Conserving North America's Threatened Plants

‘Conserving North America’s Threatened Plants: Progress report on Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation’ was published in 2011. This report outlined the results of the 2010 North American Collections Assessment (NACA), a joint project of BGCI U.S., the United States Botanic Garden, and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, with additional funding provided by the Wallace Genetic Foundation. Through this Assessment, we generated a consolidated list of threatened plants in North America and compared it with North American collections information maintained in BGCI’s PlantSearch database. These results are a critical step in helping the botanical community prioritize the development of ex situ conservation collections for threatened taxa not yet in genetically diverse and representative collections, and directly supports Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC): ‘at least 75 per cent of threatened plant species in ex situ collections’.

Based upon data from 230 North American collections, we determined that 39% of the 9,496 North American threatened taxa are maintained in germplasm or living plant collections in North America. However, 45% of these collections are known from only one location, raising significant concerns about their conservation application and long-term viability. The report also makes specific recommendations to North America’s botanical community to advance conservation efforts and achieve the GSPC’s Target 8 by the 2020 deadline.

Associated resources

  • Conserving North America's Threatened Plants

    Conservation Prioritisation / Publication / English

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