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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Pirie, Michael D. [1], Blackhall-Miles, Robbie [2], Bourke, Greg [3], Crowley, Dan [4], Ebrahim, Ismail [5], Forest, Felix [6], Knaack, Michael [7], Koopman, Rupert [8], Lansdowne, Alex [9], Nürk, Nicolai [10], Osborne, Jo [11], Pearce, Tim [11], Rohrauer, Daniel [7], Smit, Martin [12], Wilman, Victoria [5].

A Global Conservation Consortium for Erica.

In 2021, Botanic Gardens Conservation International established the Global Conservation Consortium for Erica (Ericaceae). It brought together the world’s Erica experts, conservationists, and the botanical community, including botanic gardens, seed banks, and organisations in Africa, Madagascar, Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond. The aim: to deploy their unique sets of skills for effective conservation of the genus to prevent species extinctions. With well over 800 species, Erica, the heaths or heathers, extend through tropical Africa and Madagascar, to the Mediterranean basin and Europe. Across this range they are threatened, suffering the immediate impacts of habitat destruction, invasive species, changes in natural fire regimes and climate change. Almost 700 Erica species are concentrated in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. All are regional endemics, and typically for Cape plant groups many show striking local variation, some of which is formally described under distinct subspecies and varieties. Of 944 such taxa currently included in the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s Red List, 108 are classified as rare, a further 84 as Vulnerable, 60 Endangered, and 46 Critically Endangered. Three are already extinct in the wild. Over a hundred more are ‘Data Deficient’ – species with populations insufficiently known to be able to estimate the degree of threat to their survival. Here we set out the aims and achievements of the consortium to date, including threat status and conservation prioritising incorporating systematic research, conservation efforts in situ (including collection and monitoring) and ex situ (horticulture and seed banking), and outreach.

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Related Links:
GCC Erica, Botanic Gardens Conservation International

1 - University of Bergen, University Museum, Department of Natural History, Realfagbygget, Allégt. 41, Bergen, 5020, Norway
2 - FossilPlants Botanic Garden, UK
3 - The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, Australia
4 - Botanic Gardens Conservation International, UK
5 - South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa
6 - Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, United Kingdom
7 - HBLFA für Gartenbau Schönbrunn und Österreichische Bundesgärten, Austria
8 - Botanical Society of South Africa, South Africa
9 - BBDF for Conservation, South Africa
10 - ÖBG Bayreuth, Germany
11 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Millenium Seed Bank, UK
12 - Hortus, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Cape Floristic Region
Botanic Garden.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P1, Conservation Biology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P1CB010
Abstract ID:643
Candidate for Awards:None

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