Trust For Nature

Pimelea Conservation Trust Fund

Spiny Rice-flower and Trust for Nature – the Pimelea Conservation Trust Fund

The Spiny Rice-flower (Pimelea spinescens subsp. spinescens) is a small native shrub that is only found in the clay soils of Victoria’s basalt plains. It is critically endangered in Australia and listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Now it is mostly confined to grassland remnants found on roadsides, rail reserves, cemeteries, airports and some private properties. 

The Spiny Rice-flower is a grassland plant and provides habitat for legless lizards and various insects. Spiny Rice-flower is one of the few flowering species which is always present in the ecosystem providing shade and protection for insects and fauna. Spiny Rice-flower flowers during autumn and winter providing nectar and pollen for the grasslands insects during a time when little food is normally available. 

In 2005, a recognised need for the protection of the Spiny Rice-flower saw the formation of the Pimelea Conservation Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was formed through an agreement with Multiplex Developments and resulted in the allocation of $1,000,000 towards Spiny Rice-flower conservation.

A group with representatives from national, state and local governments annually meet to determine the best way to use the funds, with Trust for Nature acting as Trustee for the Fund. 

Each year, the Fund supports:

  • Management of two Reserves (Altona Nature Conservation Reserve and Pimelea Nature Conservation Reserve) which contain the Spiny Rice-flower; and
  • Projects that benefit the Spiny Rice-flower.

The group seeks project applications for the Spiny Rice-flower, which are considered, and if successful, funded from the start of July.

Since 2005 the fund has supported:

  • An examination of the species genetic diversity and population structure by the Royal Botanical Gardens. This is helping to set conservation activities to help the species and ensure Spiny Rice-flower’s long-term survival.
  • Writing of a new Spiny Rice-flower Recovery Plan.
  • The employment of a Pimelea Conservation Officer to support both the Pimelea Conservation Trust and Pimelea spinescens Recovery team.
  • An assessment of all the Spiny Rice-flower translocations that have been carried out to date. This has highlighted ways to improve future translocation activities.
  • The development of a Spiny Rice-flower monitoring protocol.

Documents developed as part of these projects are available to download as PDFs here:

 

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