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PACSOA conservation project: Tahina spectabilis (request for support)


Jonathan Haycock

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The Palm and Cycad Society of Australia (PACSOA) is engaged in an important project to save 2 x Tahina spectabilis from an uncertain future. The current owners are selling their Darwin property and have offered to donate the palms to Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Coot-tha.
 
PACSOA project owners; David Tanswell (Director, International Palm Society), Daryl O’Connor (President, PACSOA), Michael Green (President, PACSOA Brisbane), Stan Walkley (PACSOA member), and myself met with Dale Arvidsson (Curator, Brisbane Botanic Gardens) on 6th March 2024 to discuss the proposal. The meeting was extremely positive with a clear understanding that this is a major conservation effort. Dale suggested planting sites by the visitor centre main entrance and central to the African/Madagascan section, both prominent locations.
 
Once established at Mt. Coot-tha, the palms will be publicised via National media and hopefully through an issue of Palms, (journal of the International Palm Society). Informative signage will also be erected next to the visitor centre Tahina spectabilis.
 
Total cost for relocating the palms is $21, 000 AUD, of which $10, 000 AUD has been raised to date. To facilitate future conservation projects, PACSOA is seeking your help towards the outstanding $11, 000 AUD. If you wish to donate, please click on the following link (Tahina GoFundMe page). Thank you for your time in reading this and any support you can give. 
 
Further updates to follow.
 
1st Tahina.
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2nd Tahina.
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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For those unfamiliar with Tahina spectabilis, a little background:

Unknown to science until 2007, discovered by Xavier Metz and his family whilst out for a stroll!!! Later described in 2008 by Dr John Dransfield (former Head of Research, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew). Tahina spectabilis belongs to a monotypic genus (Chuniophoeniceae tribe) endemic to the Analalava district of Northwestern Madagascar, found amongst gentle rolling hills and flatlands subjected to seasonal flooding. It is exceptionally rare and critically endangered with less than 100 individuals known on the island. Habitat loss, limited population, and restricted range pose the greatest threats, with small scale impacts having the potential to cause catastrophic consequences. 

Named after Anne-Tahina Metz (daughter of Xavier Metz), Tahina spectabilis is a palm of gigantic proportions (visible in satellite imagery), growing up to 20 m in height with leaves over 5 m diameter. Thought to live up to 50 years before producing an impressive terminal inflorescence and huge quantities of fruit prior to subsequent death.

Seed was made available 2008/2009. All specimens that exist in Australia today derived from that single batch of seed. Tahina spectabilis is now CITES listed.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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A couple more shots of the large Tahina.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Stan Walkley and I met with Dale Arvidsson (Curator, Brisbane Botanic Garden, Mt. Coot-tha) last Sunday to inspect the holes and discuss finer details of the upcoming transplant. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Palms are being dug up in Darwin this week and shipped down to Brisbane. Hopefully they’ll be in the ground at Mt. Coot-tha by next Monday. 

Smaller one prepped and ready to go. Large Tahina is being done today. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Great project, I shared the link. 

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12 minutes ago, KrisKupsch said:

Great project, I shared the link. 

Much appreciated Kris.

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Large Tahina ready to go, and what a cracker she is!!! Hats off to Richy and his team for a top job. 

Both palms will be loaded onto the haulage truck this afternoon to begin their journey South this evening.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Some more random shots of the large Tahina from today. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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That’s quite a project and one that is definitely worth doing the planet is going to better of one palm at a time thanks for sharing 🌴

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Some incredible shots taken by Richy (contractor) during the Tahina dig yesterday. Couldn’t have asked for a better team of guys to get the job done.

If you would like to donate to this project, please click the link; PACSOA Tahina conservation project.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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The Tahina’s arrived safely in Rocklea, QLD yesterday morning. It was wonderful to meet them in person for the first time, and a great relief to find them in good condition.

If you would like to offer your support for this project, please visit the Tahina conservation project GoFundMe page.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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The large Tahina weighed 7.2 tonne. She’s now in her forever home.

The Curator said he’s not seen his staff so invested in a project or turn out in such numbers before. They clearly understood the significance of what we were trying to achieve. Even the Manager from the nearby quarry got involved. A very special palm indeed.

If you would like to offer your support for this project, please visit the Tahina conservation project GoFundMe page.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Small Tahina was a piece of cake. Hoping she doesn’t skip a beat.

If you would like to offer your support for this project, please visit the Tahina conservation project GoFundMe page.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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I hope they flourish.
We’re they from Scott and Ari’s place in the NT? 

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Tyrone said:

I hope they flourish.
We’re they from Scott and Ari’s place in the NT? 

Me too. Unfortunately, circumstances meant we had to get the palms at the wrong time of year, but they are in pretty decent sun traps and we are tipped to get the warmest winter on record apparently. The palms were indeed donated by Ari.  

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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23 hours ago, Jonathan Haycock said:

Me too. Unfortunately, circumstances meant we had to get the palms at the wrong time of year, but they are in pretty decent sun traps and we are tipped to get the warmest winter on record apparently. The palms were indeed donated by Ari.  

That’s real cool. In all likelihood I acquired the seed for those palms for Ari. It’s great to see them doing so well. 

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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It’s great to see the amount of care taken in the relocation. The ones in charge of the replant probably have done this but I reckon they’d love a good drenching of seasol and power feed to stimulate new root growth. I hope they take well to their new home. 

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Tyrone said:

It’s great to see the amount of care taken in the relocation. The ones in charge of the replant probably have done this but I reckon they’d love a good drenching of seasol and power feed to stimulate new root growth. I hope they take well to their new home. 

We've advised that regime to them multiple times, and also not to overdo the water at first (given cooler conditions atm). Garden staff member, Debbie introduced herself to us and explained she would be the one to look after the Tahina going forward. She kept referring to the palm as her baby and was honoured to have the opportunity to care for it. Can’t ask for more than that.

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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8 hours ago, Jonathan Haycock said:

We've advised that regime to them multiple times, and also not to overdo the water at first (given cooler conditions atm). Garden staff member, Debbie introduced herself to us and explained she would be the one to look after the Tahina going forward. She kept referring to the palm as her baby and was honoured to have the opportunity to care for it. Can’t ask for more than that.

That’s awesome. They’re very special palms. They do like good drainage especially during the cooler weather. Thankfully Brisbane has a dry winter period.

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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What a wonderful project beautifully documented! 

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Cindy Adair

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1 hour ago, Cindy Adair said:

What a wonderful project beautifully documented! 

Thank you Cindy. More updates to come in due course.

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Big one is on the move. Smaller one looking good also.  

If you would like to offer your support for this project, please visit the Tahina conservation project GoFundMe page.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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I love this! Quite a major project moving those babies! Although I've never met her in person, I almost feel like I know Ari from her active days on PalmTalk some years back and also regularly on Facebook. 

I have the sense these are very tough palms. I have one in recovery right now, and after a full year of no growth at all, suddenly it began pushing a new spear. So good luck to these two! Perhaps I'll get a chance to see them one day soon. 

My little donation will be only a drop in the bucket, but many drops can fill a bucket. 

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Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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1 hour ago, Jonathan Haycock said:

Big one is on the move. Smaller one looking good also.  ...

Great work. All I can add is to be patient, they got a lot of roots to regrow so give them time. Glad to see you made a marker line to measure growth.

Ryan

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South Florida

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2 hours ago, Kim said:

I love this! Quite a major project moving those babies! Although I've never met her in person, I almost feel like I know Ari from her active days on PalmTalk some years back and also regularly on Facebook. 

I have the sense these are very tough palms. I have one in recovery right now, and after a full year of no growth at all, suddenly it began pushing a new spear. So good luck to these two! Perhaps I'll get a chance to see them one day soon. 

My little donation will be only a drop in the bucket, but many drops can fill a bucket. 

Yeah it’s been quite an effort getting to this stage, but totally worth it. I think you are right, these are quite tough palms, but we went for a belt and braces approach to rootball sizes given it’s the wrong time of year to do this here really. 

Any donation is gratefully received, thanks Kim.

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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1 hour ago, Palmarum said:

Great work. All I can add is to be patient, they got a lot of roots to regrow so give them time. Glad to see you made a marker line to measure growth.

Ryan

Thanks Ryan. Hoping we get the warm winter predicted so they hit the ground running next summer.

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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8 hours ago, Kim said:

I love this! Quite a major project moving those babies! Although I've never met her in person, I almost feel like I know Ari from her active days on PalmTalk some years back and also regularly on Facebook. 

I have the sense these are very tough palms. I have one in recovery right now, and after a full year of no growth at all, suddenly it began pushing a new spear. So good luck to these two! Perhaps I'll get a chance to see them one day soon. 

My little donation will be only a drop in the bucket, but many drops can fill a bucket. 

I agree with Kim’s last statement and supported this project with a donation via go fund me that fits my current budget. 

I hope many others will do the same. 

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Cindy Adair

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7 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

I agree with Kim’s last statement and supported this project with a donation via go fund me that fits my current budget. 

I hope many others will do the same. 

Thanks for your donation Cindy. It is very much appreciated.

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Well done Jonathan, they look great! You and all of PACSOA have made a lasting contribution to the conservation of this species. From the quality of the transplant, I’m confident they’ll thrive and I look forward to seeing them next time I visit Brisbane. 

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Tim Brisbane

Patterson Lakes, bayside Melbourne, Australia

Rarely Frost

2005 Minimum: 2.6C,  Maximum: 44C

2005 Average: 17.2C, warmest on record.

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27 minutes ago, tim_brissy_13 said:

Well done Jonathan, they look great! You and all of PACSOA have made a lasting contribution to the conservation of this species. From the quality of the transplant, I’m confident they’ll thrive and I look forward to seeing them next time I visit Brisbane. 

Appreciate that Tim, and thanks for your donation towards the project. 

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Large one is powering on, hasn't skipped a beat. Spear on the move still. Looks generally a lot happier too, starting to align itself better. 

If you would like to offer your support for this project, please visit the Tahina conservation project GoFundMe page.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Small one went downhill fast after a seemingly trouble free transplant. No one is quite sure what caused it, but all leaves desiccated after a few days so were cut off.

Plastic tent installed to generate more heat. Central spear still solid and green. I think she’ll be fine. 

If you would like to offer your support for this project, please visit the Tahina conservation project GoFundMe page.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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