The Australian Native Seed Survey Report has been launched by the Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box. Read the Media Release here. The report details the full results of the national survey capturing the behaviours and views of a wide range of participants in the native seed sector – which the authors say are not all encouraging. ‘Worryingly, the report highlights the concerns of the sector that future demand for seed will be difficult to meet from the wild’ said Martin Driver from the ANPC. ‘This is due to the high costs of seed collection and the lack of seed from a broad range of the species that are critical for restoration. The recent bushfires have made this situation worse’. Seed production of native seed offers some hope, but currently lacks the capacity to meet demand. ‘Seed production areas (SPAs) are an increasingly important supplier of seed for restoration, landscaping and bush food markets’ said Dr Paul Gibson-Roy from Kalbar Resources. ‘SPAs are locations where we cultivate native species for their seeds, like agricultural crops. They can produce seed in higher quantities and quality that is much easier to collect than in the wild. Their continued development will be critical to meeting seed needs and preserving wild populations’. Read more and download the Report here.
An update of the Florabank Guidelines – National guidelines for best practice native seed collection and use
As part of the Healthy Seeds project, an update of the Florabank Guidelines has commenced to ensure practitioners are aware of, have access to, and are using up-to-date science and guidance materials for best-practice native seed management in ecological restoration. Listen to ANPC Project Manager Lucy Commander’s presentation here on the update of the Florabank Guidelines (which was to be presented at the postponed Australasian Seed Science Conference in Canberra in April 2020).
The publication Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia – strategies and guidelines for developing, managing and utilising ex situ collections (known as the Germplasm Guidelines) is currently being revised with grant funding from The Ian Potter Foundation. The updated Germplasm Guidelines will complement the recent revision of the Guidelines for Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia (2018) and the current review of the Florabank Guidelines, a component of the Healthy Seeds Project (in prep.). The update is being led by ANPC Project Manager Dr Amelia Martyn Yenson. A steering committee composed of ANPC, CSIRO, Australian Seed Bank Partnership, Australian Grains Genebank, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Australian Tree Seed Centre, Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand and NSW Dept of Planning, Industry and Environment representatives has been formed to oversee the project. We are currently inviting potential chapter authors and reviewers for the publication. Read more.
New report highlights the concerns of the native seed sector that future demand will be difficult to meet.
Our unique native plant ecosystems are critical habitat for native animals and essential in mitigating the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.
High quality seed from a range of native species is the foundation for restoring many of our threatened plants and natural landscapes, particularly those unable to regenerate after the catastrophic bushfires of the past summer, or that are otherwise especially vulnerable.
The people who collect, purchase and use this seed are a critical part of an industry which faces many challenges, including dwindling seed supplies, continued loss and fragmentation of native vegetation, declining expertise and training, low levels of funding and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change (to name but a few).
To address these challenges, the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) undertook the Australian Native Seed Survey in 2016-2017 to better understand the native seed sector and its ability to meet current and future demand.
The Australian Native Seed Survey Report, launched today by the Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box, details the full results of this national survey capturing the behaviours and views of a wide range of sector participants – which the four authors (listed below) say are not all encouraging.
‘Worryingly, the report highlights the concerns of the sector that future demand for seed will be difficult to meet from the wild’ said Martin Driver from the ANPC.
‘This is due to the high costs of seed collection and the lack of seed from a broad range of the species that are critical for restoration. The recent bushfires have made this situation worse’.
The report identifies that there may not be enough native seed in many areas to support the large-scale restoration required for landscape recovery. It also outlines many of the issues that need to be addressed in future restoration programs.
Seed production of native seed offers some hope, but currently lacks the capacity to meet demand.
‘Seed production areas (SPAs) are an increasingly important supplier of seed for restoration, landscaping and bush food markets’ said Dr Paul Gibson-Roy from Kalbar Resources.
‘SPAs are locations where we cultivate native species for their seeds, like agricultural crops. They can produce seed in higher quantities and quality that is much easier to collect than in the wild. Their continued development will be critical to meeting seed needs and preserving wild populations’.
The report’s findings and eleven prioritised recommendations will assist governments to develop policies and plans to help the native seed sector grow and thrive, and meet the demand for quality seed into the future. This will ultimately help restore Australia’s unique ecosystems and precious threatened plants.
The Australian Native Seed Survey Report was released as part of the NSW Government funded Healthy Seeds Project which aims to deliver an evidence-based Roadmap to secure a reliable, genetically-appropriate native seed supply in NSW, and update the Florabank Guidelines for best-practice native seed collection and use. An audit of past and current SPAs has recently commenced under the Project to help guide the establishment of better-funded and strategic SPAs in the future. Find out more at the Healthy Seeds webpage here https://www.anpc.asn.au/healthy-seeds/.
Media support enquiries
Business Manager, Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc.
Contact details for The Australian Native Seed Survey Report authors for comment:
Dr Paul Gibson-Roy
Manager Ecological Restoration, Kalbar Resources
Project Manager, Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc.
Dr Linda Broadhurst
Director, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CSIRO National Research Collections Australia)
02 6246 4988
Research Fellow, Macquarie University
Healthy Seed Project Partners
Australian Association of Bush Regenerators
Australian Seed Bank Partnership
Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research
Society for Ecological Restoration
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Would you like to use your financial/accounting skills to help conserve Australia’s plants that have been through fires, floods, hail and more this summer? Or know someone who would? The ANPC is looking for a volunteer to nominate as Treasurer to assist in our efforts to conserve our amazing biodiversity. This is also a great opportunity to gain Executive Not-for-profit Committee experience. The role of Treasurer is broadly to manage the ANPC’s financial affairs, and attend and present financial reports to the ANPC’s bi-monthly Management Committee meetings and Annual General Meetings. Desirable knowledge, skills and experience: a sound familiarity with financial record keeping and a willingness to learn the basics of Xero financial software. Day to day financial management is undertaken by ANPC office staff. Location in or near Canberra is an advantage but not essential. Click here for more information.