Securing conservation seed collections of rare plants throughout central California and the Channel Islands
Project Dates2016 - Ongoing
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.
To prevent extinction and aid recovery of California’s rare plants
Heather Schneider, Ph.D.
Center for Plant Conservation
California Plant Rescue
Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
The Nature Conservancy
California Biodiversity Initiative
California Environmental License Plate Fund