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Dainty Wasp Orchid Colony Moorooduc Quarry

Following a significant disturbance event of high intensity browsing by, most likely, Swamp Rats, the  last known population of Dainty Wasp Orchid had crashed to under 20(leaf pair) individuals.  Two strategies were employed to allow the DWO to clonally re-establish a colony. Firstly a protective mesh was laid over the extent of the population as a physical barrier to browsing. Secondly, biomass of Bracken and Thatch Saw Sedge was slashed to presumably deter movement near the colony by exposure to or fear of predator s.  During the 2015-16 financial year a census on the DWO colony was conducted. The population now stands at 554. Spatially an increase of at least 50% of its former distribution is now evident. We are inferring from this that its pre disturbance population would have approached a size of approximately 1000 individuals.

A third strategy of ex situ conservation was also initiated this financial year.  Twenty individuals were taken from the colony, now large enough to validate this strategy, for nursery propagation and later transplanting to other sites within the MQ Reserve when site conditions are managed more amenably to its long term persistence.


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