Botanic Gardens Conservation International
BGCI provides a global voice for all botanic gardens, championing and celebrating their inspiring work. We are the world's largest plant conservation network, open to all. Join us in helping to save the world's threatened plants.

Securing ex situ collections of Critically Endangered and Endangered Maples

acer trifolum

acer pictum

acer pycnanthum

Why action is needed

Over a quarter of the world’s maples are threatened with extinction in the wild. The recent Red List of Maples, published jointly by BGCI and Fauna & Flora International (FFI), in November 2009 identifies 54 maples as being in danger of extinction, out of a global total of 191.

Based on the information presented in the Red List report, urgent attention is required for the 26 maples considered to be at most risk of extinction - Critically Endangered (CR) or Endangered (E) - according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.

Some of these threatened maples are reduced to a handful of individuals in the wild and it would be a tragedy if such species are needlessly lost. It is clearly important that all CR and EN taxa are represented in well-managed ex situ collections. 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 survey

BGCI is now undertaking a comprehensive survey of ex situ collections of globally threatened maples building on information held within our PlantSearch Database. The survey will enable us to identify precisely which CR and EN maples are currently held in ex situ collections, what is known about their cultivation and what related conservation activities are currently taking place.

How you can help

We would be very grateful for your help with this survey. For each maple (Acer or Dipteronia) in your collection, we would ideally like to know:

•    Is this maple from a known wild source or from horticultural/unknown origin?

•    What is the approximate size of the collection? 

•    Is this maple collection part of a restoration or reintroduction programme?

Please email Douglas Gibbs in the UK or Wen Xiangying in China.

You can also 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 Maple records (Acer and Dipteronia).
•    Checking the new Red List of Maples to see which of the threatened species you currently hold and letting us know about them.
•    Sharing with us information on maples conservation projects that you are involved in or are aware of.
•    Sharing experiences of cultivation and propagation of CR or EN maples that can be included in our propagation database.

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

BGCI will publish a report on ex situ conservation of maples based on the results of this survey in spring 2010. All information sources and completed surveys will be duly acknowledged.

Contact details

Douglas Gibbs   
Descanso House
199 Kew Road
Richmond, Surrey
TW9 3BW,
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5953    Tel  (86)20-37252692
Fax: +44 (0)20 8332 5956    Fax (86)20-37252692

Wen Xiangying
C/o South China Botanic Garden
Chinese Academy of Sciences
723 Xing Ke Road
Guangzhou, Guangdong
510650, P.R. China