It’s official! MCT has received funding through the Australian Government Threatened Species Recovery Fund to create four ex-situ plantings of the endangered Macadamia jansenii. Assistant Minister for the Environment, the Honourable Melissa Price, announced funding for eight species, saying that the new projects would help to improve the trajectories of some of Australia’s most threatened plants and animals.
This is a truly collaborative project, with Dr Alison Shapcott of the Sunshine Coast University working with the Gidarjil Rangers and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to survey the wild population and, under strict licence conditions, collect cuttings. Using propagation techniques perfected by David Bell of Hidden Valley Plantations and Brent Braddick of Tondoon Botanic Gardens, clones of 43 of the wild trees will be grown at Tondoon until 4 sets are ready to plant out. We are very grateful for the funds provided by Hinkler Park Macadamia Plantation and the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens which have played a critical role in the propagation process.
The ex-situ plantations will be located at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens and the Maroochy Research Facility. These partners are taking on a long-term commitment to caring for these trees, which should easily outlive everyone involved in the project!
Having plantings located at Botanic Gardens will not only ensure that they are maintained by skilled and dedicated staff, it will also allow the public to learn about one of our most threatened plants. Meanwhile, the wild population can be left to survive in place with minimal disturbance – the best form of protection for such a vulnerable species.