How much of North America’s plant diversity is safeguarded in ex situ collections?  The short answer is we don’t know, but BGCI-US (Botanic Garden Conservation International-US), in partnership with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the United States Botanic Garden, is using the North American Collections Assessment to answer this question.  Results will be widely distributed in a report, and will support BGCI’s global analysis to be presented in October to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as progress towards the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).

Gardens and other organizations with living plant, seed bank, or tissue culture collections in every region of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are being asked to contribute to this global conservation effort by August 1.

Calling all Collections Managers

This survey is quick, easy, and FREE.  Every living plant collection, large and small, can participate in this global conservation initiative by uploading a simple spreadsheet of taxa held in your collections to BGCI’S PlantSearch database.  Within 24 hours, you will find out the conservation value of your collections, receive a names audit, and connect your entire collections to a global botanical network — which can aid your institution and others in collections management, botanical research, and ultimately plant conservation.

Launch of the North American Collections Assessment

Unique benefits will be provided when you submit your collections data to PlantSearch. In addition to IUCN Red List data, you will also receive NatureServe G-Ranks for North American taxa when you contribute your plant list.  These data are not available in this format anywhere else.

Please go to www.bgci.org/usa/MakeYourCollectionsCount for details on how you can make your collections count in 2010.