Specials:Tahina spectabilis Conservation Project

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In February this year, the PACSOA Committee became aware of circumstances surrounding 3 critically endangered Tahina spectabilis palms located in a Darwin garden. The owner was selling the property and hence it was under threat of redevelopment and likely destruction of these incredibly rare palms.

For members who are unaware of this palm, it hails from a remote location in North-western Madagascar, where the surviving population is less than 100 plants on a single 5 hectare site. It is a massive fan palm, the photo at the right is of a young plant growing in the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

It was proposed that the society embark upon a conservation project to rescue these palms and locate two to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, with the support of Dale Ardvisson, the curator. The project was given the green light to proceed at the PACSOA exec committee meeting on the 25th April at a budget of $21,000.

The palms have now been dug up and successfully transported to Brisbane, and there is full photographic documentation on the project progress on the palmtalk forum.

Figure 1. Young Tahina spectabilis at Cairns Botanic Gardes
Figure 2. On the move
Figure 3. At it's new home

This has been a massive undertaking, with considerable logistics organising plant extraction teams and transport, flying people to Darwin to supervise and coordination with the Brisbane Botanic Gardens staff in preparing suitable plots to receive the palms. Special thanks go to Jonathan Haycock for project management. The palms are now installed in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, where hopefully they can be admired by thousands of visitors in years to come.

PLEASE NOTE: We need your support for this project as it has been a significant stretch of PACSOA resources. We have a Go Fund Me page for donations. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated and no donation is too small.

Kind Regards,
John Woodbridge