Nature conservation

Threatened species

Nitella parooensis - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Nitella parooensis
Conservation status in NSW: Critically Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 30 Nov 2018
Profile last updated: 29 Jun 2022


Nitella parooensis is a rooted, short lived annual charaphye (algae) to 10 cm high. Like the closely related N. partita it is green and superficially similar to a submerged flowing plant, with flexible stems and whorls of branch-like structures that carry the reproductive organs. It has internodes to 3 cm long and 0.4 mm wide. Branchlets to 3 cm in whorls of 5-7 at the axis of the node. Fertile parts are without mucus and N. parooensis has unique oospores that appear twisted.


First described in 2013, N.parooensis is Endemic to NSW, existing in a very small range (~8 km2) in the claypan wetlands of North Western NSW. It is currently known to occur in three small temporary freshwater wetlands within the Paroo River Catchment in the Nocoleche Nature Reserve. Searches have been conducted within the Nocoleche Nature Reserve and in similar freshwater wetland habitats in north western NSW and southern QLD but no further occurrences have been located. N. parooensis is very uncommon at the three sites where it is currently known, with only scattered individuals seen.

Habitat and ecology

  • The largest site where N. paroonesis is known to occur is a temporary lignum swamp on the edge of a floodplain that fills either after minor flooding of the river or from local runoff. It occurs on heavy grey cracking clay and is fringed by Eucalyptus ochrophloia (Yapunyah) and E. largiflorens (Black box) with an understorey of Duma florulenta (Lignum) and Acacia stenophylla (River Coobah). Herbaceous species include Eleocharis plana, Marsilea spp., Alternanthera denticulata, Cyperus gilesii, Aponogeton queenslandicus and Eragrostis australasicus. Submerged species include the charophytes Chara braunii, Nitella sonderi and Nitella cristata.
  • The other sites are shallow temporary wetlands adjacent to the floodplain on red clay substrate. The wetlands fill from local runoff after heavy rain.
  • Often found in water so turbid the plant cannot be visually located.
  • Apparently capable of rapid growth and may be short lived.
  • Sexual propagules (oospores) can survive prolonged desiccation, remaining dormant in the soil until water is available.
  • Waterbirds are likely to play an important role in the dispersal of propagules.

Regional distribution and habitat

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

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