The update of the FloraBank Guidelines is progressing well, with 13 modules now back from review, one module still in review, and one module in the final stages of drafting. The next step is to address the reviews, collate the images, and finalise the drafts for layout. We anticipate that the Guidelines will be launched in the first half of 2021. Plans for workshops are on hold given current travel restrictions, but stay tuned for possible online opportunities to learn about the Guidelines. A large number of people from Australia and across the world have been involved in writing, editing and reviewing. ANPC Project Manager Lucy Commander would like to thank all those involved thus far. Please contact Lucy if you would like to have any input before the final stages of production. Thanks to the NSW Environmental Trust for funding the Healthy Seeds project, which includes the Guidelines update.
The ANPC’s best practice handbook for ex situ conservation is currently being revised, to produce the third edition of the publication ‘Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia – strategies and guidelines for developing, managing and utilising ex situ collections’. Chapter working groups and case study authors, primarily in Australia and New Zealand, have been hard at work revising the existing content. Featuring many new case studies and new chapters, it will be a “must-read” handbook for those planning, undertaking and curating ex situ conservation projects, big and small! Amelia, the Guidelines Project Manager, would like to thank all the contributors and steering committee for their time and input during an especially challenging year.
A review process with commence shortly, and anyone wishing to review the Germplasm Guidelines prior to publication is welcome to contact the Project Manager, see https://www.anpc.asn.au/germplasm-guidelines-review/.
The ANPC has been successful in applying for additional funding to hold an Australian Academy of Science Fenner Conference on the Environment in 2021/2022, during which an expert meeting associated with the Germplasm Guidelines revision will be held. The topic will be ‘Exceptional Times, Exceptional Plants: Ex situ conservation strategies for Australian plants that cannot be conserved by conventional seed banking methods’. Stay tuned for more information!
The ANPC is proud to be involved in a new project helping to conserve 14 nationally threatened orchid species across three states. The orchids were affected by the 2019-20 fires at Kangaroo Island, East Gippsland and the Australian Alps. Project leaders Dr Noushka Reiter, Dr Ryan Philips and Dan Duval will work with volunteers and partner organisations to prevent extinction of these species through seed collection, propagation and research on post fire herbivory and reproduction. A symposium will be held in 2021 to share the project’s results and provide a networking opportunity for the orchid conservation community. Funding for this project was provided by the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program. Head to the ANPC’s project website to find out more.
The ANPC’s project manager, Martin Driver, led several workshops for the Riverina Local Land Services at the end of September. These were the first workshops held this year and occurred under Covid-safe principles with group numbers limited and social distancing implemented. During workshops native plants were identified on field visits and from specimens brought in by participants. This was a great chance to see emerging species with more species expected due to the forecast La Nina conditions. The workshops also provided an opportunity for discussions on various topics from vegetation restoration and propagation techniques to seed collection, storage and treatment.