The Charles Sturt University campus in Canberra borders St Mark's Native Grassland. The site contains two hectares of remnant Natural Temperate Grassland, declared an endangered ecological community under ACT and Commonwealth legislation. Two hectares have been assessed as having very high botanical value and one hectare as having moderate botanical value.
The conservation grassland is dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) with an extremely high diversity of native wildflowers, several of which are regionally uncommon, including orchids and lilies. A population of the Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides), declared endangered under ACT and Commonwealth legislation survives in the grassland. This is the flagship species for this campus.
The Golden Sun Moth, Synemon plana was first sighted in the grassland in 1997. Themeda grasslands are not identified as typical habitat for these moths. They are listed as endangered in ACT and critically endangered under Commonwealth legislation. This is a very special remnant of national significance.
The below video shows the cool ecological burn that was implemented in April 2018 to reduce the thick covering of the grass creating inter-tussock spaces.
Below are links to additional resources about the grassland:
The below gallery show cases native forbes, grasses and insect species identified through biodiversity monitoring activities undertaken each spring by Plant Ecologist Dr Sarah Sharp, Friends of Grasslands.
Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) Wiradjuri - murang or bading.
Small Vanilla Lily (Arthropodium minus)
Slender Sun Orchid (Thelymitra pauciflora)
Sheep’s Burr (Acaena ovina)
Scrambled Eggs (Goodenia pinnatifida)
Lemon Beauty Heads (Calocephalus citreus)
Early Nancy (Wurmbea dioica)
Natural temperate grassland dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) is an Endangered Ecological Community under ACT and Commonwealth legislation.
Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana) is critically endangered
Flagship species Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides) is endangered
Charles Sturt University extends our sincere gratitude to the following talented and very generous photographers for granting permission to publish their amazing images.
Thank you to: Simon B Cotterell, Ian Montgomery birdway.com.au, Jennifer Horsnell, Geoff Burrows, Dr Joanne Connolly, Tim Bergen, Alexandra Knight, David Hunter, Mark Stephenson, Cilla Kinross, Ian Kerr, Roger France and Ken Monson.
Wildflower images are sourced from canberra.naturemapr.org
The Button Wrinklewort Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides, is a native flora species in the Asteraceae family. They are found in the St Mark’s remnant grassland bordering the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture and the St Mark’s National Theological Centre which forms the Charles Sturt University campus at Barton, Canberra. It is a slender perennial wildflower that grows to about 30 cm in height, branching mainly at the base. The leaves are narrow, dark green ageing to yellow-green and up to 2.5 cm long, with rolled edges concealing the undersides. The stems usually die back in late summer or autumn and the new basal leaves appear by early winter. The species has yellow button flowers (2 cm wide) from October to April.
The grassland is dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) and a high diversity of native wildflowers, several of which are regionally uncommon, including orchids and a number of lilies. A population of the Button Wrinklewort occurs within the grassland. They have been found in less than 30 sites so enhancing genetic diversity is very important for the recovery of this species.
The Button Wrinklewort is at risk of extinction throughout its range and threats include:
The major conservation objective is to maintain viable populations of the Button Wrinklewort within this functional native grassland. This habitat has been declared in the ACT as an endangered ecological community. Management focuses maintaining the Button Wrinklewort as a component of this grassland ecosystem.
The grassland site is managed by Charles Sturt University’s Division of Facilities Management (DFM) in consultation with the joint lessees, St Mark’s National Theological College and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
DFM partners with the Friends of Grassland, a local community volunteer group, to undertake an annual survey every November monitoring the presence of the species.
Participate in activities enhancing this biodiversity zones including:
This content is also part of LiFE Framework
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