Documenting Rare Plant Restoration
Reintroductions and other conservation translocations hold much promise as strategies for conserving rare plant species, especially when carefully planned by following guidelines and building on the findings of previous efforts. There have been hundreds of plant reintroduction projects conducted across the United States in recent decades, with diverse involvement from botanical gardens, government agencies, research institutes, NGOs, indigenous groups and private corporations. However, this diversity has likely inhibited the dissemination of important information from reintroductions, since relevant material is scattered widely across the web, or remains in unpublished internal reports.
To help conservation practitioners find past and ongoing reintroduction projects relevant to their focal species, the Center for Plant Conservation has compiled a registry of plant reintroductions conducted across the United States. This registry presents information from a combination of datasets, including the CPC’s International Reintroduction Registry, the REDCap Reintroduction Database for US Rare Plants, and new records gathered from the academic and grey literature and through communication with practitioners.
Following the IUCN’s Guidelines for Reintroductions and other Conservation Translocations, we categorized projects into four types. These include: (i) reintroduction, introducing an organism within its indigenous range to a site where it is absent, (ii) reinforcement, introduction within the indigenous range to an existing population of conspecifics, (iii) assisted colonization, introduction beyond the indigenous range, and (iv) ecological replacement, introduction beyond the indigenous range to fulfill a missing ecosystem function.
Learn More about Reintroduction Efforts by CPC Conservation Partners
Through our Institute for Museum and Library Services-funded CPC Rare Plant Academy project, CPC has produced several videos to help instruct about specific aspects of rare plant reintroduction with the help of plant reintroduction experts. We have also catalogued many presentations about rare plant reintroduction at scientific conferences.