After millions of years of evolution from ancestors in or before the dinosaur era, the Wollemi Pine is teetering on the edge of extinction. Human beings are the biggest threat to its survival. One visitor to the site could destroy the population by introducing pathogens, for example a root fungus.
Since there are so few specimens in the wild, a thorough management strategy has been developed to protect them - the Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan
- which includes:
- World Heritage listing (the Wollemi National Park is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area).
- Protection under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- Memorandum of Understanding between NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Botanic Gardens Trust to manage the wild populations and develop a cultivation and propagation program.
- Not revealing the exact location of the known stands to other than bona fide scientific research teams.
- Minimising the number and duration of visits to the site and avoiding trampling seedbeds and seedlings, compacting soil and introducing disease.
- Introducing special precautions during scientific field trips, for example anti-microbial footbaths to ensure the exotic root rot pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi and other diseases aren’t introduced to the site.
- Monitoring the sites to guard against unwanted and perhaps destructive visits by bushwalkers and collectors, and liaising with neighbours to the national park who help with site protection.
- Studying the ecology of the species in the wild to identify issues critical for recruitment and the survival of the species under a range of disturbances such as fires, floods, rockfalls and treefalls.
- Establishing botanical research and horticultural development projects. See also 'Growing Wollemi Pines'.
- Licensing commercial propagation.
For more information, see 'Protecting the Wollemi Pine'