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New Report on U.S. Collections Progress in 2014

There has only been a 2 percent increase in the number of threatened species in U.S. living botanical collections since 2010, according to a new Progress report on Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation in the United States (1.5MB). This leaves more than 3,000 threatened species to add to collections by 2020 for the U.S. to meet the 75% ex situ target of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

The progress report - conducted collaboratively by Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S. and the United States Botanic Garden - finds 39% of threatened native U.S. species are now maintained in living plant and seed bank collections as an insurance policy against extinction. It was 37% in2010. However, 41% (down slightly from 42% in 2010) of these species are known from only one collection.

The report calls for the strengthening of conservation networks and collaboration in conservation planning and data sharing. Institutions are urged to contribute species lists to BGCI’s PlantSearch database and update them annually. It is crucial to increase cooperation and coordination among a broad and diverse network of gardens and conservation organizations with different expertise and resources. To win this race against extinction, conservation organizations will need to prioritize the development of genetically diverse and secure collections to ensure meaningful protection of threatened plants.

This report will support the mid-term review of progress toward the GSPC targetsplanned for 2014.

Additional information on North American and U.S. collections progress can be found at

Friday, January 10, 2014