Kilsyth South Spider Orchid

View this detailed painting of the endangered Kilsyth orchid

UPDATE: Robin Harper, MSP, (Green Party) has lent his support to the campaign!

Credits: Photos: Helen Moss. Painting: Ruth Jackson

A small group of concerned environmentalists are petitioning habitat of kilsyth orchid in australia in order to save an internationally significant orchid from extinction the Kilsyth South Spider-orchid from Victoria, Australia. (Caladenia sp. aff. venusta). It is the only one of its kind in the world and only occurs on a privately owned block of land. Only 23 specimens are known. 

Proposals were made by the owners of the land to clear significant areas of vegetation in order to build a house, however Maroondah City Council rejected the permit and VCAT supported this decision. We now believe that Maroondah City Council and the state government have the responsibility to purchase the land in fairness to the property owners and in order to preserve the orchid.

To convince the state and local government photo of kilsyth south spider orchid that the amount of money required (approx. 200,000) to purchase the private land is worth while, you can also help by writing to the Mayor of Maroondah City Council, or informing any other groups which you believe may assist in this effort. Every letter or email will increase the chances that we can preserve the orchid.

Please check this site regularly or email Linda Bester in Australia for advice and campaign updates.

copy of model letter or email

To: Frank Corr, Mayor, Maroondah City Council, 

P.O. Box 156 Ringwood, Victoria, Australia 3134

Dear Mr Corr,

KILSYTH SOUTH SPIDER ORCHID

I support the campaign to save this critically endangered plant and I would be obliged if you could continue to keep me up to date with information about your work to save the orchid.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed)

SOME MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE KILSYTH ORCHID:
Family: Orchidaceae:Liliopsida:Plantae
Species author: G.W.Carr ms.
Reference: J.H.Ross, A Census of the Vascular Plants of Victoria (2000) 144.

Flora Nominations Under Consideration (November 2001)

The following nomination for listing as threatened flora is currently being assessed by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (Victoria, Australia)

UPDATE ON FEDERAL HERITAGE SCHEME
The Senate had referred the following Bills to the Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and Arts References Committee: Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill (No.2) 2000; the Australian Heritage Bill 2000 and; the Australian Heritage Council (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2000. The National EDO Network outlined its concerns about the proposed changes in a submission to the Inquiry. The EDO submission can now be viewed on the EDO website at: www.edo.org.au/edonsw/policy/policy.htm

FLORA AND FAUNA GUARANTEE ACT -ADDITIONS TO LISTS
A number of items were recently added to the List of Taxa and Communities
of Flora and Fauna which are threatened. One such item is the Kilsyth South
Spider - Orchid. http://www.ea.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/c-venusta.html

Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) on Amendments to the list of Threatened Species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

1. Scientific name, common name (where appropriate), major taxon group

Caladenia sp. aff. venusta (Kilsyth South Spider-orchid)

2. National Context

The species is endemic to Kilsyth South, Victoria.

3. How judged by TSSC in relation to the EPBC Act criteria

TSSC judges the species to be eligible for listing as critically endangered under the EPBC Act. The justification against the criteria is as follows:

Criterion 1 - Decline in numbers

No data is available against this criterion.

Criterion 2 - Geographic distribution

The species has a very restricted geographic distribution having an area of occurrence estimated at 2ha and area of occupancy estimated at 1ha. The species is known from a single location and a decline is projected due to the proposed residential development of the site.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under this criterion.

Criterion 3 - Population size and decline in numbers or distribution

The observed population is very low, totaling 23 individual plants. This figure is based on survey work and observations by the nominator over several years ("nearly a decade"). A decline in the number of individuals, area of occurrence and area of occupancy is projected on the basis of proposed residential development for the site and its geographic distribution is thus precarious for the survival of the species.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under this criterion.

Criterion 4 - Population size.

The observed population is extremely low, totaling 23 individual plants. This figure is based on survey work and observations by the nominator over several years.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under this criterion.

Criterion 5 - Probability of extinction in the wild

The probability of extinction in the wild has not been calculated.

4. Conclusion

The total population is extremely small, its geographic distribution is very restricted and precarious for the survival of the species and located at a site currently allocated for residential development. The species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under criteria 2, 3 & 4.

5. Recommendation

TSSC recommends that the list referred to in section 178 of the EPBC Act be amended by including in the list in the critically endangered category:

Caladenia sp. aff. venusta (Kilsyth South Spider-orchid)