NatureServe

Clayton Meredith, ABQ Bio-Park

In a partnership between the IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC), NatureServe, and ABQ BioPark, conservation status assessments and comprehensive species action plans are being developed for select medicinal plant taxa. This effort is part of a larger collaboration between zoos, gardens, and aquaria and the IUCN SSC, which aims to build a more robust Red List, thereby strengthening the first component in the Assess-Plan-Act model. A recent assessment of the conservation status of the genus Trillium in North America demonstrates the potential outcomes of such partnerships and the role public gardens can play in conservation initiatives. In 2019 this collaborative effort sought to generate IUCN Red List assessments, update NatureServe global ranks, and develop a comprehensive conservation plan for the genus Trillium. Through the assessment process, major threats to the genus and areas where additional research is needed were identified. Overabundance of white-tailed deer and habitat degradation caused by feral pigs are the most pervasive threats to the genus, but minor threats were identified at a regional scale which warrant investigation in other parts of the genus’ range. The southern Appalachian region is the center of Trillium diversity and is also at the confluence of several major threats to the genus. However, threats can be further distinguished based on habitat type and impact with respect to reproductive biology, which allows for targeted conservation initiatives. This approach maximizes the efficiency of these plans and allows for resources to be used effectively to promote plant conservation. This supra-species level approach has the potential to streamline conservation initiatives and build partnerships for large scale programs reducing extinction risk for large numbers of species simultaneously.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

NatureServe: A Network Approach to Plant Conservation

Anne Francis, Leah Oliver, Amanda Treher, NatureServe (SePPCon 2016)

Anne Frances, lead Botanist reviews the programs of NatureServe in the Americas, how conservation status assessments are done and the unique role of ranks. Conservation status assessments help prioritize actions. She reviews the need for updating ranks as new information is gathered and the process by which that is accomplished. In the U.S. most flowering plants are apparently secure (G5), while almost one-third are categorized as G1, G2 or G3. Documenting the number of species that have gone extinct is a special project underway.

This work was presented at the Southeast Partners in Plant Conservation (SePPCon) 2016 Meeting. Learn more about SePPCon here.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Anne Frances, NatureServe

Conservation Status Assessments evaluate species' risk of extinction and are therefore often the first step in prioritizing conservation actions. Red List Assessments (redlist.org) are widely used in globally while the NatureServe Network's Ranks are more commonly used in the United States and Canada. Although methodologies between the platforms differ, much of information needed for both types of assessments is the same. Expanding on the "Documentation and Data Sharing" chapter of the newly published CPC Best Practices, this presentation will focus on ways that CPC institutions can collect and transfer data to better inform conservation status assessments. Examples include documenting locality information, population size, and threats.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 3, 2019

Anne Frances, NatureServe

The NatureServe Network comprises 80+ member programs in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Each member program has been “tracking” rare plants for over 30 years. Tracking entails surveying, mapping, monitoring, protecting, and assigning conservation statuses. As a network, NatureServe has standard methods and a shared data model to “roll-up” jurisdictional datasets into one central database. NatureServe maintains the central database, providing the taxonomic framework, exchanging data with each member program, and making changes to the data model as necessary. The consolidated central database allows NatureServe central to assign National and Global Ranks, as well as conduct Red List Assessments. This presentation will focus on lessons learned from network-wide data-sharing and explore current challenges and opportunities that result from new technology and increased access to data. We will discuss ways to share data among multiple networks for more effective and efficient plant conservation.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 4, 2018