A safe haven for critically endangered species

Botanical gardens play an extremely

critical role in ex situ conservation, and preservation of species. They serve as major repositories of plant material either as living collections, including seeds and tissues or as mounted specimens in the herbaria 1. Over the years, biodiversity continues to decline due to the grave concerns instigated by land-use change and the progressive climate change. The most comprehensive and authoritative source of global extinction risk of species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, has assessed 10.5% 2 of the estimated 391,000 vascular plants 3. Out of the assessed vascular plants, 43.7% are classified as threatened with extinction and categorized as Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered 2. Given that the human population is projected to hit the 11 billion mark by the year 2050 [Ref], the future holds detrimental effects on vegetation globally unless mitigation measures are employed to divert from the current trajectory.


Consequently, the number of botanical gardens is on the rise. Currently there are approximately 2,500 botanical gardens in the world with over six million accessions of living plants, which is about 80,000 taxa 1,4,5. About 800 botanic gardens are members of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), -a membership organization that promotes plant conservation in botanic gardens.