr Kate Brown, Selga Harrington, Chris Ikin, Maria Matthes and Kylie Moritz who stepped down from the committee this year. Read more.
If your membership is due for renewal in 2020 you would have received an email from us on 4 November detailing your current membership details. If there are no changes to your details, you can pay directly by EFT/bank transfer (preferred method of payment) to the bank account provided, referencing your name and membership number so we know who you are. There is no need to complete a form. However if any details have changed, or you prefer to pay via credit card, cheque or request an invoice first, please complete the online membership form. Due to the launch of our new website early this year, the online membership form and payment gateway is now more straightforward and user friendly! Your continued involvement in the ANPC is invaluable and assists us to provide a range of important plant conservation initiatives. Please renew here.
Wooragee Landcare Group in north-east regional Victoria held a Declining Species workshop on 10 November 2019. The group is currently involved in a Banksia marginata recovery project which has involved surveying, collecting seeds, cuttings and genetic material, as well as having plants grown for Seed Production Areas on both private and public land. ANPC’s Project Manager, Martin Driver spoke about a vital aspect of working with declining species – that is ensuring sources of seed are available for revegetation. Inadequate seed supplies are one of the blockers for revegetation being carried out on a sufficient scale to prevent species decline, and for focusing on particular declining species. A few of us in Wooragee Landcare reflected on the past seed banks and seed collection which seemed more active than at present.
The field trip was to a local farm where the owners Anne and Fleur Stelling have fenced off a paddock of remnant vegetation and removed all stock. For the first few years the paddock was lightly grazed but they have found they have had better recovery when all sheep grazing was removed. Not only have shrubs recovered and regenerated but a wonderful display of herbs and forbs – Blue Pincushion (Brunonia australis), Spur Velleia (Velleia sp), Pimelea sp, orchids, chocolate lilies and many more.
Landcare groups are in a valuable position to be able to act on species decline – they are not so bound by large strategies and have more flexibility than larger organisations.
It was a very thought-provoking session with Martin and has spurred us on to continue thinking (and acting) about seed and seed supply, so we can continue to implement on-ground works to prevent species decline.
Wooragee Landcare and the ANPC gratefully acknowledge the Wettenhall Foundation for funding Martin’s attendance at the workshop as part of the Bring Back the Banksias project, and Dr Maurizio Rossetto from the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney for genetic testing.