New populations of rare desert daisy emerge across SA

By AG Staff January 18, 2018
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Up until now the only known population of the rare purple desert flower existed just north of Coober Pedy.

THE RARE PURPLE Arckaringa daisy, once thought to be restricted to a small population in the South Australian desert, has extended its range, according to a new survey conducted in late-2017.

The only previously known population of the flower was discovered on Arckaringa Station just north of the outback town of Cobber Pedy in 2000 by scientists Rob Brandle and Peter Lang.

According to South Australian Arid Lands Region community economist Catherine Lynch, who conducted the survey, an additional 2000 flowers have been discovered on nearby properties.

“We found a number of new populations and managed to extend its known range by about 10 km,” Catherine told ABC News.

“It shows that it is quite a restricted species.

“The information that we’ve collected has allowed us to learn a bit more about the species itself, and potential threats to the populations by things like pastoral grazing.”

According to Catherine, despite the discovery of new populations, that it only extended it range by 10,000 km means the flower remains endangered.

“It does prove that it is quite a rare and highly restricted plant, so it certainly is an endangered species.”

Catharine added that there’s potential for the daisy to be grown in captivity.

“Using those seeds, they can certainly propagate individuals of the plant and, potentially, we could look to re-introduce the species if it was to become extinct,” she said.

“Obviously, our priority is to prevent that happening in the first place.

“This survey has allowed us to learn more about the species and ways in which we can protect against extinction.”