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Global Survey of Ex situ Conifer Collections highlights need for increased conservation action
19 June 2014
34% of conifers are globally threatened with extinction. A new BGCI publication Global Survey of Ex situ Conifer Collections provides an analysis of how well represented threatened conifers are in botanic garden and arboreta collections around the world and highlights priority taxa for conservation action. The survey found that, while c.80% of threatened conifers are reported as held in ex situ collections, many threatened taxa are only represented in a small number of collections with limited value for recovery and restoration programmes. Although excellent conservation initiatives are in place for some threatened conifers, greater action is needed to ensure the survival of all threatened conifer species.
Institutions were asked to provide additional information on the threatened taxa held in collections, including provenance and number of individuals. This information reveals that the large majority of wild source collections of threatened conifers consist of only 1-5 individuals, falling far short of the amount of material needed to carry out successful recovery and restoration programmes for wild populations.
The Global Survey of Ex situ Conifer Collections provides recommendations aimed at increasing capacity for threatened conifer conservation, improving management of ex situ collections, and enabling supply of ex situ material for recovery and restoration programmes. The report also highlights case studies of best practice to inspire further action. Case studies include the cross institution collaboration achieved through the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP) and successful examples of pest and disease management for threatened conifers in the U.S.A carried out by the USDA Forest Service.
Hard copies of the Global Survey of Ex situ Conifer Collections are available to purchase from the BGCI publications catalogue and the full report is available to download from the BGCI and Global Trees Campaign websites. Click here to read the full report.
Shaw, K. and Hird, A. (2014). Global Survey of Ex situ Conifer Collections. BGCI, Richmond, UK.
The Global Trees Campaign is a joint initiative between BGCI and Fauna and Flora International (FFI) to safeguard the world's threatened trees from extinction. Find out more about the work of the Global Trees Campaign on our website and visit the Resources section to access Red Lists, ex situ surveys for other tree groups and guidance briefs and manuals to support direct conservation action for threatened trees.
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