Threatened species being protected on reserve near Warren

Little Mount Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR) is north of Warren and is valuable for its biodiversity and unique geology.

Whilst Little Mount TSR is not particularly productive or suitable for grazing, Central West Local Land Services is managing it for its biodiversity.

Little Mount is home to three known species of threatened flora; the Hairy Rockfern (Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. pseudovellea) listed as endangered in NSW, the Greenhood Orchid (Pterostylis cobarensis) and the Pine Donkey Orchid (Diuris tricolor) both listed as vulnerable in NSW.

Central West Local Land Services in partnership with the Biodiversity and Conservation Division of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment through the Saving our Species program are managing the species through grazing management, weed control and ongoing monitoring. Grazing and weed competition are two of the main threats to these plants.

The Hairy Rockfern is a perennial fern with brown scales and a creeping wiry underground stem. Fronds are hairy on both sides with twisted white to brown branched hairs. Plants usually die off in drought and grow again after adequate seasonal rainfall.

The Greenhood Orchid is one of the most drought tolerant orchids in Australia. Plants only stick their head out and flower between September and November. Otherwise they die back to a large underground tuber. The flowers are transparent with brown and green markings.

The Pine Donkey Orchid has two to six flowers on each stalk, the flowers are bright yellow to orange, speckled with red to purple and white markings. The sepals are very long and often crossed. It is found mainly in sandy soils, either on flats or small rises.

We haven’t been able to find these plants whilst monitoring the reserve over the past couple of years, no doubt due to the prolonged drought. Recently the Hairy Rockfern was found again and we will be monitoring the site over the next few months in anticipation for the Greenhood Orchid to be flowering again after recent rainfall.

Little Mount TSR is looking very beautiful now with an abundance of native plants including Golden Everlasting and Yellow Button daisies.

For more information about either of these threatened species as well as others please go to the Office of Environment and Heritage threatened species website:

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