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Conservation of Threatened Plants ex situ

Conservation of plants “ex situ” means conserving plants outside their natural environment – for example in seed banks or in the living collections of botanic gardens.

Our aim is to ensure that 50% of globally threatened plants are conserved by 2010.

  • So far, we have identified over 15,000 threatened species in botanic garden collections through our unique database - PlantSearch.
  • One constraint to achieving our goal is the lack of information on which plants are under threat. To address this we are working on Red Lists for a number of species – including Magnolias, Oaks, Acers and Rhododendrons. We plan to extend this work to include Ebonies in the near future. We are helping to train local scientists in the Red Listing procedure to further accelerate this work.
  • We are also supporting botanic gardens in their efforts to develop ex situ conservation programmes for locally threatened species through projects in China, Russia, Burma and Jordan.


Red List of the Magnoliaceae

The Red List of the Magnoliaceae, published jointly by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI), through the Global Trees Campaign (GTC), identifies 131 wild magnolias as being in danger of extinction, from a global total of 245 species.

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Red List of Oaks

The Red List of Oaks, published jointly by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI), through the Global Trees Campaign (GTC), identifies 78 wild oaks in danger of extinction, and raises concern over the lack of data for over 300 species.

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Ex Situ Conservation

Ex situ conservation is the conservation and maintenance of samples of living organisms outside their natural habitat, in the form of whole plants, seed, pollen, vegetative propagules, tissue or cell cultures.

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Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild (Guerrant et al, 2004)
With a foreword by Peter Raven, this volume aims to win converts to ex situ efforts to protect plant genetic diversity.