SAVE OUR NUTS: Local macadamias listed as endangered
A LISMORE-BASED environmental organisation is calling for action after three species of macadamias were listed as vulnerable or threatened.
The Macadamia Conservation Trust says the Federal Government should urgently adopt a recovery plan for the survival of three wild macadamias ‒ the popular Macadamia integrifolia, native to southeast Queensland, M. ternifolia, native to Queensland, and M. tetraphylla, from northern NSW.
All three nut species were put on the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in its latest update.
Macadamia Conservation Trust executive officer, Denise Bond, said it was a wake-up call.
"I hope this listing will encourage the federal government to adopt the Macadamia Species Recovery Plan which will facilitate action to address the threats facing wild macadamia species," she said.
The plan, submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in early 2019, provides information on the biology, ecology, distribution and threats to survival of macadamias and identifies the research and management needed to support the species' long-term recovery.
Calls for public comment on the draft plan closed in June last year, but Minister Susan Ley is yet to adopt it.
"Macadamias are native to Australia and their inclusion on the IUCN Red List is a reminder that, post-colonisation, in less than 200 years, these species have lost 80 per cent or more of their rainforest habitat," Ms Bond said.
"Even now, their remaining habitat is threatened by further clearing, weed invasion, changes to fire regimes, and climate change and that's why we want a formal Recovery Plan in place."
These three macadamia species are listed as "vulnerable" under the government's Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and by the Queensland and NSW governments.