The Wild Cycad Conservancy

Protecting the world’s most threatened plant species from extinction in South Africa


Saving the Waterberg cycad

Encephalartos eugene-maraisii 


In 2019, WCC enabled the purchase of 4000 hectares of land in the Waterberg mountains of Limpopo Province to secure the largest remaining population of E. eugene-maraisii. 

This land is now held in trust and includes a business plan to provide sustainable funding for long term conservation as well as ongoing support for future cycad research and broader cycad conservation actions.


Populations of E. eugene-maraisii have been severely impacted by poaching over the last 20-40 years and reproductive failure has been identified as a major threat. 

The conservation and recovery plan for E. eugene-maraisii is guided by a management plan developed in conjunction with SANBI, LEDET, SANParks and other stakeholders.

One objective is to increase population numbers. A dedicated nursery was established to support re-introduction by growing suitable genetic material and has contributed 250 individuals to the existing population.



The Wild Cycad Conservancy (or WCC) takes a three-pronged approach to cycad conservation.