An image from the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority website of a mature female coastal fontainea bearing rare fruit.
An image from the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority website of a mature female coastal fontainea bearing rare fruit. Contributed

Funding will save rare trees

LENNOX HEAD is home to the highly endangered plant species coastal fontainea, with the only known 10 plants growing in the littoral rainforest.

Which is why the On the Edge Lennox Head littoral rainforest and grassy head-land recovery project will do all it can to ensure the species is conserved and some of its natural habitat restored.

A new $100,000 restoration project is being funded through the NSW Environmental Trust and Office of Environment and Heritage through the Save our Species program.

The funding was awarded to the Ballina Shire Council with Bushland Restoration Services awarded the tender for the management and implementation of the project.

Ballina Shire Council natural resource officer James Brideson said more than a decade of restoration had gone into preserving the critically endangered plants and the new project would allow significant vegetation to be restored.

"Within that littoral rainforest we've got a critically endangered species and it's likely to be the rarest trees in New South Wales with only 10 known adult trees," Mr Brideson said.

"So the significance of trying to ensure the survival and conservation and ongoing expansion of these species is crucial and this project really assists in that process."

The project will run across five sites including Boulders Beach, Skennars Head, Themeda Grassland and the Littoral Rainforest site that is home to the 10 coastal fontainea plants.

Mr Brideson said the fragmented sites would allow the plants to spread and pollinate.

The project will also open up the rare species to the public who will be able to learn more about them. Bushland Restoration Services manager Rhonda James said the additional funding would make a huge difference to the conservation efforts.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

  • Recovery of the critically endangered coastal fontainea.
  • Raising community awareness.
  • Restoring and improving the connectivity of 23ha of native vegetation.
  • The three-year program of works will improve the already high conservation value and biodiversity of the coastal corridor.

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