‘Name game’ to bring NSW’s threatened plants into the spotlight

The NSW Government Saving our Species program is calling on the NSW public to play the ‘name game’ and suggest new names for some of NSW’s lesser-known leafy, grassy and shrubbery threatened species.

Acacia meiantha, flowers

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Threatened Species Conservation Manager Linda Bell said that 65% of the Australian native species at risk of extinction in New South Wales are plants, however they struggle to garner the same level of conservation attention and support as their cute and cuddly animal counterparts.

“While conservation of iconic species like the koala and the brush-tailed rock-wallaby will always be critically important, we cannot forget the crucial role our native plants play in the health of all ecosystems across New South Wales.

“The Saving our Species program has invested over $3.3 million to save over 230 threatened plants in the 2019-20 financial year, but we need the community to get behind our plant species too.

“Almost three quarters of these plants are known only by a scientific name, like Pterostylis riparia, a beautiful ground orchid found only in the Barrington Tops. These names are hard to pronounce and even trickier to remember, making it hard for these plants to find a place in the hearts and minds of our community.

“That’s why we’re asking everyone to get involved and suggest catchy, easy-to-pronounce names for 8 unnamed, but not unloved, threatened species found in New South Wales.

“This is your chance to make your mark on threatened species conservation in New South Wales. Whether the name means something to your community or your culture, suits the look of the species or just makes you smile, we want to hear from you.

“We’d especially love to hear name suggestions that recognise the living history of our Indigenous people and their connection to the land on which these threatened species are found,” said Ms Bell.

Submissions for the ‘Name Our Species’ competition are open now and will close on Friday 28 August. To enter, visit Be a champion of our unnamed, but not unloved, threatened species. Entries will be judged by a panel of threatened species experts from the Saving our Species program. Winners will be announced on Threatened Species Day, 7 September 2020 and will be featured on social media and the Saving our Species webpage throughout September.

The eight species on the hunt for a new name are: