Significant populations of Cycas circinalis still exist in a number of national parks and forest reserves (2), which offers this species some protection. To reduce harvesting pressure on populations it has been suggested that people need to be encouraged to use substitutes. For example, the floriculture industry could use leaves from cultivated palms that are faster growing. A substitute for the pith and male cone for the medicinal plant industry is not likely, and thus in these cases, populations need to be increased through cultivation (7).
Efforts have already been made to work with communities within the Niligiri Biosphere Reserve to grow Cycas circinalis in nurseries, and it is hoped that in the future they will be planted in forest areas where their populations are declining (7). However, individuals may take around 50 years to reach harvest size and so, in the meantime, it is vital to protect the remaining populations in order to ensure the long-term survival of this valuable cycad (7).