An introduction to conservation programs at UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Martin F. Quigley, University of California-Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Our mission is to connect people with plants. Our conservation work is dedicated to preservation of biodiversity, and enabling evolutionary processes to continue at the population level. Our primary focus is California, particularly the Central Coast ecosystems. We are developing a 60 acre California Conservation Garden featuring both rare and common plant-community-based gardens, as well as traditional taxonomic collections. We have embarked on a long -erm effort to identify endangered plant populations, study biodiversity, and develop living collections (for research, education and display) of the central coast chaparral, forests, and prairies. We conduct vegetation surveys, map important plant areas (IPAs), and establish long term monitoring-sites for reference populations. The Arboretum has a thriving collecting program and expanding seed bank, collecting wild seed from rare species and distributing them to long-term seed banks in the network. We also assist the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Native Plant Society with their mapping and classification of rare natural plant communities. Lately we have been participating in plant rescue operations, such as replanting Dudleyas endangered by poachers from public lands. We are committed to teaching our University students botany, horticulture and field work related to conservation stewardship, restoration and land management.