Macadamia Country – disappearing habitat
Macadamias evolved in in subtropical rainforests along the east coast of Australia. Their habitat has contracted over time and is now limited to the coastal ranges of southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.
They occur in a wide range of rainforest types ranging from rich complex rainforests on fertile volcanic soil or alluvium to less complex dry rainforests on rocky scree slopes. Most macadamia habitat is between 0 and 700 metres above sea level and receives at least 1000 mm annual rainfall.
Much of this rainforest has now been cleared for agriculture and housing, leaving highly fragmented patches threatened by weed invasion, trampling by cattle and wildfire.
Which macadamia species grow near me?
MCT collects records of wild macadamias through surveys and research data.
Based on this data, the University of New England’s Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre has created the MCT Wild Macadamias App to show approximate locations of surveyed wild macadamia trees.
Click here to open the App in a new tab. The App shows detailed satellite imagery and may take 10 to 30 seconds to load. It is easier to use on a computer than a phone!
From the App you can:
- Zoom into a location using the search function.
- Zoom out until you see circles containing wild macadamia observations.
- Look over the whole screen – there may be more than one species nearby.
- You can change the base map layer and turn data layers on and off.
- The map shows two other sets of data:
- location of macadamia orchards – this helps our conservation planning by showing where wild trees may be cross-pollinating with commercial varieties.
- the extent of the 2019/20 bushfires as compiled by the Emergency Management Spatial Information Network Australia.
Regeneration of Macadamia habitat
If you would like to plant some locally endemic macadamias, please ask at your favourite native plant nursery. If they don’t already know about it, show them the MCT Wild Macadamias App, and ask if they can provide you with macadamias sourced from a wild population close to the proposed planting site. Please ask them to contact MCT if they need advice on how to source propagation material legally and without compromising the wild trees.