Endangered macadamia species to be planted at Bundaberg Botanic Gardens

25 Aug 2011

A special planting of all four endangered species of macadamia plants will take place at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens on Friday (August 26th).

The planting is a combined initiative of Bundaberg Regional Council and The Macadamia Conservation Trust and is aimed at conserving and protecting wild macadamia plants.

Historian and representative of the Macadamia Conservation Trust, Ian McConachie AM, said the industry is thrilled to be working with Bundaberg Regional Council to not only rescue the Australian icon from extinction, but to also educate and seek support from the local community.

“There is a lack of public awareness of the wild macadamia species and an ever-increasing number of threats to their existence. They are highly vulnerable to risks like fire, weeds, vandalism, urban sprawl and population growth” Mr McConachie said.

“By planting all four species in Bundaberg and other parts of Queensland, we’re highlighting the real risk of extinction in the future, conserving their genetics while allowing the public to view and appreciate our beautiful indigenous flora” he said.

The trees will be taken from rainforests and signs will be placed next to their new home to illustrate and educate the community about the Australian macadamia story. It will take approximately four to five years for the species to flower and about 10 years to become fully mature.

It is estimated that more than 80% of wild macadamia trees have been lost since European settlement with many of the remaining populations at risk of extinction today.

Council’s spokesperson for Health and Environmental Services Cr. Mary Wilkinson said while two of the species to be planted at the Botanic Gardens are well known, the other two are rare, making the display the first time all four species are displayed together.

“Council has agreed to assist by planting and maintaining the trees and have chosen a site near the Hinkler Hall of Aviation to place the trees” Cr. Wilkinson said.

Two of species to be planted are well known including Macadamia integrifolia, commonly referred to as the Queensland or Bauple nut and Macadamia tetraphylla, known as the Bush Nut. The less well known species to be planted include Macadamia ternifolia and Macadamia jansenii.

The Macadamia Conservation Trust is a not for profit environmental organisation aimed at conserving wild macadamias in their native habitat as well as facilitating research and education.