The fishtail palm occurs in:
It tends to occur on lime-rich soils over a limestone bedrock.
Populations of this species are typically found in the understorey of rainforest.
Increasingly, however, seeds of the fishtail palm are being harvested in the wild and plantations established to increase economic productivity.
In the wild, fishtail populations typically have a natural abundance of around 100-200 individuals per hectare.
Genetic studies suggest that there is a high degree of inbreeding within populations. This might be due to: