Endangered local pea population being propagated

A collection of endangered plant seeds from the region is currently being propagated in Canberra ready to be returned for planting as part of Central West Local Land Services Progressing the Small Purple-pea project.

Natural Resource Management Officers from Central West Local Land Services travelled to Canberra recently to visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens and National Seed Bank where the Small Purple-pea (Swainsona recta) is being propagated and grown for translocation purposes.

Central West Local Land Services Senior Land Services Officer, Tanya Muccillo said seed was collected from the Central West region at the end of 2020 and taken back to Canberra to be checked for viability, to store a portion in the National Seed Bank, and to propagate some plants for replanting back into local populations over the next three years.

“The translocation will boost Small Purple-pea plant numbers and enhance Central West populations at three key project sites,” Ms Muccillo said.

“It has been a great experience to witness the seed collection, assessment and propagation processes and also a great opportunity to get practical advice from nursery staff on techniques for preparing the sites where they will be planted."

The natural resource team also met with Saving our Species Officers from the Environment, Energy and Science Group and ecological consultants from AREA Environmental Consultants to learn more about the southern Small Purple-pea populations, to tour some of the known species sites, and look at examples of on-ground works to protect the species.

The Central West Local Land Services Small Purple-pea project team is developing a profile of the northern Small Purple-pea populations and spent time assessing the landscapes where the plants are found to determine the similarities and differences between the northern and southern populations.

“We are hoping to have a better idea of where the plants are likely to be found within our region so we can investigate further and locate more populations” Ms Muccillo said.

This project is supported by Central West Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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