It was another busy year for GTC. As we prepare for the year ahead, we reflect on some of our biggest stories and achievements from 2018.
GTC keeps active
Bumper year for Brazil
Excellent conditions in southern Brazil led to the region’s trees producing an unusually large amount of fruit and seeds. Our partner, Sociedade Chauá, took advantage of the bumper crop, boosting the seedling numbers in its nursery by 20%. It is one of the most species rich nurseries in southern Brazil; 19,693 seedlings were planted out over 2018 (15,356 by nursery customers who we have been encouraging to plant threatened species). This includes a beautiful but highly threatened palm species, Trithrinax acanthocoma, which is only found in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest:
— GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees) June 14, 2018
Pepper bark planting in Zimbabwe
2018 marked a milestone for the Pepper bark tree, currently considered Extinct in the Wild in Zimbabwe. Over 5000 seeds were sown and the future saplings will be distributed to local communities to provide a sustainable source of medicine:
What a day! >5000 Pepper bark tree (Warburgia salutaris) seeds sown at Vumba Botanical Gardens! An exciting step to reintroduce this Endangered tree species back into Zimbabwe #globaltrees pic.twitter.com/H3eJkn8wOA
— Yvette Harvey-Brown (@YvetteH_B) November 12, 2018
Thousands of steps closer to assessing all the world’s trees
We have been busy progressing toward our Global Tree Assessment objective to assess the conservation status for all of the world’s tree species by 2020. Over 2018, we facilitated the publication of over 1,500 conservation assessments for trees on the IUCN Red List. Some highlights include completing assessments for all species in Theaceae (wild relatives of tea), Fraxinus (ash trees), Aquilaria (agarwood) and Nothofagus (southern beeches):
In last weeks @IUCNRedList update over 1,000 assessments for tree species were added bringing the total number of trees assessed for the Red List in 2018 to almost 2,000. Find out more in our latest Success Story https://t.co/Xmdn6iIf4s pic.twitter.com/83f14rly95
— GlobalTreeAssessment (@GTA_GTSG) November 19, 2018
A year of discoveries
Príncipe reveals it secrets
Two years of research efforts, carried out in partnership with Missouri Botanic Gardens, Fundação Príncipe Trust and the University of Coimbra, transformed our knowledge of Príncipe Island’s flora; including 45 new records for the island, and an incredible eight species that are likely to be new to science. We are now using these findings to develop a long-term conservation project for the island’s trees. Read more here.
Our partners @PrincipeTrust & @mobotgarden have been busy; finding no less than 8 new tree species in the magnificent forests of Principe. What other treasures might this island uncover? https://t.co/4cTKjxbcbA pic.twitter.com/gps5I7rOy2
— GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees) September 13, 2018
Explorations in the Seychelles
Population surveys of two Critically Endangered trees (Trilepisium gymnandrum and Psychotria silhouettae) on Silhouette Island in the Seychelles revealed new growth, finding 200 Trilepisium gymnandrum juveniles. Sadly, the species remain Critically Endangered but now comprehensive Species Action Plans for both species are available. Read more here.
New Photo Blog: Searching for Critically Endangered trees on the island of Silhouette in the Seychelles.
— GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees) August 31, 2018
Boost to Baobab populations in Madagascar
A significant population (44 individuals) of the world’s rarest baobab – the Perrier’s baobab – was discovered in Loky-Manambato Protected Area, boosting the known global population to 152. Surveys also found the first signs of natural regeneration of this species in the wild, counting a total of 28 young trees. However, these happy discoveries were tempered by the loss of 9 adult trees to gold mining and burning in the last 2 years, so it is vital our efforts continue in Madagascar:
— Julie Razafimanahaka (@julie_hanta) November 15, 2018
Dipterocarp discoveries in Indonesia
Our work on Dipterocarps in Indonesia continued in 2018 through our work to support implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan for Conservation. Surveys on Mursala Island, Indonesia confirmed an amazing array of 26 Dipterocarpaceae species, including Dipterocarpus cinereus, and Hopea bancana, believed to be found nowhere else in the world! GTC has its work cut out as sadly 20 of these species are considered threatened with extinction.
GTC visited Gunung Dahu Experimental Forest and nursery in Indonesia yesterday which is home to over 100 different species of Dipterocarp! pic.twitter.com/umtx9BWOy7
— GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees) March 2, 2018
Leading the way in tree conservation
GTC partner recognised with international award
We are delighted to announce that Pablo Hoffman of @SociedadeChaua has been awarded the 2018 Marsh Award for Terrestrial Conservation Leadership @MarshAwards https://t.co/rCyhp9qJXX Congratulations Pablo! 👏
— GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees) September 19, 2018
Pablo’s organisation, Sociedade Chauá is recognized as a leader in conservation; in 2018 they presented work at national conferences and participated in two protected areas councils. The Paraná state government invited Pablo to contribute to the development of the state restoration program, which will ensure Chauá continue to influence how tree planting is carried out across the landscape.
Growing capacity for conservation in Cuba
In 2017 GTC supported training through Cuban NGO Planta! for aspiring conservationists and in 2018 this started to yield results: 12 projects are underway to conserve threatened trees in situ and there was a reduction in pressure for four species. This includes Psidium claraense (CR), as a mining company has committed to leaving adult trees standing within its concession – a real result for this species on the edge of extinction.
Unique Collaborations for Conservation
Fagaceae workshop in Indochina
A workshop at Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden in Laos supported regional experts to gain knowledge on Fagaceae identification, the IUCN Red List process and biodiversity monitoring. Several new national records for Cambodia and Laos were discovered from herbarium specimens, as well as a third population of a new species of Lithocarpus in Thailand. A total of 89 Red List conservation assessments were completed for oaks, timbers, Acer and other tree species in the region. The workshop strengthened collaboration for tree conservation and collaborative work is underway.
Last week the GTC and @seabgnet held a Conservation of #Fagaceae workshop @PTKBotanical with participants from #Laos #Vietnam #Cambodia #Thailand and #Myanmar. The workshop covered identification, Red Listing and taxonomy. Over 90 species were assessed! pic.twitter.com/iMOufYL34R
— GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees) September 24, 2018
New Dipterocarp project launched
GTC and the Southeast Asia Botanic Gardens Network have launched a new project, ‘Securing the future of threatened tree giants in Borneo’, with support from multiple partners to develop conservation collections, share restoration research, propagation techniques and knowledge between the partners:
We are excited to launch a new @globaltrees project to secure the future of the world's tallest tropical #trees in #Borneo!! @KR_Bogor_LIPI, @OFIOffice, #trcrc_org and #ubd_botanicalgarden are working to conserve threatened #Dipterocarp species! @bgci @InsideNatGeo #BorneoTrees pic.twitter.com/IFjb93duPK
— SEABG Network (@seabgnet) November 2, 2018
Explorations in Pico Bonito
We are developing exciting new work on the Atlantic coast of Honduras to survey coastal and montane forest in and around Pico Bonito National Park. The area contains a huge variety of tree species including a recently discovered magnolia species, Magnolia atlantida, and the Critically Endangered Eugenia coyolensis, both known only from this area. Watch this space to find out more.