Pea is back

PLANT RE-ES­TAB­LISHED

Shepparton News - - NEWS - By John Lewis

A for­merly ex­tinct na­tive legume is back from the brink of ex­tinc­tion thanks to col­lab­o­ra­tive re-in­tro­duc­tion works be­tween gov­ern­ment agen­cies, con­ser­va­tion groups and pri­vate land­hold­ers across north-east Vic­to­ria.

The moun­tain Swain­son-pea (Swain­sona recta) was once abun­dant but de­clined sig­nif­i­cantly post-Euro­pean set­tle­ment and was last known to oc­cur in Vic­to­ria in the Chiltern-Mt Pi­lot Na­tional Park up un­til 2012.

It is now listed as a threat­ened and en­dan­gered species in Vic­to­ria.

Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning’s se­nior bio­di­ver­sity of­fi­cer Glen John­son said a five-year pro­gram had re­sulted in the plant be­ing es­tab­lished on 10 se­cure pub­lic and pri­vate land sites within the north-east catch­ment.

Mr Johsnon said be­fore the rein­tro­duc­tion project Swain­sona recta was con­sid­ered ex­tinct in the wild in Vic­to­ria, with sur­viv­ing pop­u­la­tions be­ing in NSW and the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory.

‘‘This year around 600 seedlings, prop­a­gated and raised by the Royal Botanic Gar­dens Vic­to­ria, will be planted with more than 1000 seedlings planted over­all to date,’’ he said.

This project is jointly funded through the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment and the North East CMA through the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Land­care Pro­gram.

Re-es­tab­lished: The moun­tain Swain­son-pea (Swain­sona recta).

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