An Australian botanist undertaking a national review of threatened plants recently visited Lonsdale Nature Reserve where 50 seedlings of the Jumping-jack Wattle were planted in 1976.
Dr Jennifer Silcock from the University of Queensland said Australia’s first plant translocation for conservation reasons occurred in the area near Stawell in 1976.
It came after botanists John Stuwe and Bob Parsons were concerned about the future of the Jumping-jack Wattle which had been greatly impacted by land clearing.
Most remaining plants were in weedy roadside reserves.
So they grew 50 seedlings, looked for a safe spot with suitable conditions and planted them into a fenced area at Lonsdale Nature Reserve.
When Dr Jennifer Silcock revisited the site during a national plant translocation review she said she was delighted by the results.
“Forty years on the wattles have thrived,” she said.
“There are now over 110 wattles at the reserve and they have spread beyond the fence – a great outcome.
“Since then there have been almost 400 other plant species translocated.
“As land clearing, weed invasion and other environmental changes continue, it will increase situations where species could become extinct unless conservation managers intervened.”
Dr Silcock said she was involved in developing a Red Hot list of Australia’s most endangered plants.
“We are developing a Red Hot list of Australia's most endangered plants to identify the plants most at risk,” she said.
The Australian government is backing the project through the National Environmental Science Programme.
“Translocations will continue to play an important role in saving many of these species,” Dr Silcock said.
The region’s flora was in the spotlight again on Sunday as people across the district celebrated National Tree Day. People were encouraged to hug a tree.
Forty years on the wattles have thrived- There are now over 110 wattles at the reserve and they have spread beyond the fence, a great outcome.Dr Jennifer Silcock