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Seed hunting in the Eyre Peninsula

South Australian seed hunter Dan Duval has needed to plan this season’s seed collections around bush fires and the dry conditions affecting seed production of some of our native flora.

As part of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership’s 1000 Species Project, Dan has recently been hunting for seeds of rare and endemic species in the Eyre Peninsula.

Dan’s seed collections will be banked in the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank in the United Kingdom.  The collections are a resource for research into the survival needs of our native plants and some collections will be used for plant reintroduction or translocation projects.

One of the Centre's translocation projects involves Bossiaea peninsularis. This vulnerable plant species is only known from two roadside populations in the vicinity of Karkoo on the southern Eyre Peninsula. Staff from the Seed Conservation Centre have been monitoring these populations for 6-7 years with the help of Neil Carr, a Karkoo farmer. Plants have been propagated for translocation at Karkoo and the work is being done in conjunction with a local Natural Resource Management group.

Staff from the Seed Conservation Centre have also collected the critically endangered Acacia cretacea for a translocation project on a private heritage agreement at Secret Rocks in the Eyre Peninsula. Centre staff have worked with landowners to identify a suitable translocation site and they are propagating plants for this project.

Dan Duval needs to consider the best locations for finding seed of rare and endemic species. Threatened species are often found in roadside verges and the roadsides in the vicinity of Wanilla on southern Eyre Peninsula are no exception.  Spyridium bifidum ssp wanillae is a vulnerable endemic plant species to Eyre Peninsula.  Dan recorded two populations during his recent field work for the 1000 Species Project and he collected more than 10,000 seeds.  Two populations of another vulnerable subspecies of Spyridium bifidum, Spyridium bifidum ssp bifidum, were also recorded and good seed collections were made of this species as well.