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Securing conservation seed collections of rare plants throughout central California and the Channel Islands

Project Dates

2016 - Ongoing

Summary

Preventing plant extinction requires thoughtful, ongoing, and often collaborative efforts. At Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, the foundation of this work is our Conservation Seed Bank. This collection acts as an insurance policy against extinction for plant diversity across California and is a source of material for research and recovery. It is a Center for Plant Conservation–designated regional seed bank, meaning that the Garden has both the facilities and expertise required to safeguard collections for collaborators across the state. We work to gather seeds from multiple populations over multiple years for the resiliency that the resulting genetic diversity contributes. We currently have over 2,000,000 seeds of 288 species in our Conservation Seed Bank. In 2020, we surveyed 354 wild rare plant populations, mapping their locations and monitoring potential threats to their persistence. These data are used by our team and local, state, and federal partners to make conservation and management decisions that protect rare plants and prevent extinction.

Goals

To prevent extinction and aid recovery of California’s rare plants

Team Members

Heather Schneider, Ph.D.

Sean Carson

Kevin Mason

Matt Wang

Melina Matheney

Partners

Center for Plant Conservation

California Plant Rescue

Bureau of Land Management

National Park Service

The Nature Conservancy

Funders

California Biodiversity Initiative

California Environmental License Plate Fund