Desperately seeking endangered shrub sightings
The search is on for an endangered plant, the beautiful Zieria obcordata, and residents in the central tablelands are being urged to be ready to report any sightings of this threatened species.
Native to New South Wales, Zieria obcordata is currently found in only two small populations near Wellington and Bathurst and they are about to bloom.
“This plant is special because it is found nowhere else in the world but the NSW central tablelands, and unfortunately it has been hit hard by the drought with less than 200 plants left in the wild,” said Darren Shelly, Senior Threatened Species Officer with the Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment.
“We think there might be more un-discovered populations of this Zieria on private properties between Wellington and Bathurst and we are asking for the local community’s help in reporting sightings of this rare plant.”
The Zieria obcordata is a small shrub, typically 10 to 40 centimetres high and can be identified by its dark green leaves composed of three wedge-shaped leaflets and its flowers, complete with four very small pale pink petals that fade rapidly to white.
“The plant usually flowers between August and October and grows on rocky hillsides or crevices between granite boulders, often in lines running downslope,” Mr Shelly said.
Local residents have already proved instrumental in ensuring the existing populations survived the recent drought and the plant’s other threats which include grazing by deer, goats and wallabies. Some members of the community have been volunteering for several years with the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program to save the Zieria obcordata.
The Central Tablelands Local Land Service (LLS) have also expressed interest in helping the Saving our Species team look for new populations of this threatened plant.
“There is a lot to say for the community spirit of the people of the central tablelands in protecting the environment in their local region and backyard and we are hoping residents will jump on board and also help the Zieria obcordata,” said Mr Shelly.