Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): July 2012)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Endangered (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2011.2)
Scientific name Macrozamia cranei [64681]
Family Zamiaceae:Cycadales:Cycadatae:Cycadophyta:Plantae
Species author D.L.Jones & P.I.Forster
Infraspecies author  
Reference Austrobaileya 4:273 (1994).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Macrozamia cranei

Conventionally accepted as Macrozamia cranei (CHAH 2011).

Macrozamia cranei is a cycad with 1–5 erect, mature leaves in the crown (growing to 70–90 cm in length). The leaflets of each leaf number 100–150, and are 7–30 cm long and 0.2–0.7 cm wide, shortening in length (but not width) down the leaf towards the base of the plant. Margins of leaflets may be flat or slightly incurved. The upper surfaces of the leaves are dark green, shiny and hairless, and the lower surfaces are whitish and waxy. Leaflet tips are yellow and often drooping. The species is acaulescent (having little or no stem above ground), with what stem is exposed being 7–12 cm in diameter. The male cones are cylindrical, 8–22 cm long and 2.5–5 cm wide. The female cones are 8–13 cm long, 4.5–5.5 cm wide, erect and green. The seeds are oval shaped, 2–2.5 cm long, 1.8–2.2 cm wide and orange to red when ripe (Forster 2009; RBGS 2002).

The species is restricted to a small area of rugged terrain near Texas, from the Darling Downs district in southern Queensland (Forster 2009; Jones & Forster 1994). In the year 2000, Macrozamia cranei was known from five sites; two of which were in State Forest and the remaining sites were on freehold land (Qld DNR 2000).

Macrozamia cranei is known from six or seven populations with an estimated total population size of 2139 plants (Forster 2009; Queensland Herbarium 2007). Four of these populations are small, each with less than 100 individuals. Two additional populations (Populations 3 and 4 near Texas) contain over 1000 individuals each, and may be part of a larger, fragmented metapopulation (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

Population modelling under IUCN criteria, has predicted a decline of approximately 20% over two generations (120 years) for Macrozamia cranei (Forster 2009). There is little to no evidence of pollination or recruitment in any of the populations (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

Macrozamia cranei grows in small colonies on the lower parts of the sheltered slopes of steep ridges, in shallow, skeletal soil or on alluvium, along ephemeral watercourses. Both soil types are associated with limestone outcrops at 400–600 m above sea level.

The plants are found in open forest (in hilly terrain) dominated by eucalypts or fragmented semi-evergreen vine thicket (Jones & Forster 1994; Qld DNR 2000).

Both populations near Texas that contain over 1000 individuals occur on freehold land in remnant vegetation listed as Of Concern under the Queensland Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

Cycads may be long-lived, with life spans ranging from decades to several centuries (Benson & McDougall 1993 and Pate 1993 cited in Queensland Herbarium 2007). They are resilient to fire and some forms of mechanical disturbance (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

The cones of this species mature between October to February, with seeds ripening from February or March to April (Jones & Forster 1994; Queensland Herbarium 2007). Cones are not borne every year if environmental conditions are not favourable (Qld DNR 2000). Macrozamia species, like all cycads, have a unique fertilization process that means the fresh seed is not ready to germinate for 12 months post ripening, due to a delayed fertilisation process (Norstog & Nicholls 1997 cited in Queensland Herbarium 2007).

The pollinators of Macrozamia cranei are still unknown, but are likely to be species of Tranes weevils. Limited, local seed dispersal has been recorded in populations of M. cranei, with little to no recruitment occurring (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

Adult individuals of the species can survive fire, resprouting from their underground stem after above-ground foliage is lost. However, seedlings and unburied seeds are usually killed by fire. Synchronous cone formation (masting) often follows fire, with a small percentage of individuals coning in the first year following the fire, and a high percentage of individuals coning in the second year. However, the species is not often affected by fire due to the species' habitat (consisting of skeletal soils), vegetation removal through grazing by the Sheep (Ovis aries) and the Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) and frequent droughts (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

Macrozamia cranei is similar to M. occidura but is distinguished by its longer leaves, longer and shiner leaflets and green cones. M. cranei is also similar to M. plurinervia but has more shiny and dark green upper leaves and duller glaucous underleaves than M. plurinervia, with the green cone and smaller seeds being distinguishing features (Whitelock 2002).

M. cranei is part of a species complex in the area, known as the M. plurinervia-complex. Accurate species boundaries of this complex have not been established (Hill 1998a; Queensland Herbarium 2007).

Plants of this species have been destroyed during clearing for agriculture, and by graziers to protect stock (leaves and fruits are poisonous to domestic stock) (Qld DNR 2000). It is suspected that timber harvesting, inappropriate fire regimes, inappropriate legal collection practices and illegal collection may also threaten this species and degrade its habitat (Qld DNR 2000).

Cycads do not have a long-lived soil seed bank with seed viability of most species from six months to three years. Fires, especially those of high intensity, can result in the destruction of seed banks of the species. In addition, fires that occur when seeds are ripening, or during synchronous coning or 'masting' events, will result in high losses of potential seed.

The effect of fire on some of the insect-plant interactions is unknown, but fire should be avoided at least when the plants are coning and receptive to pollinators. This usually occurs between October and March (Queensland Herbarium 2007). In some isolated populations of cycads (such as M. cranei), where little obvious recruitment is occurring, there appears to be no resident populations of pollinators (Queensland Herbarium 2007).

The National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium 2007) outlines actions to aid in recovery of the species, including:

  • Negotiate conservation agreements to secure significant known populations of cycads on freehold and leasehold property. Populations 3 and 4 (near Texas) and Populations 5 and 6 (adjacent to Gunyan SF 176) are the most critical for conservation.
  • Search for the existence of further populations of all species.
  • Major landholders and custodians to be contacted and made aware of current legislative regulations.
  • Prevent loss of individuals and populations from legal harvesting and salvage.
  • Prevent loss of individuals, plant parts and seeds to illegal harvesting and destruction.
  • Determine habitat, ecological and reproductive needs.
  • Ensure populations are managed according to the best available knowledge.
  • Translocate individual plants under immediate threat to suitable habitat in the vicinity of nearby larger populations.
  • Increase population numbers in critical populations.

Management documents for Macrozamia cranei can be found at the start of this profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
Species Management Manual (Queensland Department of Natural Resources (Qld DNR), 2000) [Report].
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Commercial harvest Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Illegal collection Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat disturbance due to foresty activities Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
Species Management Manual (Queensland Department of Natural Resources (Qld DNR), 2000) [Report].
National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pv) [Internet].
National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species Management Manual (Queensland Department of Natural Resources (Qld DNR), 2000) [Report].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis (Queensland Herbarium, 2007) [Recovery Plan].

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2011). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/apclist.

Forster, P. (2009). Macrozamia cranei. [Online]. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org.

Hill, K.D. (1998a). Cycadophyta. In: Flora of Australia. 48:597-661. Melbourne: CSIRO.

Jones, D.L. & Forster, P.I. (1994). Seven new species of Macrozamia section Parazamia (Miq.) Miq. (Zamiaceae section Parazamia) from Queensland. Austrobaileya. 4(2):269-288.

Queensland Department of Natural Resources (Qld DNR) (2000). Species Management Manual. Forest and Fauna Conservation and Ecology Section, Queensland Department of Natural Resouces.

Queensland Herbarium (2007). National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis. [Online]. Report to Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/cycads.html.

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (RBGS) (2002). The Cycads Page. [Online]. Available from: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/taxon.pl?name=Macrozamia+cranei. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2011].

Whitelock, L. (2002). The Cycads. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Macrozamia cranei in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 21 Apr 2014 10:13:17 +1000.