Conserving Threatened Magnolia Species
In 2007, BGCI and FFI jointly published The Red List of Magnoliaceae under the partnership of the Global Trees Campaign. The report called for action to ensure that the 89 taxa listed in the report as Critically Endangered or Endangered were conserved.
The first stage of this action is to establish which of these very threatened taxa are held in ex situ collections around the world by carrying out a global survey.
The survey identified 2,274 Magnoliaceae records1 from 238 institutions in 47 countries. However, only 362 ex situ records representing the 37 of the most threatened Magnoliaceae were located. This means that more than half of the Critically Endangered or Endangered taxa are currently not known to cultivation and therefore at great risk of extinction if threats that they are facing in the wild are not addressed.
Although there is more work to be done, the work of the Chinese botanic gardens and in particular the South China Botanic Garden (Chinese Academy of Sciences) has helped ensure that the Chinese Magnoliaceae are particularly well represented in ex situ collections.
The region of most concern is Latin America and the Caribbean, where many of endemic Magnoliaceae are not currently found in ex situ collections. In particular Colombia, the second richest Magnoliaceae country in the world after China, has 23 very threatened taxa which are only found in the wild.
The report concludes by making a series of recommendations based on the results of the survey including: the strengthening of existing ex situ collections, establishing new collections, developing propagation protocols, implementing restoration and reintroduction activities, involving local communities and organisation in conservation activities, developing public awareness programmes, enhancing BGCI’s PlantSearch database and the sharing of knowledge and experiences between experts around the world.
BGCI is already working with a number of partners in the two main regional centres of Magnoliaceae diversity, China and Latin America, to address some of these conservation priorities.
You can download the full report here.
BGCI would like to thank all those who participated in this vitally important survey.