Rare species discovery a win for farming, biodiversity and tourism
05 February 2019
A new discovery of endangered species, Rosewood Mistletoe, Amyema plicatula, has led to a win-win solution for biodiversity and farm production for a Northern Rivers disability enterprise.
Rosewood Mistletoe is listed as a state and commonwealth endangered species previously known only to exist at one or two other locations in Australia.
Several of the parasitic plants were discovered recently on Rosewood trees at Summerland House Farm, a business of House with No Steps at Alstonville, during planning for a new avocado plantation.
Following native vegetation advice and species identification from Local Land Services, Summerland House Farm amended its development to ensure the rare plant is protected.
General Manager, Dylan O’Malley said the agricultural and tourism enterprise is now also embarking on a new native vegetation regeneration project led by Lead Supervisor, Cameron Delaney.
“The discovery has led us to investigate the benefit of securing native vegetation on the property,” Mr O’Malley said.
“A successful program can also lead to further job creation for people with disability and an opportunity to further educate visitors,” he said.
Amending the 5,000 tree avocado plantation meant slightly reducing it in size but it is still expected to create 14 new jobs for people with disabilities over the next five years.
Local Land Services Sustainable Land Management officer, John Nagle, was excited to have helped discover the remnant population of Rosewood Mistletoes.
“This is a fine example of horticultural practice working in with and helping conserve remnant areas of vegetation and important isolated trees,” Mr Nagle said.
“I am delighted by this result that not only supports agricultural production, providing an important economic boost for this area, but also for biodiversity to be maintained and enhanced on the farm,” he said.
Office of Environment and Heritage Threatened Species Officer, Dianne Brown, said the Mistletoe discovery was significant because it tripled the current known population and expanded its knownrange.
She said the plan to retain and protect the Rosewood host trees and the mistletoes within the avocado plantation was a good outcome for threatened species.
“Fencing off the trees and developing the orchard around them may actually be beneficial for the mistletoes because having an orchard around them may provide protection from exposure and damaging winds.”
Media enquiries: Melanie Pearce Local Land Services 0409 725 370