Post-fire threatened flora recovery

Safeguarding Kangaroo Islands threatened flora against extinction

Since the bushfires on Kangaroo Island, we have been working with the local community, landholders, volunteers and other stakeholders to assess the post fire response of the Islands unique threatened vegetation. We use the results from our monitoring to prioritise and implement on-ground work that will enhance threatened flora recovery and mitigate against future population declines.  

Our work weaves together four complementary elements of: 

  • Monitoring fire and flood recovery of endemic and threatened flora
  • Implementing in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies  
  • Providing opportunities for First Nations landscape management approaches 
  • Identifying and mitigating threats.  

Community and landholders are core to our work and are embedded throughout our project delivery. Over the last two years we have been generously assisted by ninety-one (91) volunteers which equated to 2,730 hours.  

Our monitoring focusses on 17 threatened plants including many that only occur on the Island. We have collected data from 42 monitoring quadrats during spring and autumn in 2020/21 and 2021/22.  

Monitoring results indicate that while some species are recovering well, others continue to be at risk on privately owned property such as Correa calycina var. halmaturorum and Asperula tetraphylla.

Climate change, specifically fire and flood, continues to threaten these, and other plant species, on the Island.  

Our work with the SA Seed Conservation Centre (SASCC) identified, prioritised and collected plant material for ex-situ plant conservation to mitigate against extinction risks. We have also been working with the SASCC to support translocations, establish the Island’s Rare Production Garden (RPG) and formalise a Friends of KI Threatened Flora group. This RPG was launched by the Deputy Premier in July.

The Rare Plant Garden 

In partnership with the SASCC and BioR, we have established the Island’s first Rare Plant Garden (RPG). The RPG is a novel approach to growing seeds for the future that can be used for restoration, population supplementation, translocations, research and “banking” for the future.

Our long-term vision for this project is to safeguard Kangaroo Islands threatened flora against extinction by maintaining genetically diverse insurance populations, mobilising community to utilise these collections in recovery projects and sharing knowledge and passion for the Islands unique flora.

We also hope that a Rare Plant Learning Centre will provide a hub for community and conservationists and we welcome people registering their interest here.