Landowner Garry Carter with a distinctive giant ironwood tree and a thicket of thorny pea, another of several threatened species of flora thriving in Jiggi.
Landowner Garry Carter with a distinctive giant ironwood tree and a thicket of thorny pea, another of several threatened species of flora thriving in Jiggi.

Rare ironwood trees at Jiggi

GROWING up to eight metres tall in NSW, giant ironwood trees are hard to miss.

They have even been known to grow to 30m in certain parts of the country.

But a significant population of the species has only recently been discovered at Jiggi, north of Lismore.

The trees are in ‘splendid’ condition and there are plenty of them, according to local environment workers.

This giant ironwood population is even more special because it is the most southerly recorded population in Australia.

It is also one of only two populations in NSW – the other is at Mount Chincogan near Mullumbimby.

EnviTE workers came across the trees while doing environmental restoration work to control vines along the Jiggi Creek.

It was the team’s second major discovery of a threatened species.

They also found the giant barred frog at a number of sites in the Jiggi Creek catchment.

EnviTE field operations co-ordinator, Julie Reid, said the bark of the giant ironwood was ‘hard to ignore’.

It is smooth with blotches of tan, orange, green and sometimes has a purple tinge.

“The great thing about this discovery is that landowners along this section of creek are more than pleased at having this addition to their already healthy and intact riparian vegetation corridor,” Ms Reid said.

“The landowners support efforts to protect and enhance the trees already found.

“Habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, pollution and climate change are the key threats to Australian biodiversity.

“More than 1700 plants and animals are listed as threatened.

“It is always refreshing to find species that were not known to occur at a location.”

The giant ironwood is listed as an endangered species in NSW and one of the main threats to its survival is fire.

EnviTE and the Jiggi Catchment Landcare group are now seeking more funding so they can continue the work they have been doing for the past eight years.

“This will ensure our threatened species have a future,” Ms Reid said.



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