Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Adopt-a-Rare-Plant Program

Join the adopt-a-rare-plant program and help conserve some of our rarest species!

Have you ever wanted to hit the open road armed with only your map, a GPS, and a good description of a rare plant species? By joining the Adopt-a-Rare-Plant program in 2012, you will get your chance to help track down some of Colorado‘s rarest plants to aid in their conservation.

The Colorado Native Plant Society, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program have teamed up for the Adopt-a-Rare-Plant program. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program tracks more than 500 plant species in Colorado. By doing so, we maintain information on the number of populations, number of individuals, threats to populations and other information on rare species.

Through the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative, professional conservation biologists have been updating records on our rarest species. However, additional data is needed on hundreds of other species to update their conservation status. Records for some species have become “Historic” which means no one has seen that population in more than 20 years! This is your opportunity to participate in conservation by helping to determine if these populations still exist. Your travels will help ensure that all agencies/organizations have up-to-date data on some of our rarest species.

Once you choose a species, you will be provided with all necessary data. You will be given information for both a reference site as well as sites not visited in years. This way, you will be able to visit a known population of representative habitat so that you can become comfortable with both identifying the target species and the habitat before you head out to look for the unseen populations. Some of the historic sites will be easy to find and will simply involve the updating of numbers. Some of them however, will be more like a treasure hunt where finding the rare plant at the end of the road will be even more rewarding.

The data collected through this program will prove invaluable for updating records on some of our rarest species.

Adopt-a-Rare Plant Program Training will be held at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206. On Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 6:00 -9:00pm.

There will be a second training in Steamboat in either late April or early May. Call in for details.

Register on the DBG web site at http://catalog.botanicgardens.org/or call (720) 865-3580.

You may be interested in taking some other related courses offered at the Gardens this winter/spring.

Feb 16: Finding and Documenting rare plants
Feb 28: Art and science of plant collections
April 12: Introduction to GPS mapping

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