Australia’s precious but endangered native nut, the macadamia, now has a National Recovery Plan to guide its protection.
The National Recovery Plan for Macadamia Species was made jointly by the Federal and Queensland State Governments and legislated this month under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2023L01376). It outlines the current status of wild macadamias and what Australians need to do to protect this much-loved national icon.
“We are thrilled that Australia now has a National Recovery Plan to look after our wild Macadamia species,” says Denise Bond from the Macadamia Conservation Trust.
All four macadamia species originated in Australia. The Plan reviews a decade of conservation activities and finds that three of the four species are still vulnerable to extinction and the Macadamia jansenii species is Critically Endangered (reclassified from Endangered under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act on 12 November 2021).
“Wild macadamias are threatened by clearing, habitat fragmentation, weeds and fire, and vulnerable to extinction if their remaining habitat is not carefully managed.”
First discovered by Australia’s First Nations people and then shared with newcomers to become the predominant Australian native commercial food crop, wild macadamias grow in small pockets of sub-tropical rainforest along the east coast from Gladstone in Queensland to northern NSW.
“Just as we rely on other countries to safeguard genetic resources for most of the food we eat, Australia has an obligation to look after the genetic resources of our native nut,” says Ms. Bond.
“Protecting wild macadamias and their habitat will conserve high value forests including endangered and critically endangered ecological communities.”
The Macadamia Conservation Trust works with the Macadamia Species Recovery Team to coordinate macadamia conservation activities across private, Local and State Government land.
“The National Recovery Plan for Macadamia Species is the guiding document for macadamia conservation and we will use it to get the best possible outcome for Australia’s wild macadamias,” says Ms. Bond.
The first Recovery Plan for macadamias, adopted in 2012, was commissioned by Horticulture Australia Limited and the Australian Macadamia Society in recognition of the value of wild macadamias as genetic reservoirs for macadamia farmers both in Australia and Internationally. It was the first species recovery plan ever developed by a horticultural industry.
Macadamia Conservation Trust, [email protected], +61 (0) 488 432 226;
Denise Bond, Executive Officer of the Macadamia Conservation Trust
Images: Above: A young M. Jansenni at Tondoon, Queensland. Below: Striking pink flowers of the Macadamia Tetraphylla.
This website has been partly funded by Hort Innovation, using the macadamia research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.