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Preventing the extinction of Victoria's threatened flora

The Preventing the extinction of Victoria’s threatened flora project aims to prevent the extinction of 24 endangered or critically endangered Victorian plants. We will focus on two botanical hotspots, the Gippsland and Grampians regions, and also include threatened flora from the Barwon South West and Port Phillip Regions. This project will address key threatened species recovery actions from 11 threatened species Action Statements and 11 National Recovery Plans and work to optimise conservation actions across the life cycles of the plants.

The project will lead to long-term conservation benefits for the 24 plant species, both onsite (in situ) and offsite (ex situ). Our ex situ actions include collecting seeds, vegetative plant material, spores, rhizobia and mycorrhiza which will be kept in seed and spore banks, nursery facilities, and raised garden beds at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. These ex situ plant collections will act as long-term insurance populations, as a source of material for future reintroductions, and will help us carry out further research. The project began on 1 June 2023 and will run until the second half of 2026.


Caladenia rosella – Credit: Dr Noushka Reiter

Acacia phasmoides – Credit: Dr. Andre Messina

Phebalium glandulosum subsp. macrocalyx: Credit – Dr. Andre Messina



The ANPC is pleased to be collaborating on this project with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, La Trobe University and the other partners listed below.


This project will follow an integrated conservation framework which includes the following activities:

1. Threat assessments, field surveys and community surveys. This includes detailed mapping of populations to establish the number of surviving plants, allow comparison with past population estimates, and maximise the known plants available for seed collections.
2. Seed and spore collection. For all 24 species, seeds or spores will be collected during the appropriate season, viability tested, and stored in a seed/sporebank.
3. Conservation genetics. For 10 species, genetic analysis is required for wild plants, stored seed or plants currently held in cultivation to inform additional seed collection priorities and to ensure genetic diversity is captured for ex situ collections and future translocations.
4. Germination trials. We will optimise seed germination techniques for 11 difficult to grow species through germination trials.
5. Pollination studies. Pollinators will be identified at extant in situ sites for 10 species and at potential translocation sites for 9 species. This will assist with selecting future reintroduction sites based on pollinator presence.
6. Developing permanent ex situ living collections. For 20 species we will grow a genetically diverse ex situ population. For 12 species (Fabaceae and Orchidaceae), symbiotic propagation will be undertaken to generate seedlings (using mycorrhizal fungi isolated from the orchids, or rhizobia isolated from the pea plants respectively).
7. Establishing new populations through propagation. For 9 species we will introduce >200 genetically diverse individuals to a new site with their essential symbionts and pollinators present.
8. Workshops. One-day workshops on Victorian threatened flora conservation will be held in the Port Phillip, Gippsland and the Grampians (Gariwerd) regions. These are scheduled to be held in 2025-26.




Project species and threat rating

Scientific Name

Flora and Fauna

Guarantee Act Status

EPBC Act Status
Acacia phasmoidesCRVU
Adiantum diaphanumCR
Caladenia ancylosaCR
Caladenia rosellaCRCR
Caladenia validaCR
Craspedia canensCR
Daviesia laevisCREN
Diuris ochromaENVU
Grevillea microstegiaCR
Grevillea pachylostylaCR
Grevillea parvulaEN
Isoetes pusillaEN
Phebalium glandulosum subsp. macrocalyxCR
Pimelea pagophilaENEN
Prostanthera galbraithiaeENVU
Prostanthera walteriEN
Pterostylis basalticaCREN
Sphaerolobium acanthosCRCR
Spyridium furculentumCREN
Swainsona plagiotropisENVU
Swainsona reticulataEN
Swainsona sericeaEN
Thelymitra mackibbiniiCRVU
Xerochrysum palustreCRVU

CR – critically endangered, EN – endangered, VU – vulnerable

Project contacts

The project will be managed through a project control group (PCG), which will be chaired by Dr Noushka Reiter (Project CI). In addition, the PCG will contain principle collaborators Dr Elizabeth James (RBGV), Dr Ryan Phillips (La Trobe University), Dr Rebecca Miller (RBGV); representatives of the relevant land management agencies (DEECA, Parks Victoria, TFN and CMAs) and the partner community groups (the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Bairnsdale & District Field Naturalists Club, Friends of the Grampians, Halls Gap Botanic Gardens, WAMA (Grampians) and the Australasian Native Orchid Society Vic Branch). The PCG will be responsible for reporting to the State Government.

Dr Noushka Reiter – Senior Research Scientist (Conservation)

Dr Ryan Phillips – Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology (La Trobe University)

Dr Linda Riquelme – Post-doctoral Fellow (La Trobe University)

Dr Andre Messina – Botanist

Dr Rebeca Miller – Seed Research Scientist

Dr Meg Hirst – Seed Ecologist

Dr Hong Zhang – Technical Assistant (Seedbank)

Dr Daniel Ohlsen – Botanist

Dr Elizabeth James – Senior Research Scientist (Genetics)

Dr Tara Hopley – Research Scientist (Genetics)

Dr Laura Simmons – Post-Research Scientist (Genetics)

Alex Mclachlan – Research Assistant

John Woodward  – Technical Assistant

Rebecca Grinter – Masters student (La Trobe University)

Eamonn Culhane – Honours student (La Trobe University)

Dr Alastair Robinson – Manager (Biodiversity Services)

David Robbins – Team Leader (Nursery Melbourne)

Chris Jenek – Horticulturist (Nursery Melbourne)

Nicoletta Centofanti – Horticulturist (Nursery Melbourne)

Russell Larke – Senior Curator (RBGV Cranbourne)

Mandy Thomson – Team Leader Nursery (RBGV Cranbourne)


Project Partners

This research is funded by @deeca_vic’s / @DEECAVictoria’s Nature Fund. The ‘Preventing the extinction of Victoria’s threatened flora’ project is led by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in partnership with La Trobe University, Australian Network for Plant Conservation, DEECA, Trust for Nature, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Nillumbik Shire, ENVITE, Bairnsdale & District Field Naturalists Club, Friends of the Grampians Gariwerd, WAMA Botanic Gardens, Halls Gap Botanic Gardens, and the Australasian Native Orchid Society Victorian Branch.

Funding acknowledgement

Funded by the Victorian Government Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) Nature Fund, and project partners.