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   Issue 7 of Wollemi Watch
>> Newsflash: Wollemi Pine on the World Stage at Expo 2005
>> Behind the Scenes: Patricia Meagher, BGT Research Scientist
>> New Wollemi Pine Displays in the US and Taiwan
>> The Wollemi Pine to tour Outback QLD Schools
>> Fact File: Earth Day - April 22
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Did you know?
The Wollemi Pine will be available for sale in 2005/6. This date has been set to allow sufficient time for horticulturalists and scientists to research and cultivate the plant so as to secure the ongoing survival and conservation of this rare and threatened species.

As the 2005/6 public release of the Wollemi Pine in Australia and internationally is expected to generate widespread demand, we encourage all potential buyers to register their interest by subscribing to the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club.

As a subscriber, you will receive Wollemi Watch - a quarterly e-newsletter covering the latest product information and research findings on the Wollemi Pine. Closer to the release date of 2005/6, we will also provide you with details on how you will be able to purchase your own Wollemi Pine.
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Welcome to the seventh edition of the Wollemi Watch, a quarterly newsletter for Wollemi Pine enthusiasts the world over.

This month (April) marks the official one year countdown to the general release of the Wollemi Pine in Australia and internationally. As some may be aware, we are preparing for a limited release of advanced Wollemi Pines in October 2005 and are expecting the pot plant sized Wollemi Pines to be available in selected retail outlets and online by April 2006.

We hope you enjoy this update which includes news of the latest Wollemi Pine displays and exhibitions in Australia and around the world, features the work of one of the key scientists studying the Pine, and marks the celebration of the 35th annual Earth Day.
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Wollemi Pine on the World Stage at Expo 2005

Newsflash: Wollemi Pine on the World Stage at Expo 2005

The Wollemi Pine is playing ambassador to Australia's stunning natural history and unique biodiversity at the Australian pavilion at World Expo in Aichi, Japan from March 25 to September 25, 2005. It is also a fitting tribute to the Expo's theme of "Nature's Wisdom" and will no doubt attract the attention of many of the 15 million visitors expected to attend the six month exposition.

The Australian pavillion will take visitors back 65 thousand years in time to explore Australia's unique environment and indigenous cultures. The Pavillion will show how to provide for a sustainable future by learning from the past and using modern technology.

The Wollemi Pine will be located in Act 3 of the Pavilion, alongside the platypus. Like the platypus, the Wollemi Pine symbolises Australia's past, present and future. Both the Wollemi Pine and the platypus existed many millions of years ago and have remained largely unchanged since that time. They have outlived other prehistoric species due to their ability to adapt and remain undisturbed in protected habitats.

The Expo aims to bring together knowledge from all around the world that can be shared and hopes that communities will unite to solve the many issues they are faced with and create a more harmonius future with nature.

The commercialisation of the Wollemi Pine is a unique case study which highlights the role individuals can play in a global conservation effort. By growing their own Wollemi Pines, individuals will not only be able helping to repopulate the species but also be contributing funds back to the conservation of the trees in the wild and other threatened and endangered species.

The Wollemi Pine will be available in Japan in 2006.

For more on Australia's involvement at the 2005 World Expo  link
For more on the 2005 World Expo in Aichi, Japan link

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Behind the Scenes with Patricia Meagher

Behind the Scenes with Patricia Meagher

Patricia Meagher is a horticultural researcher at Mount Annan Botanic Garden and has dedicated her work since joining the Gardens in 1996 to a significant number of Wollemi Pine research projects and related initiatives. She is also a member of the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team and is one of the very few researchers that are permitted to visit the Wollemi Pines in the wild to conduct research.

Patricia's initial research at Mount Annan (one of the three gardens managed by the Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney) involved studying the germination and storage of Wollemi Pine seed as well as investigating the effects of light levels, soil pH, and fertilizer on growth of the Pine. Her latest work includes research on the reproductive cycle of the plants in the wild.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to research a species as unique and unusual as the Wollemi Pine. I particularly enjoy working with other scientists from different disciplines and collaborating on Wollemi Pine research projects," said Patricia.

"One of my latest collaborations has been working with Dr Geoff Burrows at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga (NSW, Australia) on branch connections and bud development of the Wollemi Pine. I also contributed to the research into the genetic variability of the Wollemi Pine, or should I say lack of it, in the wild."

There is little doubt that the Wollemi Pine must be one of the most widely researched rare and threatened plant species in the world. This is particularly remarkable as it is only relatively newly discovered. Up to 35 scientific papers have been published since its discovery ten years ago and Patricia assisted in the preparation of a large number of these papers, along with
Dr Cathy Offord, the Senior Horticultural Research at Mt Annan.

In addition to her research responsibilities, Patricia also curates the Wollemi Pine ex situ collection or "clonal collection". This is an important collection of plants that have been grown from original cuttings taken from the Wollemi Pines in the wild. This collection is held at Mount Annan Botanic Garden as an "insurance policy" in case of catastrophic loss of the wild population.

Prior to joining Mount Annan Botanic Garden, Patricia worked at NSW's Agriculture Biological and Chemical Research Institute where she also completed her Bachelor of Science in Urban Horticulture (Hons) after switching from a career in computer science.

Patricia not only brings tremendous experience to her role at Mount Annan but also has a real passion for her work, ensuring that the conservation of the Wollemi Pine is in great hands.

Stay tuned to hear more about people like Trish who are working to conserve and protect the Wollemi Pine for current and future generations to enjoy.

For more information on scientific papers published on the Wollemi Pine link To visit the Botanic Gardens Trust web site on the Wollemi Pine link

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New Wollemi Pine Displays in the US and Taiwan

New Wollemi Pine Displays in the US and Taiwan

Since the first Wollemi Pine was unveiled on public display in the Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney) seven years ago, the worldwide interest in the Wollemi Pine has led to a growing number of displays across Australia, Asia, the US, UK and Europe.

In January 2005, Washington DC welcomed the Wollemi Pine with an educational display in the impressive conservatory at the United States Botanic Garden. A small Wollemi Pine sits encompassed in a glass structure in the plant exploration room telling the story of its amazing discovery.

In March 2005, a Wollemi Pine was gifted by the Australian Ambassador to Taiwan, Ms Frances Adamson to the National Museum of Natural Sciences in commemoration of the Museum's 10 year anniversary. The display features a 1.5m tall Wollemi Pine at the entrance to the museum with a smaller pot plant version on display within the museum.

In addition to displaying the Wollemi Pine, many leading institutions internationally such as The Smithsonian Institution and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew are conducting growing trials with the Wollemi Pine to test its cold hardiness. Latest reports in the US, indicate that the Wollemi Pine will survive temperatures as cool as -12°C, attesting to our prediction that it is highly versatile and hardy.

Wollemi Pines are currently on display in the following locations around the world:

Australian Displays:
Mount Annan Botanic Garden
Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney)
Taronga Park Zoo (Sydney)
Botanic Gardens (Adelaide and Mt Lofty, SA)
Australian National Botanic Garden (Canberra)
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden (Hobart)
Kings Park and Botanic Garden (Perth)

International Displays:
Australian Pavilion, World Expo 2005 (Aichi, Japan)
National Museum of Taiwan (Taipei, Taiwan)
Disneyland Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
US Botanic Gardens (Washington, DC USA)
Vienna Botanic Gardens (Vienna, Austria)

Stay tuned for the release of other displays near your area and any new developments on the Wollemi Pine project.

Joining the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club registers your interest in purchasing a Wollemi Pine when they are released in 2005/6.
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The Wollemi Pine to Tour Outback QLD Schools

The Wollemi Pine to Tour Outback QLD Schools

An interactive and educational exhibit on the Wollemi Pine will be part of a new touring biotechnology exhibition called the "BioBus" set to travel to up to 75 towns and reach 60,000 school students, teachers and community members in rural and regional Queensland from May 11, 2005.

The BioBus is a Department of State Development and Innovation initiative in collaboration with Education Queensland and delivered by the Queensland Museum. It has been designed to have something for everyone, with a range of interpretive and interactive exhibits, some class room experiment demonstrations and a show presentation for the general public to explore some of the different concepts of biotechnology.

The program will provide school children in years 8-12 (aged 13-17), Queensland's future scientists, their parents, teachers and other visitors with a range of biotechnology experiences to remember, enthuse and amaze.

The BioBus will also be available to Brisbane school children and parents in August each year where it will be on display at the Brisbane Exhibition.

Visit the BioBus web site for more information. link

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Fact File: Earth Day - April 22

Fact File: Earth Day - April 22

Are you looking for a reason to be "green"? Why not celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and become part of an environmental celebration that already engages up to half a billion people worldwide.

Founded in 1970, Earth Day's mission is "to build broad-based citizen support for sound, workable and effective environmental and sustainable development policies for all".

The Earth Day Network, that coordinates Earth Day, reaches over 12,000 organisations in 174 countries, and facilitates millions of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year.
In addition to supporting Earth Day celebrations around the world, the Network promotes environmental education programs, trains new environmental leaders and promotes civic engagement.

This time next year and in time to mark Earth Day 2006, the Wollemi Pine will be available in many countries around the world and will no doubt become a conservation success story with plantings taking place as part of the global repopulation effort.

For more information on Earth Day link

Want to experience the Wollemi Wilderness? Download your own Wollemi wallpaper >> Click Here
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Photos: Jaime Plaza, Earth Day Network and Wollemi Pine International
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