Deletion of Cephalotus follicularis from Appendix II.


Commonwealth of Australia (Environment Australia)


The monotypic genus Cephalotus is an insectivorous plant endemic to south western Australia. It occurs on wetland margins throughout the southwest corner of Western Australia. This portion of Western Australia has a high rainfall and as a result there are extensive areas of suitable habitat, especially on the south coastal plain. Within its range are large areas of government owned forests, National Parks and other reserves where the species is common and is likely to occur in vast numbers.
The species is easily propagated from small segments of rhizomes and, as a result, it is commonly traded and is widely cultivated. Morphological variation in wild populations is not evident. As the species is easily propagated, it is unlikely that cultivated stocks are derived from wild collections.
Cephalotus follicularis has been identified by the CITES Plants Committee under the Ten Year Review as a candidate for deletion from Appendix II as there has been no recorded trade in wild taken specimens since the species was listed. The proposal received full endorsement of the 5th meeting of the CITES Plants Committee in Mexico, May 1994.

1. Taxonomy

1.1. Class Magnoliatae
1.2. Order Rosales
1.3. Family Cephalotaceae
1.4. Genus/species Cephalotus follicularis Labillardière 1806
1.5. Common name Western Australian pitcher plant; Albany pitcher plant

2. Biological data

2.1. Distribution

The area of distribution ranges over 400 km from NW to SE and corresponds with the mesomediterranean climate of the extreme south western part of Australia.
Collection records at the Western Australian Herbarium, Perth, show that the species occurs from near Yallingup (latitude 33° 39'S, longitude 115° 02'E), in an arc and within 50 km of the coast, to Cheyne Beach (latitude 34° 53'S, longitude 118° 24'E). It is likely that the Yallingup location is an outlier (Willis 1969) and that the main distribution of Cephalotus is from Augusta, (latitude 34° 20'S, longitude 115° 09'E), 60 km south of Yallingup, to Cheyne Beach (latitude 34° 53'S, longitude 118° 24'E), (Western Australian Herbarium, Perth).
Because Labillardière described Cephalotus, and as he only visited the south coast near present day Esperance, far to the east of the known distribution of the species, it has been erroneously assumed that Esperance was the provenance of the Type. Erickson (1968) reasons that Labillardière obtained his collection from a French botanist who had been to the Albany region where Cephalotus grows and that the species does not occur near Esperance.

2.2. Population

No population number and size estimates have been recorded because it is believed that there are many hundreds of populations and the species is a small plant which grows in dense shrub thickets (Western Australian Herbarium, Perth).
Populations estimated to be many thousands of individuals have been observed following fire where shrub and sedge cover has been burnt. Elsewhere, the species is very frequently encountered in its habitat.

2.3. Habitat

Cephalotus only occurs on the margins of freshwater wetlands, roadside ditches and slow-moving streams where water flow is perennial or almost so. It occurs on peaty soil or white sand (Lullfitz 1966). These habitats are particularly common throughout the range of the species and a significant portion of these are in government owned forests, National Parks or other conservation reserves. Wetlands on private lands have been declining in extent and number in the area of distribution, largely because of clearing and cattle grazing. As a result here has been a loss of Cephalotus populations in these locations. This is particularly the case near the town of Albany due to urban expansion, There is no information on what proportion of the original south western population has been lost but over 70% of the area of occurrence is estimated to be in protected conservation areas (Western Australian Herbarium, Perth).

3. Trade data

3.1. National utilisation

Cephalotus plants are commonly grown by insectivorous plant growers and plants are available commercially in specialist Australian plant nurseries. One wholesale plant dealer in Western Australia produces up to 10,000 plants per annum from artificially propagated material (Western Australian Herbarium, Perth).

3.2. Legal international trade

Year - Quantity 1985-50 1986-312 1987-290 1988-450 1989-1094 1990-3 1991-50 1992-104 1993-1069 1994-146 1995-260 1996-505

3.3. Illegal trade

None known.

3.4. Potential trade threats

3.4.1. Live specimens

All records indicate that the limited international trade in this species is confined to artificially propagated live whole plants. Most of the propagators and exporters of this species are located on the eastern seaboard of Australia, well away from the natural range of the species. There is no evidence to suggest that wild illegally harvested specimens are being traded either within Australia or internationally. The ease by which this species can be propagated makes wild harvest unnecessary.

3.4.2. Parts and derivatives

There is no known trade in parts or derivatives.

4. Protection status

4.1. National

Cephalotus is subject to export control under the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982. Export permits are required for all specimens, whether artificially propagated or harvested from the wild. This situation will not change if this proposal is adopted.
Any wild harvests would be subject to Western Australia's Flora protection laws administered by the State Department of Conservation and Land Management. All flora in Western Australia is protected under State legislation. A licence is needed to collect Cephalotus plants from government lands. No permit to collect Cephalotus plants from the wild has been issued during the past ten years.

4.2. International

Currently listed on CITES Appendix II.

4.3. Additional protection needs

None required, since the taxon is adequately protected in its area of endemism. Since the international trade in this taxon is based on cultivated material and native populations are secure and adequately protected, the removal of this taxon from listing on CITES Appendix II is recommended.

5. Information on similar species

Not applicable

6. Comments from country of origin

Not applicable; endemic to Western Australia.

7. Additional remarks

8. References

Erickson, R. (1968). Plants of Prey in Australia. Lamb Paterson, Perth.
Lullfitz, F. (1966). The West Australian Pitcher Plant (Cephalotus follicularis). Australian Plants 4:34-35.
Willis, J. H. (1965). Historical Notes on the W.A. pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis. Western
Australian Naturalist 10, 1: 1-7.