“It was a lifesaving mission as dramatic as any in the months-long battle against the wildfires that have torn through the Australian bush.
But instead of a race to save humans or animals, a specialized team of Australian firefighters was bent on saving invaluable plant life: hidden groves of the Wollemi pine, a prehistoric tree species that has outlived the dinosaurs.
Wollemia nobilis peaked in abundance 34 million to 65 million years ago, before a steady decline. Today, only 200 of the trees exist in their natural environment — all within the canyons of Wollemi National Park, just 100 miles west of Sydney.
The trees are so rare that they were thought to be extinct until 1994.”