Environment SA News

Wattle happen with the endangered Whibleyana?

The endangered Whibley’s wattle is on the road to recovery on Eyre Peninsula, due largely to the assistance from the Tumby Bay Area School, District Council of Tumby Bay and local landholder support.

Wattle happen with the endangered Whibleyana?
Whibley’s wattle (Acacia whibleyana) – Photo: South Australian Seed Conservation Centre

Since 2017 significant work has taken place to help save Tumby Bay’s endangered wattle the Acacia whibleyana, commonly referred to as Whibley’s wattle.

Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Officer Geraldine Turner is proud of the positive results that are being achieved in helping to save the endangered plant.

“Project funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program has enabled a variety of activities to be achieved to help conserve Whibley’s wattle,” Ms Turner said.

“As it’s endemic to the Tumby Bay region it has been important to work closely with the community who have been instrumental in allowing us to survey the local area.

“We have now discovered a further 891 plants, and considering that this is a threatened species, this is a huge find.

“This brings the total remnant population to over 1,800 individual plants.

“Further genetic testing has also revealed there is no in-breeding, which is a big concern in threatened populations, and we have four distinct genetic sub-populations.

“This is important information and together with a new management plan, will guide our future recovery actions to ensure its long-term survival.”

Students at the Tumby Bay Area School have helped to propagate and plant seedlings each year, while local landholders have assisted by allowing land to be fenced off for conservation.

“Without support from the local community, Whibley’s wattle will not survive into the future,” Ms Turner said.

Other key works achieved as part of this project include fencing remnant Whibley’s wattle from stock, fencing a new area of revegetation, direct seeding, as well as rabbit and weed control.

For more information on native plants in the Eyre Peninsula region visit Natural Resources EP website.

Wattle happen with the endangered Whibleyana?
Local landholder Dion Clarke with Geraldine Turner, planting Whibley’s wattle