CWR In Situ Strategy Helpdesk

National CWR flora methodology

Step 6: Development of in situ / ex situ CWR conservation

The ecogeographic and gap analysis will generate the list of the important CWR areas known to contain the prioritized CWR species. The next step is to identify which combination of these areas contains the optimal or 'best' sample of CWR species in the minimum number of protected areas. The first protected area chosen is likely to be the site that contains the highest concentrations of actual and predicted CWR richness. The second protected area chosen is not necessarily the site with the second highest CWR richness because the species and diversity present in the second site may simply duplicate those in the first site selected, so the second site selected is the protected area with the highest concentrations of actual and predicted species not present in the first selected protected area, and so on—a process known as complementarity analysis (Pressey and Nicholls, 1989; Pressey, et al., 1993; Rebelo, 1994). There is however likely to be some duplication of species between protected areas because of the widespread distribution of common species, so it also advisable to select protected areas located in diverse locations; for example, in the extreme north and south of the country, at sea level and on high land, etc.

When undertaking ex situ gap analysis the conservation of the target taxon should take account of all ex situ techniques; however, for the majority of species, ex situ conservation is likely to be restricted to germplasm accessions held in gene banks. So the process of establishing ex situ CWR conservation priorities will be one of comparing the CWR taxon’s actual distribution to the pattern of distribution shown by gene bank holdings for the same taxon. Non-congruent sampling will highlight areas that are future ex situ CWR conservation priorities.

The production of CWR Action Plans is a useful way of summarizing the conservation strategy developed for individual CWR taxa. The CWR Action Plan would ideally contain information on taxonomy, description, image, distribution, ecogeography, current conservation status and action, threat assessment, uses, additional conservation action required, research and monitoring requirements, and incorporation in existing national or local conservation initiatives.

Step 7: Implementation of in situ / ex situ CWR conservation priorities

Helpdesk references