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Completed project

Still wild about macadamias – conserving a national icon (MC15007)

Key research provider: Healthy Land & Water
Publication date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What was it all about?

This investment improved the industry’s understanding of the threats to wild macadamia trees and potential management strategies to mitigate those risks. Its work did not involve the industry levy, but was instead funded through voluntary industry contributions and Australian Government funding, established under the original Horticulture Australia Limited.

The survival of wild macadamias is under threat – with all four species listed as threatened under State and Commonwealth legislation – and Australia also has obligations under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (FAO 2009) to conserve the genetic resources of macadamia species for food and agricultural purposes. With this in mind, the project worked to drive the protection and conservation of wild populations. Its activities included:

  • Assessing and monitoring wild macadamia populations
  • Developing management strategies aimed at conserving threatened wild macadamia populations
  • Raising community awareness regarding the status of wild macadamias through social media, educational materials and events
  • Establishing a self-supporting and ongoing conservation program involving industry and the public.

The Still Wild about Macadamias program made a substantial contribution to how genetic diversity and the relationships between wild populations and individual trees is understood. It increased industry awareness and participation in macadamia conservation, including the ability to identify trees and record data.

As a result of this project, the ability of local and state Queensland governments to assess the potential for developments to impact macadamia habitat has been improved. The capacity of land managers to address threats to macadamia populations, including habitat fragmentation and climate change impacts, has been enhanced.

Additionally, within the local native nursery industry there is greater appreciation of the importance of individual tree selection in propagating wild macadamias, with improved technical and propagation skills.


Read more about the work being done to conserve wild macadamias on the Macadamia Conservation Trust website.

Several handy guides and fact sheets are also available including:

This Mission Macadamia article also appeared in the May 2019 edition of The Australian Arbor Age magazine. It shares information about the vital work of this project in helping to conserve wild macadamia species.

Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund