Logan City Council fights to save endangered Gossia gonoclada tree, named after former premier

Along the banks of the Albert River amateur botanist and retired school instructor Glenn Leiper checks an abundant stretch of forest at Alexander Watt Park on the borders of Logan, south of Brisbane.

Mr Leiper narrows in on a little, green tree, about 4 metres high with glossy leaves.

“It’s growing extremely well,” Mr Leiper informs Lee-Anne Veage, an ecological preparation professional for Logan City Council.

Mr Leiper is referring to the Gossia gonoclada — an endangered plant, named after Queensland’s 34th premier, Wayne Goss.

For nearly 100 years the tree was thought about extinct, up until the late 1980s when Mr Leiper was checking out an area of forest in Slacks Creek with fellow amateur botanist Janet Hauser.

“We stumbled across a population of these plants and we didn’t know what they were,” Mr Leiper stated.

Botanist Glenn Leiper (R) and Environmental Planning Officer Lee-Anne Veage (L) examine a tree in Logan.(ABC News: Jessica Stewart)

In 2001, a research study discovered there were just 73 natural Gossia gonoclada types worldwide, with 64 of them situated in the City of Logan.

The variety of trees has actually changed for many years.

“Where they grow is along creeks and rivers, where they can get their roots down into a high water table and that seems to be crucial for the survival of the species,” he stated.

“[The Gossia] is found from the Brisbane River area, so Oxley and Hemmant, south to the Coomera River — there’s been some recent discoveries of a few specimens down there.”

To assist the endangered types, the Logan City Council has actually produced the ‘Gossia gonoclada Recovery Plan 2019-2029’.

Small white flowers with green, glossy leaves.
A research study discovered there were just 73 natural Gossia gonoclada types worldwide, with 64 of them situated in Logan.(Supplied: Glenn Leiper)

Council purchases land to ‘see this types flourish’

Deputy mayor and environment chair, Cr Jon Raven, stated council had a duty to ensure the tree grew and numbers recuperated.

“Logan’s got a 10-year plan for really supporting and making sure that this endangered species survives and we do that through our existing environment levy, which allows us to acquire valuable conservation properties in the city which have the habitat that this plant likes,” Cr Raven stated.

In 2019, a 48-hectare tract at Bahrs Scrub — a recognized koala environment and house to numerous uncommon trees — was bought by the council for preservation.

The location is among numerous land acquisitions as part of the council’s action strategy, with funds originating from its ecological levy reserve.

A tree with black fruit.
Logan City Council has actually purchased land to plant almost 160 saplings.(Supplied)

“A lot of the time people like to think of animals when they think of an endangered species and they focus on the cute and cuddly ones,” Cr Raven stated.

“The long-lasting objective would be to have it all over the city in locations where it would grow naturally so individuals can enjoy it, comprehend the worth of it and the effort that entered into keeping it alive.”

160 saplings planted

In addition to Logan City Council’s acquisition of land for conservation management, environmental experts have been trying several different methods to repropagate the Gossia gonoclada.

Ms Veage is referred to as the council’s Gossia professional.

In recent months and years, Ms Veage’s team has planted nearly 160 new saplings around the city.

Six repropagated trees are also located just a few hundred metres from council’s chambers in the Logan Gardens.

“We can take cuttings, we have actually taken seeds also,” Ms Veage said.

“To aid attempt and produce some seed development, we have actually gone out with some scientists to sort of hand pollinate.

“It’s just ensuring that they are being pollinated, that they are trying to produce viable seed that they can grow and we can re-introduce into the wild.

“There is rather a variety of risks to the Gossia gonaclada from land cleaning, to grazing, to weeds — however the most current and considerable danger is the fungal pathogen myrtle rust which impacts the Myrtaceae household.

“It’s susceptible as the rust targets all new leaf growth and any fruiting or flowering.”

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