Project to support critically endangered Bathurst region plant

A critically endangered Bathurst region plant is being given a better chance with a joint project working to secure its future survival.

Bossiaea fragrans flowers

Bossiaea fragrans, a small shrub, is only found in the Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve, on an adjacent travelling stock route and nearby road side verge along Goulburn Road.

NSW DPIE Environment Energy and Science Threatened Species Officer Madelaine Castles said National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Central Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS), and Bathurst Regional Council are collaborating to secure a future for the critically endangered plant.

“With a population of only approximately 400, each plant is valuable and the plants outside of the reserve are particularly vulnerable to threats like browsing by feral animals and accidental human damage,” Ms Castles said.

“Through the support of LLS and council new browsing exclusion fences have been built on the travelling stock route and roadside verge to protect the plants.

“This will hopefully lead to recruitment of new plants to increase the population.

An exclusion fence built inside the Abercrombie Kaarst Conservation Reserve has proven to be successful in stopping feral goat browsing and promoting new plants. In addition, 616 goats have been removed from the reserve by NPWS over the past 4 years.

“NPWS do a great job of managing the plants in the reserve but continued support from LLS, local council and the broader community will help us to ensure a future for this species outside the reserve system,” she said.

Central Tablelands Senior Land Services Officer, Colleen Farrow said Local Land Services is very happy to support this project.

“This plant is an important part of the native ecosystem providing habitat for our smaller native species, we hope that this project will result in an increase in plant numbers across the area,” she said.

Bossiaea fragrans is an erect shrub that grows 1 – 2.5m high. It has characteristic flat stems known as cladodes. The flowers, which can be seen from September to October, are yellow with red markings.

Additional populations of this plant are still being sought so if you think you have seen it in the area, get in contact with your local LLS, national parks office or DPIE EES threatened species team. 

This project is part of the NSW Government Saving our Species Program, which aims to secure populations of threatened species in the wild.