Two ecological planned burns near Bendigo have helped boost numbers of the critically endangered Spiny Rice-flower (Pimelea spinescens ssp. spinescens).

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Senior Biodiversity Officer, Karly Learmonth said the Spiny-rice flower needs disturbance to encourage mature plants to regenerate.

“Planned burning is an essential tool in managing this species and helps the plants to re-sprout, regrow as well as promoting germination.”

“In May 2017, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) partnered with DELWP, the City of Greater Bendigo and the Mid-Loddon Conservation Management Network to complete a planned burn along 350- metres of roadside in Marong, 19 kilometres west of Bendigo, to remove leaf litter,” Ms Learmonth said.

"We’ve been back to monitor the site and are thrilled to see the Spiny Rice-flower re-sprouting beautifully and the ground layer has opened up, providing the space for new plants to emerge”

"This project is a great example of DELWP and CFA working together to improve outcomes for threatened species and biodiversity.”

Justine Leahy, CFA Biodiversity Advisor said while the plants at McKenzie Road in Marong are looking great, the change in condition of the grassland on Jasper Road West in Pinegrove is particularly stunning.

"Prior to the burn this high-quality grassland site was congested with excessive grass but it is now looking amazing,” Ms Leahy said.

“The monitoring data backs up a positive change in the cover and diversity of native grassland species.”  

The Spiny Rice-flower is a perennial shrub with spine-tipped stems with small white flowers and only occurs in the Central West of Victoria.

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