4 Elements Consulting recently completed a successful translocation of the epiphytic orchid Dendrobium fellowsii. This species, which is listed as Vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, was detected during a protected plant survey at a proposed residential development in Ravenshoe in 2020. We were subsequently contracted by Gilvear Planning Pty Ltd to perform a threatened flora translocation for this population.
We collected a total of 13 plants from within the approved clearance area (i.e., the total population at this site), which were taken directly to a pre-determined recipient site that mirrored the habitat of the clearance area. A number of measures were taken to ensure the success of our translocations. Firstly, Dendrobium fellowsii grows on trees, and to ensure minimal root damage during translocation, a thin layer of bark was removed with each plant. At the recipient site, translocated plants were placed on the same tree species as their old host tree and were attached firmly using stocking material to hold the plant together. Further, plants were attached to their new trees at the same height, aspect and in similar lighting conditions to those experienced on their original host trees. We checked on the progress of all translocated plants after 12 months and found that all were exhibiting new root growth and healthy leaf material – a successful translocation!