Targeted action to restore populations of threatened plant species in the Cape Floristic Region

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Victoria Wilman

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South Africa’s floristic diversity is incredibly rich with some 20,942 species recorded, two thirds of these are endemic, and found nowhere else in the world. South Africa contains one of the world’s six floral Kingdoms and hosts three biological hotspots, including the Cape Floristic Region. In 1726, Dutch Minister and Naturalist, François Valentyn said of the Cape Lowlands: “There is nothing more amazing than to see whole fields of flowers growing wild here of which the colours are so unusually bright and fine that it is pity that they cannot be drawn from life by a skilled artist.” Sadly, this is no longer the case, as much of the natural vegetation in this area has been lost or fragmented and associated vegetation types are now Critically Endangered. Nearly a quarter of our plant species are threatened, and we are losing species at an alarming rate, and so, with limited resources and time available, priorities have to be set and action taken for species that require immediate attention for conservation and restoration. SANBI is implementing Target 8 of the South African National Strategy for Plant Conservation through an integrated conservation programme that aims to facilitate a comprehensive approach of integrated conservation strategies, including ex situ living collections, and in situ restoration projects. Examples of this work and of restoration protocols and processes used to restore threatened species will be presented, highlighting the need to prioritise, and work together, to both safeguard and restore these species before they are lost forever.”

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration