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ONLINE – Flora of Brixton Street Wetlands
1 May, 7:15 pm
It is important that you RSVP to ensure you get your invite with the link to join with us tonight – our INAUGURAL online meeting.
The Greater Brixton Street Wetlands (Wetlands) and adjacent area are recognised as containing a diverse suite of the most threatened ecological communities in Western Australia, Australia and the world. These areas are recognised as part of the internationally biodiverse vernal pools. Depending on scale, there are between 13 and 30 listed threatened plant communities (and potentially a few more) in the area. The Wetlands contain the densest concentration of Threatened Ecological Communities for any local area in Western Australia and Australia and perhaps the world. This area is well worthy of its state, national and international significance. As is to be expected the Wetlands support a highly diverse flora of 652 indigenous taxa in about 170 ha. Outstanding flora conservation values of the Wetlands include: many rare and restricted taxa; three endemic Threatened Flora Species; a large series of taxa of geographical, ecological, evolutionary and taxonomic significance; and many naturally-occurring hybrids and unusual co-occurrences of taxa.
The recognition and protection of much of the Wetlands is a positive story for conservation. At the State level, the identification of the Wetlands as an area of outstanding conservation value containing representations of the diverse plant communities and flora of the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain was cemented in the Bush Forever process (1994 to 2000) in a response to a series of studies of the flora and vegetation of the Swan Coastal Plain. Indeed, the values of the Wetlands and the absence of most of this area from the System 6 Conservation recommendations was one of the examples used by the EPA to establish the System 6 Update program of which Bush Forever was a component. The Wetlands were of such a priority for protection that actions to recognise and protect the area were implemented before the final Bush Forever Report. In the initial year of the System 6 Update the Wetlands were mapped as an area of ‘Threatened or Poorly Reserved Plant Communities Requiring Interim Protection’ (EPA, 1994) and in 1996 as a Planning Control Area (Western Australian Planning Commission: WAPC/142 24–9–1996). The WAPC prioritised purchase of lands and now most of the Wetlands are in a conservation reserve.
However, the Wetlands lie in a broader landscape that is threatened with industrialisation. Remnants of similar vegetation, of equal value, surround the Wetlands and there is an urgent need to protect and manage all remaining native vegetation in the area. The recent Kwongan Foundation and WA Naturalists publication “A Jewel in the Crown of a Global Biodiversity Hotspot” well describes the many values of the area and proposes a regional park to better protect the Wetlands in linked bushland areas from the Pinjarra Plan to the Darling Range.
Our presenter Bronwen Jean Keighery
Trained as a botanist, zoologist and teacher Bronwen has written widely on the state’s wildflowers. This work includes 100s of technical reports on plants in bushland as well as a number of ‘get to know and how to’ packages and books for children through to adults. Our Wild Plants, a package for primary schools’ was distributed to all primary schools in WA. The most recent project is an app for the Wildflowers of WA.
As lead botanist for the Environmental Protection Authority for 15 years Bronwen was a key participant in developing native vegetation as a key factor in environmental impact assessment. In this same role Bronwen was critical to the development of the most recent conservation plan for Perth’s Swan Coastal Plain. Bronwen is a world expert in native plant research and conservation of the Swan Coastal Plain’s native vegetation.
A member of the Wildflower Society of WA for more than 35 years her focus has been on educational and conservation projects including a continuing 32 year program on Bushland Plant Survey.
Bronwen stresses that once you know the names of some wildflowers you will be among friends whenever you visit WA’s wild places.