Rare glasshouse banksia discovered
A BUDDING POPULATION of glasshouse banksias (Banksia conferta), considered critically endangered, have been discovered in Coorabakh National Park in New South Wales.
The rare species of banksia was sighted while researchers conducted soil sampling and plant monitoring in the area.
“We were extremely surprised and excited to find the Glasshouse Banksia in a remote and mountainous area in Coorabakh National Park, as this plant usually prefers a different type of soil and geology,” said Andrew Seed, from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).
“The Glasshouse Banksia was previously only known to live in a small area within this park as well as the Glass House Mountains in Queensland – so this new population is great news for this rare plant.”
The rarity of the glasshouse banksia can be explained through the plants fluctuating location preference, which is bolstered by its restricted distribution and small population size.
The OEH also explained that, despite that fire typically triggers seed release in banksias; too much exposure to fire regimes in a short time frame could further devastate populations. Road maintenance also poses a potential threat to populations of banksia adjacent to roadsides.
The survey of Coorabakh National Park yielded a number of significant finds including the Hakea archaeoides and the Dracophyllum macranthum, both considered vulnerable under the Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
“This trip was very encouraging as finding more plant populations fills us with hope of being able to secure these endangered or vulnerable plants in the wild into the future,” Andrew said.
“And we can’t wait to get back to Coorabakh National Park for further monitoring – who knows what else we could find.”
Hakea archaeoides. (Image Credit: Flickr)