The Macadamia Conservation Trust is a not for profit registered environmental organisation and the trustee is the Australian Macadamia Society Ltd which represents growers and the industry. The trust aims to conserve remaining wild macadamia trees in their native habitat for future generations.
Why do we need to conserve macadamias?
There is a lack of public awareness about wild macadamias and the challenges they face in both the short and long term. With over 80% of wild macadamia trees lost since European settlement, many of the populations remaining today are at risk of extinction. The most vulnerable are small, isolated populations in patches of rainforest.
Four species of macadamia are found in small isolated remnants in rainforests from Lismore in the south to north of Bundaberg. Residential development, clearing and inappropriate fire regimes threaten many of these remnants. The once magnificent ‘big scrub’ that covered 74,000 hectares in the Northern Rivers region and contained many macadamia trees is now reduced to less than 1% of its original size.
Climate change, in the form of variable rainfall and higher temperatures, is also likely to exacerbate the risk to wild species, making smaller populations more vulnerable to changes, altering natural balances, and increasing the environmental suitability for exotic vines to proliferate.
How is the trust funded?
The Trust has been funded for the past decade through a range of revenue-raising initiatives including raffles, auctions and merchandise sales. The Australian Macadamia Society, growers and other commercial organisations have also provided funding.
Valuable preliminary surveys and conservation work culminated in the development of a species recovery plan (648kb PDF) which became the first conservation plan developed by a farming body to receive formal recognition from the Australian Government.
The implementation of this plan has now commenced under a new project, Wild About Macadamias. Through this work, the industry recently discovered a species of macadamia tree as rare as the Wollomi Pine. We are working as a group with the assistance of local indigenous communities to protect this species through selective replanting.
How can you help?
With your help we can do so much more to protect macadamias from extinction in the wild.
There are numerous ways to get involved:
• Become a supporter by making a donation
• Volunteer to undertake plantings and surveys
• Identify remnants on your land
• Register to receive our newsletter
For more information contact the Australian Macadamia Society firstname.lastname@example.org