Pimelea curviflora (a small shrub) - vulnerable species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list Pimelea curviflora R. Br var. curviflora (Thymelaeaceae) a small shrub as a VULNERABLE SPECIES on Schedule 2 of the Act. Listing of vulnerable species is provided for by Schedule 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Pimelea curviflora was first described in 1810 by Robert Brown. A number of varieties have since been described with Pimelea curviflora var. curviflora described in 1982 by S. Threlfall (Brunonia 5, p.113-201).

2. Pimelea curviflora var. curviflora is a much-branched subshrub or shrub 20-120cm high, with leaves 5-10mm long and 2-4mm wide, the lower surface sparsely hairy. The red to yellow flowers are in clusters of 4-12 and 6-8mm long and hairy (Harden 1990). It is restricted to the northern area of Sydney on sandstone soils and laterite soils.

3. The taxon is currently known from about 20 locations from the coastal area of northern Sydney to Maroota in the north-west. It is found between South Maroota, Cowan, Narrabeen, Allambie Heights, Northmead and Kellyville. Its former range extended south to the Parramatta River and Port Jackson region including Five Dock, Bellevue Hill and Manly.

4. It is usually recorded as rare with only 2 sites with estimates of 300 plants, and most sites with only a few plants or estimates of <100 plants. The taxon has an inconspicuous cryptic habit as it is fine and scraggly and often grows amongst dense grasses and sedges. It may not always be visible at a site as it appears to survive for some time without any foliage after fire or grazing, relying on energy reserves in its tuberous roots.

5. There are only 2 localities presently reserved in a National Park or Nature Reserve. It has been recorded only once in Garigal National Park in 1992 and in Muogamarra Nature Reserve in 1971 despite other surveys in both areas. The number of plants reserved is unknown.

6. The major threat is habitat loss by clearing for urban development. Five locations (including the two largest sites) are currently under threat from construction proposals. Populations tend to be in close proximity to various forms of disturbance such as existing trails, and are threatened by trail construction and associated recreational activities. Close proximity to developed or developing areas also presents threats such as weed invasion, an inappropriate fire regime and grazing by pest fauna. The numbers of plants at the locations is generally low.

7. In view of 3, 4, 5 & 6 above, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the species is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate and hence Pimelea curviflora var. curviflora is eligible to be listed as vulnerable on Schedule 2 of the Act.

Proposed gazettal date: 31/7/98

Exhibition period: 31/7/98 to 4/9/98

About the NSW Scientific Committee

Page last updated: 28 February 2011