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Rare & threatened species

The Red Hill Nature reserve hosts a significant population of threatened, regionally rare and regionally uncommon species.

More information on threatened species in the ACT, for which statutory Action Plans are required can be found here.

A Boost for Button Wrinklewort

This flower may sound like it belongs to the pages of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, but ANBG has been growing the endangered Button Wrinklewort, Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in their Gardens’ nursery in anticipation of a big day to reintroduce them back into the wild.

  • With their partners at ACT Parks and Conservation Service and Greening Australia, they have planted out a new population established around Barrier Hill in the ACT to boost the numbers of this locally and nationally endangered wildflower.

    Much of the original habitat of the now very rare Button Wrinklewort has been destroyed or isolated. By increasing the number of self-sustaining populations in the wild we can reduce the plant’s risk of extinction into the future.


    Regular surveys of the Button Wrinklewort population have been conducted on Red Hill Nature Reserve since 1984. A report by Dr Michael Mulvaney from the 2023 survey can be found below:

    Thanks for all those that helped with the Red Hill Button Wrinklewort monitoring count, We counted 3396 “natural” plants of this nationally endangered daisy. This is the lowest of eight counts made sine 1989 and a 29% decline sine the last count of 2015/2016, 
    However the plants that are present are mainly large and well established with mutiiple flowering stems so the number of flowers has probably not declined as much as the number of plants. However it does indicate that despite three relatively wet years recent recruitment has been poor.
    We counted 91 surviving/self seeded plants from over 1800 seedlings planted at four locations on the Hill in 1990 and 1995. This is the highest count of “planted” plants since 1998. One of the planted sites seems to be a long term success.
    Two plants near the upgraded Red Track no longer survive, There used to be tens of plants outside of the fence behind Calthorpe House and to the north of the track at Strickland in areas that are now slashed. No plants were found in the slashed areas. There are 53 plants between the track and the fence line at the Strickland st location see https://canberra.naturemapr.org/sightings/edit/4471864  It would appear that it has escaped slashing as regularly and as low as elsewhere – care needs to be taken to exclude slashing from this area. 
    Plants at two locations could not be found but GPS recording back in the 1990s was pretty poor and the high growth in the understory makes a few plants of Button Wrinklewort hard to find
    The shrub and sapling layer at most of the Button Wrinklewort sites has thickened up considerably with time. Two of the least impacted sites (in terms of relative number declines since 2016) have only a light mid storey cover, while the greatest declines have been in sites which now have heavy shrub cover.
    The Strickland Crescent site is heavily shaded by Cassinia, but has increased in population size by 20% since 2016, However there are 800 less plants at this location than there was in 2002 when the sites shrub layer was at its most open.