Our work > A global action plan for the conservation of threatened Zelkova species
A global action plan for the conservation of threatened Zelkova species
A global action plan for the conservation of the tree genus Zelkova (Ulmaceae) is being undertaken by the Botanic Garden of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and BGCI. The main aim of this project is to develop a global action plan for the conservation of all Zelkova species: collecting all the relevant biological knowledge on the genus, assessing the status of ex situ collections and proposing specific conservation actions, including recovery and reintroduction measures.
Zelkova is small genus that comprises six known monoecious tree species in the northern hemisphere. At present, it shows a disjunct distribution in eastern Asia (three species), western Asia (one species) and the Mediterranean (two species).
The most endangered species in the genus is without doubt Z.sicula discovered only recently in Sicily. The only known population consists a few hundred individuals (rarely exceeding 2 meters in height) and covering a very small area. It was listed in the IUCN Red List as a Critically Endangered (CR) species.
In June 2010, BGCI published a report entitled 'Global Survey of Ex situ Zelkova Collections'. The report's summary noted:
This survey formed the first phase of this project, the results of which will go to inform the genetic analysis in the next phase.