OPEC Systems was engaged to do remediation work at the proposed development site for the SIMTA Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Facility on Sydney’s south-west fringe. Whilst there we were extremely careful to protect the delicate flora and, as it later transpired, were actually protecting a plant not seen alive for almost two centuries.
The hibbertia fumana species was found at the Moorebank site. The search found 370 individuals of the hibbertia fumana on the seven-hectare site, formerly owned by the military and largely untouched. The plant was thought to be extinct and was last documented in 1823. It was only named in 2012 as a separate species from pressed specimens held in overseas vaults.
The ‘once-in-a-lifetime find’ has excited scientists and botanists after uncovering 370 individual specimens.
“Finding a species thought to be extinct is not something many scientists get to do in a lifetime, so this is an exciting discovery for everyone involved,” said Jane Rodd, a senior ecologist with Arcadis, the consultancy hired to do the search.
Photo: Via Nature Conservation Council