The Selati Game Reserve is home to one of the rarest cycad species in the world. These cycads are listed under CITES Appendix I, which are critically endangered. The Lilly hills on the south of the Reserve is home to the only known colony of Encephalartos dyerianus on the planet. In partnership with Government and the Department of Nature Conservation, a proposal to re-establish and grow the population within new areas has been approved.
With input from Arnold Frisby, a plant ecologist from Pretoria University, Chris Oosthuizen and Selati Wilderness Foundation Chair, Alan du Toit, have compiled a Cycad proposal for LEDET that recommends and requests the establishment of a Cycad nursery on Selati. The report outlines a proposal to actively cultivate E. dyerianus cycad seedlings for the purpose of augmenting the population in the current habitat and establishing new populations at a suitable sites on Selati. This involves the pollination and collection of seed from the Lillie Flora Nature Reserve for controlled germination within a dedicated on-site nursery prior to planting in the wild.
The cycads have been under continual threat from poaching and this initiative should contribute to the survival of this species who’s only known site in the wild is on Selati.