News & Events

Heathlands of Point Danger

Posted on: 2 December 2019

I recently attend a morning walk at Point Danger with a group of local naturalist where I was lucky enough to photograph an array of amazing wildflowers, grasses and sedges not to mention some amazing orchids.

Building relationships with the local naturalist will assist the COM in developing a deeper appreciation, understanding and written record of the plant community diversity. It is anticipated that this data can be collected annually and used to develop a greater picture of the healthlands health.

The Reserve has a broad range of natural attributes that are highly praised by locals and the broader community. It is the reason people come to the area and want to see it protected. These values can be divided into environmental, heritage and recreations values. Dr. Mibus. R, (2016) Point Danger Coastal Reserve Management Plan 2016.

Maintaining the high quality vegetation within the Reserve is an on going tireless job. Colonising invasive plants require consistent monitoring, mapping and evaluation. Protecting the healthlands is an important high priority for the COM, all of whom are volunteers.

This year the efforts of the committee have been greatly supported by the work of the Conservation Volunteers Australia. Both the international crews and Portland crew have had the privilege of working at the Reserve taking in not only the beautiful plant communities but the view as well.

The heathlands in the Reserve are the most extensive and biodiverse plant community. One of the heath land species, the Mellblom's Spider Orchid (Caladenia hastate) is of particular interest as it is thought that its total natural distribution is reduced to the Point Danger area.
Dr. Mibus. R, (2016) Point Danger Coastal Reserve Management Plan 2016.

The heathlands support a wide range of wildlife and unique flora species ; some Flora species have specialised associations with invertebrates, for example the pollinator of Mellbloms Spider Orchid is a Thynnid wasp which may be associated with Prickly Tea-tree (Leptospermum continentale) for part of its lifecycle.
Dr. Mibus. R, (2016) Point Danger Coastal Reserve Management Plan 2016.

More research is needed to help us better understand the specialised associations with the Thynnid wasp and the Mellblom's spider orchid. If only we knew more about the food source for this wasp, the nesting requirements and special plant requirements.

If you are interested in joining the Point Danger Committee of Management you can contact the facilitator at Portland Basin Landcare Facilitator @ facilitator@sealliance.org.au

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All photos kindly supplied by the following: Dave Pitts, Lynn Murrell, Robert F. Farnes, Vivien Holyoake, Ivor Graney, Dr. Raelene Mibus and the Great South West Walk Inc.
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