Help conserve wild macadamias

THE Macadamia Conservation Trust is asking Northern Rivers growers to donate $50 a year to help conserve wild macadamias.

At least 80 per cent of wild germplasm has been lost in the past 200 years and only about 20pc of what remains is suitable as a commercial cultivar.

“Without action it is likely that over a period ranging from years to decades wild macadamias will become extinct locally,” conservation committee member Ian McConachie said.

Since being established by the Australian Macadamia Society, the trust has developed a recovery plan with Horticulture Australia Limited.

It has also obtained funding and is actively conserving the endangered macadamia jansenii.

However, the work of the committee is also under threat due to a lack of funds.

About $40,000 a year is needed to conduct conservation projects and protect threatened species.

A bid to have a special levy to fund conservation of the trees failed last year.

Although the majority of Macadamia Society members favoured the levy, it was not supported by the required 75 per cent.

Mr McConachie said conservation of macadamia trees was the responsibility of the industry.

He said the trust was also looking for interested people to join its committee.



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