The Department of Environment and Science is responding to reports of unlawful clearing of critically endangered black grevillea plants near Stanthorpe.
Departmental staff were made aware of the matter earlier this week and have conducted a preliminary site inspection.
Local, external stakeholders suggest around 270 plants – or around 20 per cent of the world’s population – could have been destroyed.
Scientists at the Queensland Herbarium will conduct an expert assessment report to provide information as part of the investigation into the matter.
Black grevillea (Grevillea scortechinii subsp. scortechinii) is a plant that is only found in a small area in Queensland (the Granite Belt) and New South Wales.
The plant was listed as Critically Endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 in August 2020 and the total known world population of black grevillea in 2019 was estimated to be just 1,449 mature plants.
Under the Nature Conservation Act, and depending on circumstances, a person convicted of taking these protected plants without authorisation can face maximum fines up of to $400,350 or two years in prison.