Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Species Recovery

The development and implementation of species recovery plans and programmes provide integrated conservation strategies for wild plants. These often involve a combination of in situ assessment of natural plant populations, monitoring of their status and the current or past causes of their decline, and the determination of future priorities, therefore enabling their recovery. Recovery measures include land protection, habitat management and/or restoration, ex situ cultivation and reintroduction and public education programmes.

Species recovery plans provide models for plant conservation and contribute to the implementation of the GSPC Target 3.

Species Recovery Plans

A Species Recovery Plan is a comprehensive practical plan of action to safe guard a species against further loss/deterioration of its remaining genepool. The structure of a species recovery programme can be found in A Handbook for Botanic Gardens on the Reintroduction of Plants to the Wild (Akeroyd, J. and Wyse Jackson, P. 1995).

Structure of a Species Recovery Programme
  • description of the species or taxon
  • taxonomy, morphology and where possible, the genetic variation of the species
  • present known and past distribution, as far as is known
  • current status (is it endangered and to what degree?)
  • population and reproductive biology/life history
  • habitat description and ecology
  • limiting factors (e.g. available suitable habitat)
  • identification of relevant stakeholders and collaborators in the species recovery programme
  • actual and potential threats
  • conservation measures and actions required
  • recovery objectives
  • recovery criteria (measurements of how to judge whether objectives have been met)
  • implementation schedule
  • resources required and available (including personnel)
  • aftercare and monitoring
  • work plan
  • budget and costs
Examples of Species Recovery Plans in Botanic Gardens

1) Euphorbia epiphylloides Kurz - A rare and endemic succulent of the Andamans, needing conservation

2) Botanic Gardens - Endangered Plant: Gleditsia vestita of Hunan, China

3) Botanic Gardens - The palm Pritchardia munroi: attempts to save a species from extinction

4) Allium regelianum A. Beck. - a rare Russian endemic

5) Conservation of the endangered Kaempferia siphonantha King ex. Baker in the Andaman-Nicobar archipelago

6) Botanic Gardens - Primula biodiversity conservation in the Central Siberian Botanical Garden, Novosibirsk, Russia