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Wild Macadamia Nut Seeds

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GrandMaster Macadamia Wild Nut Sales & Preservation Society

Macadamia integrifolia   $2000 per seed  

Grandmastertools is an environmental aware business and recognised world leader in the development of  land care technologies to provide the tools to help reverse climate change, green the deserts, feed the worlds starving millions and help meet the serious environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Grandmastertools is also Dedicated to Genetic Rescue and Preservation of the Worlds most Delicious Nut through Wild Seed Harvest and Sales to Macadamia Nut Horticultural Industry WorldWide and uses the proceeds and Donations to fund his land care product development activities.   

The Macadamia Nut Tree Genetic Rescue and Preservation Society was founded by Mathew Norton of Grandmastertools for the purpose of finding, rescuing and replanting what remains of the genetic stock of the remnant wild Macadamia Nut tree species scattered around the remaining pockets of original habitat bushland in the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Northern NSW regions, for future generations and agricultural commercial activities. That additionally helps him develop his world leading land care product range that provides some of the tools to help reverse climate change, green the deserts, feed the worlds starving millions and help meet the serious environmental challenges of the 21st century.


Dry bushland micro irrigation system with pressure compensated micro valve

Significantly increases survival of saplings through early stages of growth

Bottle wick kit facilitates various bottle wick constructions for dry bushland cultivation

Dry bushland irrigation kit for construction of highly effective -automated-passive energy-watering & collection systems

The Grandmaster Macadamia Nut Preservation Society would like to acknowledge the generous use of biological recitals from the Australian Macadamia Society Plan to assist in drafting of its own rescue plan

The objectives of the Australian Macadamia Nut Preservation Society is to find and increase the last surviving wild macadamia nut trees, gene bank via taking seeds and cuttings from this stock, and increase its numbers 10, 000 fold. Once this goal has been acheived it intends to spread this extremely valuable remaining genus Australia/world wide, for cultivation on commercial farms and in irrigated school and community gardens, places not threatened by continued land clearance, introduced weeds, pests, and regular council back burning activities.  These goals will be naturally linked to the provision of funds. It is also my personal dream that having access to an abundance of macadamia trees on school premises, students will also be encouraged to become innovators, agricultural producers and bio-mimicry entrepreneurs who will go on in adult life to develop need food stuffs, pharmaceuticals or producers of one of Australia’s most valuable plant species.


Publication reference:

Costello, G., Gregory, M. and Donatiu, P. 2009. Southern Macadamia Species Recovery Plan. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra by Horticulture Australia Limited, Sydney.

 Plans Contents and Recitals

Contents & Recitals


Page Number

Executive Summary


1. General information


            Conservation Status


            International Obligations


            Affected Interests


            Consultation with Indigenous People


            Benefits to other Species or Communities


            Social and Economic Impacts


2. Biological information




            Important Populations


            Habitat Critical to Survival


            Macadamia integrifolia


            Macadamia jansenii


            Macadamia ternifolia


            Macadamia tetraphylla


3. Threats


            Biology and Ecology relevant to Threats


            Identification of Threats


            Threats Summary


4. Recovery Objectives, Performance Criteria and Actions


            Overall Objectives


            Performance Criteria


            Specific Objectives and Actions


            Summary Table


5. Cost of Recovery


6. Management Practices


7. Evaluation of Recovery Plan








Appendix 1 Recovery Team Membership



Biological Recitals

Species Description and Taxonomy

Of the nine macadamia species, seven are found in Australia in two distinct clades (Johnson and Briggs 1975).  The southern clade consists of four subtropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll mid stratum trees, all of which have simple leaves arranged in whorls of three or four or opposite, axillary flowers in brush-like hanging racemes, and rounded fruits with a hard brown inner shell protecting the edible nut.


Current Species Status

With the exception of Macadamia jansenii, which is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act), all three other species are listed as ’Vulnerable’, including Macadamia tetraphylla in New South Wales where it is listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act).  In addition, all four species are listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List for Threatened Plants (IUCN 1997).


Habitat and Distribution Summary

All four species are endemic to rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest communities found within the northeast New South Wales-southeast Queensland coastal region.  They are genetically closely related, and except for M. jansenii which is known from a single location 150km north of the closest macadamia population, have overlapping ranges.


Threats Summary

Clearing for human population growth and development, fragmentation, altered fire regimes, small population size and weed species are the major processes affecting southern macadamia species.  Climate change in the form of variable rainfall and higher temperatures, the potential for genetic pollution from commercial plantations, and lack of NSW and Queensland Government financial resources provided for this endeavour is also considered a significant threat to the macadamia population.


Recovery Objective

The overall objective of this plan, is to find and protect the last remaining wild populations of the four nominated species, and collect specimens for breeding to increase numbers 10,000 fold via genetic spread and distribution in community and school gardens. That ensures no more valuable remaining genetic material is lost due to bush fire or some other man made disaster and preserved for future generations, that also creates a success working template to resue and restore other endangered species in a similar fashion.


Summary of Actions and Priorities identified

The key actions for macadamia tree nut preservation society is to focus on using the best people, best work practises, best technology and best strategies to achieve its goals of rescuing the last remain macadamia tree genus and increasing its numbers 10,000 fold. The first step would be too create public awareness of these goals with paid advertising in local newspapers and TV, offering financial rewards to the general public, for reporting on the whereabouts of the last remaining known macadamia populations where they are paid to do so. The second step would be to provide financial incentives to landholders to also conserve the remaining wild remnants on their properties via land rate rebates and tough new laws that forbid destruction, unless it can be shown that the trees on their property have been cloned or regenerated in an alternative location. The third step would be too provide the necessary land care equipment [Grandmaster bottle wick kit] and financial incentives to sub contract tree planters [and or land care organizations] to implement large scale replantings of macadamia species in parklands and reserves, with follow up payments for successful plantings. The strategy would naturally take into account the highest priority conservation Macadamia jansenii species.  The total estimated cost of successfully implementing this recovery strategy would exceed the grant amount on offer many times but any amount would be a good start.


1. General Biological Recitals


Conservation Status

Macadamia belong to the Proteaceae, an ancient angiosperm family whose initial differentiation from ancestral forms occurred in the southeast of Australia 90-100 million years ago.  Proteaceae appear to have been a major component of the early angiosperm dominated rainforests that once covered most of Australia.  This Plan focuses on the four southern species of macadamia, all of which are subtropical rainforest mid stratum trees endemic to the northeast NSW-southeast Queensland coastal region.  All are genetically closely related and, with the exception of M. jansenii, have overlapping ranges.


Table 1. Plant species included in the Southern Macadamia Species Recovery Plan.

Scientific Name

Conservation Status


NCA 1992

TSC Act 1995

EPBC Act 1999

Macadamia integrifolia Maiden & Betche




Macadamia jansenii C.L.Gross & P.H.Weston




Macadamia ternifolia F.Muell.




Macadamia tetraphylla L.A.S.Johnson





International Obligations

Macadamia species are currently not listed on any international agreements. This recovery plan is consistent with Australia’s international obligations.


Affected Interests

This recovery plan is “an innovated but modified version of a plan” submitted by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) in conjunction with the Macadamia Conservation Committee (MCC).  This plan although utilising the recitals of the existing plan has been changed to reflect the different goals of the Macadamia Nut Preservation Society and thereby is a new and distinctly different Plan.  This plan of action focuses mainly on finding and saving the macadamia nut species genus for Australia’s future generations, and provides the best tools and land care technology to do it.  This plan also best meets the Macadamia Nut Preservation Societies Members long term altruistic goals.


Other affected interests may include:

v  Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)

v  Australian Macadamia Society

v  Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network

v  Burnett-Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management


v  Fitzroy Basin Association

v  Landholders

v  Land for Wildlife participants

v  Local Authorities

v  Local indigenous groups

v  Macadamia Conservation Research Network

v  New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC)

v  Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority

v  Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (including the Queensland Herbarium) (QDERM)

v  Queensland Fire and Rescue Service

v  SEQ Catchments

v  Southeast Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium

v  University of the Sunshine Coast


Consultation with Indigenous People

During the undertaking of the plan, several Indigenous groups with connection to country providing macadamia habitat will be contacted.  These included the Kabi Kabi and Yuggera groups (SE Queensland), and the Southeast Queensland Traditional Owner Land and Sea Management Alliance (SEQTOLSMA).  The Indigenous people will be encouraged to tender for works involved if this application is successful.


Benefits to other Species or Communities

Specific localities for some macadamia populations recorded in this Plan provide valuable habitat for other State and Commonwealth listed threatened species and ecological communities.  The protection of these sites will provide benefits to non-target taxa, and assist in the prioritisation of management actions.  Some populations are also found in ‘Endangered’ and ‘Of concern’ regional ecosystems (see Tables 2-5).  The protection of these vegetation communities provides an additional layer of protection to these populations.


Economic Impacts

The current and future commercial value of the wild macadamia plant stock is estimated to be very great and is predicted to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian economy in the near future. The Macadamia nut preservation society and its members aware of this fact, consider that finding rescuing the last remaining wild macadamia genetic stock is not only good environmental policy but a very sound economic one as well.


2. Biological Information Recitals



Macadamia belong to the Proteaceae, an ancient angiosperm family whose initial differentiation from ancestral forms occurred in the south-east of Australia 90-100 million years ago.  The family is well known for other genera such as Banksia, Grevillea, and Hakea. Proteaceae appear to have been a major component of the early angiosperm dominated rainforests which once covered most of Australia.  Macadamia were probably widely distributed within these early forests as evidenced by macadamia type fossil pollen recorded in sediments in south-east Australia, central coastal Queensland and New Zealand.


The commencement of significant and permanent change in climate beginning about 40 million years ago resulted in the contraction of rainforest towards coastal areas, a process which accelerated through the Quaternary period.  This process contributed to adaptation to drier fire prone habitats by much of the Proteaceae family, with a relict rainforest component including macadamia, becoming progressively more restricted and disjunct in distribution over time and space.


There are nine species of macadamia, seven of which are found in Australia in two distinct clades (Johnson and Briggs 1975).  The southern clade (the subject of this plan) consists of four subtropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll mid stratum trees endemic to the northeast NSW southeast Queensland coastal region.  They are genetically closely related, and except for M. jansenii which is known from a single location 150 km north of the closest macadamia population, have overlapping ranges (see Figure 1).  In fact, the wild distributions of M. integrifolia, M. ternifolia and M. tetraphylla are predominantly restricted to a narrow east-west zone broadly defined as the first line of significant hills west of the Pacific Ocean.  Trees that display morphological characteristics of both M. integrifolia and M. tetraphylla are found in a hybrid zone up to 20 km wide (Peace 2005).  While similar observations have not been reported for M. integrifolia and M. ternifolia, DNA marker studies have confirmed hybrid genotypes (Peace 2005).  Hybridisation may be an important survival mechanism, providing a means of adaptation to changed environmental conditions, and evidence of the evolutionary retention of genes better adapted to the same.  Hybrid populations offer important foci for ecological research, potentially improving long-term species viability where overlap occurs, and therefore may be important conservation priorities.


Macadamias have had a long association with humans – nut shells have been found in aboriginal middens near Brisbane and the first specimens were collected by the explorer Leichardt in 1843 about 60 km north of Brisbane.  From 1860, settlers discovered the fine eating qualities of both M. integrifolia and M. tetraphylla, which were widely planted in farm yards and backyards as single trees grown from seeds of local wild stock.


The macadamia nut industry was founded around 1880 at Rous Hill near Lismore using seed from local wild stock, with similar plantings recorded near Maleny southeast Queensland in the early 20th century.  Importantly, the long history of planting and transport of nuts by early settlers makes it difficult to distinguish planted trees from wild stock, especially in areas where agricultural activities have been abandoned and regrowth has occurred.  This situation can confound identification of macadamia distribution and natural habitat, and has implications for distribution of genetic resources.


Important Populations

Given the fragmented and small nature of all populations of each species, all populations are considered important for the survival of each species. 


On the basis of currently available information, it is not possible to prioritise individual macadamia populations.  The Plan includes prioritised (high or medium) population clusters for each species on the basis of:


1.    Extent of geographical range (particularly whether a cluster is found at the northern or southern limit of a species range).

2.    High density areas (multiple populations of multiple individuals).

3.    Areas of hybridisation (critical for the future evolution of macadamia species, particularly in light of climate change impacts).

4.    Degree of genetic isolation and genetic differentiation.

5.    Extent and pattern of available remnant habitat.


The site identifier (MGA northing), location, tenure, regional ecosystem (remnant; bold indicates that the biodiversity status of the RE is endangered, italics of concern, clear indicates no surrounding native vegetation), population size, and the priority (high, medium or low) of known population clusters for each species throughout its distribution are summarised in Tables 2-5.



Habitat Critical to Survival

Detailed habitat information, in terms of soil, topographic position, climate, and regional ecosystems, is provided for each species.


Habitat critical to the survival of southern macadamia species includes:

v  All areas currently occupied by each species.

v  All areas currently occupied by M. integrifolia/ternifolia and M. integrifolia/tetraphylla hybrids.

v  Areas of native vegetation which provide linkages between southern macadamia species’ populations.


Areas of occupancy for all populations and the location of vegetation providing linkages between populations will be determined during the implementation of recovery actions.

Figure 1. Indicative distribution[1] of the four southern species of macadamia in Australia (Hardner et al. 2008; note that Macadamia sightings are unspecified).


Figure 1


     Continued           Habitat and Ecology P 1