SPECIES: Diploglottis campbellii — Small-leaved Tamarind
This week, we profile the endangered Small-leaved Tamarind (Diploglottis campbellii), known locally as ‘Tucker Bush’. It's but a whisker away from extinction. It's a medium-sized, fruit-bearing rainforest tree species endemic to the sub-tropical regions of northern NSW and Queensland and is vitally important within the fragile rainforest ecosystem, as it provides abundant delicious fruit to fruit-eating native animals. Clearing since European settlement has left the species on the brink of extinction. There are 25 sites at which the Small-leaved Tamarind has been confirmed, 20 in New South Wales and five in Queensland.
In 2019, FAME funded a project partnering with ReForest Now to plant 200 Small-leaved Tamarind trees in Wilson's Creek, NSW. Before FAME's involvement, the population was estimated to be around 100 trees, saplings and seedlings. Most of the 0.54ha land was hand-cleared by machete to clear invasive introduced Lantana down to the root. Small-leaved Tamarind seeds were collected from seven locations and germinated at a local nursery. The Tamarind trees were planted with water crystals to ensure survival during dryer periods. Thankfully, the trees escaped fires that burned in the area in October and November 2019, burning right along the top edge of the planting. Not only did the trees planted survive the fires, they have more than doubled in size, despite the dry season. To recap this project success, visit the project page of the website.
Photos: ReForest Now