Opposition to Ex-Situ Conservation (was Sharing seeds of rare plants)

Aad van Beek avbeek1@hotmail.com
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:39:04 PST
Why are it always "amateur" expert native plant horticulturalists, the best botanists and biologist that need to save the plants. I believe plant enthusiast with no degree in any of those fields but equipped with common sense could help out equally well.

> On 12 nov. 2014, at 07:53, "Monica Swartz" <eciton@utexas.edu> wrote:
> Jane, after sending my last email about the US Endangered Species Act, I realized I failed to address your question about practical experience with this issue. I have had opposition to any captive cultivation of rare plants from people like the NRDC lecturer you mentioned. In California, for example, the California Native Plant Society takes the position that all such efforts should be restricted to qualified biologists working with the regulatory agencies (see http://www.cnps.org/cnps/archive/ex_situ.php).  Does CNPS decide who is qualified? Some of the best botanists I know have no formal degrees in the field, would they qualify?
> I started a group of'"amateurs" (all expert native plant horticulturalists) that grow rare plants for producing seed for reintroduction to the wild. The group received some funding from USFWS and was advised by me, a Professor of Conservation Biology. There was enormous opposition to this from various people in the environmental community that I still fail to understand. Even a botanist working for the state wildlife agency vehemently opposed the group. Many of our members dropped out of the projects in horror at the reactions.
> I have worked with many USFWS biologists and all believed that without "nonprofessional" engagement in conservation, we have little chance of avoiding extinction of many rare plants. I have not found that this belief is held by all state wildlife biologists or conservation NGOs.
> monica
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