Securing the future of Australia’s most endangered macadamia species: Macadamia Jansenii Australia's national nut
The danger of extinction of this precious flora is real.
The small natural population of the Macadamia Jansenii remains extremely vulnerable to destruction by a catastrophic event such as fire or disease.
WE MUST ACT NOW.
Macadamia Jansenii (Bulburin Nut) was only recognised by the modern scientific community in 1992 after being identified and described by respected amateur naturalist Ray Jansen.
It is one of Australia’s most endangered species, with only 90 known trees remaining in a 6000m2area of natural habitat.
Recent effort has concentrated on genetic analysis and habitat modelling to design a reintroduction program to create new populations in its natural habitat.
In partnership with FAME and the Macadamia Conservation Trust this reintroduction program is under way with the involvement of the Gidarjil Rangers (Traditional Owners of M. janseniihabitat), the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Tondoon Botanic Gardens at Gladstone.
However, the small natural population remains extremely vulnerable to destruction by a catastrophic event such as fire or disease.
The danger of extinction for Macadamia janseniiwill be decreased by reintroducing trees to increase its current range, surveying the original trees, searching for new trees and establishing two ex-situ insurance populations.
- The remaining wild trees in Bulburin National Park will be surveyed and recorded on film in a ten-year census. This is critical to confirm that the tiny natural population still exists and is not threatened by weeds or disease, and to inform on-going management activities.
- Gidarjil Rangers will propagate and plant new genetic material at the four reintroduction sites managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Gidarjil Rangers.
- Ex-situ plantings of Macadamia janseniiwill be established at the Noosa Botanic Gardens and the North Coast Regional Botanic Gardens (Coffs Harbour). These insurance populations represent over 50% of the remaining genetic variety of this species. If a catastrophic event were to destroy the remaining wild trees, the population could be re-established in the wild from the insurance populations established by this project.
Experienced amateur botanists, one of whom was part of the expedition in the early 1980’s when M. janseniiwas first discovered by Ray Jansen will conduct targeted searches for additional M.jansenii individuals.
There are four species of macadamia:
1. Queensland Nut (Macadamia integrifolia);
2. Rough-shelled Macadamia (M. tetraphylla);
3. Gympie Nut (M. ternifolia); and
4. Bulberin Nut (M. janseniiI).
The first three listed above have overlapping distributions and can be found in the same habitats; by comparison, Bulberin Nut is found only in a small area of central Queensland.
- 12 OCTOBER 2018; Project update: macadamia nut propagating begins. Read more: Project update