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Seed Bank to Save Threatened Plants

23 November 2006

A new seed bank for New Zealand native plants will focus on saving plants most threatened with extinction.

New Zealand already has a seed bank for commercially important agricultural crops, namely AgResearch's Margot Forde Germplasm Centre in Palmerston North. The new indigenous seed bank will also be housed there.

John Sawyer of the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network says members of the network will collect seeds for specialist storage in refrigerated conditions and the priority will be more than 200 threatened native plant species.

He says the native seed bank will form part of a global network set up to help protect the world's flora against the effects of climate change and other environmental threats.

Funding support will come from the consultancy firm, MWH New Zealand.

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