We have recorded the locations, habitat and features of each threatened and poorly known orchid plants each year since 2008. This monitoring aims to improve knowledge of the threatened and poorly known orchid species at Rubicon by:
- Using the new information to confirm and/or enhance descriptions and listing status of the species
- Using the new information to determine associations between management activities, environmental inputs and the growth response of the species
- Informing the management of the species with an aim to enhance their prospects of long-term survival
The method for monitoring threatened and poorly known orchids is based on the method described by Duncan and Coates (2006), as implemented in Coates and Duncan (2007).
All plants of threatened and poorly known orchid species found and identified while in flower are precisely marked with a stainless steel pin and brass tag with a unique identification number on it, placed beside each plant. To enable us to find the marked plants easily, a cut bracken stem tied with coloured flagging tape is stuck in the ground beside each tag. We have marked over 1450 orchid plants in this way.
In early Spring we visit each plant to record whether it has produced a leaf. If it has, we take measurements of its length and width.
In late October-early November we record details of any flowering that has occurred.
A month later we revisit the flowering plants to see whether they have produced fertile seed capsules.
Details of the monitoring method and results can be found in the following reports:
- Phil Collier and Robin Garnett (2013). “Improving the management of native orchid populations”, Australasian Plant Conservation 22:17–19
- Phil Collier and Robin Garnett(2014). Ecology of Thelymitra (Sun-Orchids) at Rubicon (Port Sorell), Tasmania, The Tasmanian Naturalist 136:127-137.
- Phil Collier and Robin Garnett. Population monitoring of the threatened and poorly known orchids at Rubicon Sanctuary—annual updates 2009 to 2016, manuscript.