Harvest cycads from wild

Cycads are woody plants that are slow growing and live for a long time.

If you want to harvest cycads, you may require a permit to harvest:

In some cases of land clearing, you may be able to salvage cycads.

Check what's protected

All cycads found in parks and reserves in the Northern Territory (NT) are protected.

To find out what cycads are protected in other areas of the NT, see threatened plants.

For all of Australia, go to the Australian Government's Species Profile and Threats Database.

For your own use

To harvest protected cycads for your own use, you must have a permit to take or interfere with wildlife.

This does not apply to you if you’re Aboriginal and have traditionally harvest cycads:

  • in a particular area
  • for food, ceremonial or religious purposes.

If the cycad is not protected, you don't need a permit, unless you’re non-Aboriginal and want to harvest them on Aboriginal land.

For commercial use

To harvest any cycads for commercial use, you have a permit to take or interfere with wildlife.

This includes seeds, leaves and whole plants. Commercial harvest limits apply.

Under Australian law, you may also need a permit to export cycads.

To find out more, go to the Australian Government's Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

Commercial harvest limits

The following limits apply to commercial cycad harvesting in the Northern Territory.

Seeds

You can remove up to 25% of well-formed seeds from an individual cycad stem in one calendar year.

Leaves

You can remove up to 25% of leaves from an individual cycad stem in one calendar year.

Leaf harvesting is restricted to individual cycads that:

  • are not reproducing
  • have an above-ground stem at least 5cm tall.

Whole plants

You may be permitted to take whole plants on a case-by-case basis.

If you're allowed, the yearly harvest limit for individual species is 10% of the estimated population in the harvest area.

To find out more, contact the Parks and Wildlife permits office.

Salvage

You may be allowed to salvage cycads, if they would otherwise be destroyed by:

  • road building
  • firebreak clearing
  • other land clearing.

All plants must be labelled with a Parks and Wildlife approved tag before they can be taken from the salvage site.

More information

To find out more about cycad harvesting, contact the Parks and Wildlife permits office.


Last updated: 07 September 2022

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