Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Survey of Chinese cultivated critically endangered and endangered Magnolias

Over half of the world's Magnolia species are threatened with extinction in the wild. The recent Red List of Magnoliaceae, published jointly by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI), in April 2007 identifies 131 taxa being threatened with extinction at a global scale, including 112 wild magnolias as being threatened with extinction in the wild (critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable), 9 taxa being Near Threatened and 10 recorded as Data Deficient, out of a global total of 245 species. Among those 112 taxa, considered to be at most risk of extinction (Endangered or Critically Endangered) according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, listed in the Red List of Magnoliaceae, 46 are Chinese Magnolias taxa.

To identify precisely which Critically Endangered (CR) and Endangered (EN) species are currently held in ex situ collections and which Critically Endangered (CR) and Endangered (EN) species are not yet held in ex situ collections, what is known about their cultivation and what related conservation activities are currently taking place, BGCI is now undertaking a comprehensive survey of ex situ collections of globally threatened Magnoliaceae taxa. One of the major activities of BGCI China Programme office is to implement the China component of the project Securing ex-situ collections of Critically Endangered and Endangered Trees of Magnoliaceae, in particular undertaking a detailed survey of Magnoliaceae in cultivation in botanic garden and institution collections in China by working with the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Botanic Gardens Committee and other gardens, including work and data by the Global Trees Campaign, the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group, and BGCI’s preliminary assessment of threatened Magnoliaceae as included in BGCI’s PlantSearch database, as well as other relevant resources.

For those that are not yet held in ex situ collections, we will develop a prioritised plan for the long term integrated conservation of them. It is clearly important that all Critically Endangered (CR) and Endangered (EN) taxa are represented in well-managed ex situ collections as an insurance policy for the future and in support of Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. At the same time habitat protection and restoration should be reviewed and mechanisms put in place for local people to be involved in and benefit from the in situ conservation and management of these globally important trees.

BGCI will publish a report on ex situ conservation of Magnolias based on the results of this survey in spring 2008. All information sources and completed surveys will be duly acknowledged.

How you can help?

We would be very grateful for your help with this survey. You can help by:

• Uploading your current plant records to the BGCI PlantSearch database – we will be delighted to receive all your living collection records or just your Magnoliaceae records. Guidance on how to do this can be found on our website at:
• Checking the new Red List of Magnoliaceae to see which of the threatened species you currently hold and letting us know about them;
• Sharing with us information on Magnolia conservation projects that you are involved in or are aware of
• Sharing experiences of cultivation and propagation of CR or EN Magnolia species that can be included in our Propagation database which is due to be launched later this year.

If you think that you can help, or have any questions about the survey, or know of any important collections of Magnoliaceae, then we would very much like to hear from you.