Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes said today that the extremely rare and critically endangered Blue Babe-in-the-Cradle orchid would be saved through the combined efforts of the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.
The Beechboro Orchid Park Reserve contains the only known population of the orchid.
“CALM has recently produced and begun implementing an interim recovery plan for the Blue Babe-in-the-Cradle orchid (Epiblema grandiflorum var. cyaneum ms),” Mrs Edwardes said.
“It has also produced interim management guidelines for the nature reserve.
“These plans will protect the small population from disturbance and trampling and maintain the water levels within an acceptable range for the plants.
“A drainage system with a gate has been installed to regulate water flows into and out of the wetland, trees have been planted around the orchid habitat and groundwater levels are monitored regularly.
“A security mesh fence has been erected around the nature reserve to limit access to the wetland and further protect the orchid.”
Mrs Edwardes said that the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority will be working with CALM and using Federal Natural Heritage Trust funding to carry out propagation research with the aim of producing plants for translocation.
“A primary aim of this program will be to build the Blue Babe-in-the-Cradle population at Orchid Park,” she said.
“CALM will also identify any other habitats suitable for the orchid so the plants that will be propagated can be translocated into new areas as well.
“I am pleased to see that community concern through the Orchid Park Residents’ Association and hard work by CALM and our dedicated plant genetics team at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority are combining to save this extremely rare native orchid.”
Steve Manchee on 9421 7777