Falkland Islands Native Plants Project - Project completed (2009-2012)
Photo: Colin Clubbe
Of the 13 endemic plant species found in the Falkland Islands, five are considered to be Endangered or Critically Endangered. Two earlier projects (the Falkland Islands Plant Conservation Project (2007-2009) and the South Atlantic Invasive Species Project (2006-2009) gathered considerable data about the distribution of key species and the threats facing them and initiated the process of planning conservation action. A major outcome was the identification and of a network of 17 Important Plant Areas (IPAs) using the IPA criteria and contributing to the achievement of GSPC Target 5 for the Falkland Islands.
The Falkland Islands Native Plant Project has focused on investigating key management activities for the 17 IPAs and 10 of the threatened endemic species, developing Habitat and Species Action Plans and beginning their implementation.
Kew’s UKOTs team are working with Falklands Conservation and the Falkland Islands Government to support long-term monitoring of sites representing threatened habitats or containing populations of threatened species and to provide training for local horticulturists in the cultivation of native plant species.
Major outputs from the project comprise:
- Implementation of management actions on selected IPAs (including invasive species control)
- Initial implementation of 10 Species Action Plans including survey and monitoring and genetic analysis of existing populations
- Undertaking vegetation surveys to produce a national vegetation classification system
- Establishing a small-scale plant nursery in collaboration with a commercial horticultural firm, Stanley Growers, to propagate native plants for habitat restoration projects and for use as garden ornamentals on the islands. Kew staff have been involved in collecting material (both seeds and cuttings) for propagation, developing horticultural protocols for native species and providing training for Stanley Growers staff on propagation techniques.
- Developing five Habitat Action Plans, including for the Tussac Grass (Poa flabellata). The Project is working with farmers and landowners to set up grazing and restoration trials with a view to establishing best practice for the sustainable management of tussac grassland, which is under pressure from over-grazing and invasive species.
- Beginning habitat restoration trials after minefield clearance. This habitat restoration includes areas of tussac grass and blue grass (Poa alopecurus) trials.
- Raising public awareness of Falkland Islands endemic plants through development of a native plant garden at the Falkland Conservation headquarters in Stanley, sales of native plant species, identification workshops and press coverage, and links to the UKOTs Online Herbarium.
Project partners and collaborators
Falklands Island Government
Farmers and landowners on the Falkland Islands
Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) - Project No. FAL601
Conference papers and reports
Corcoran, M., Hamilton, M. & Clubbe, C. (2010). Developing horticulture protocols for threatened plants from the UK Overseas Territories. Proceedings of the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress, June 2010
Clubbe, C., Hamilton, M. & Corcoran, M. (2010). The role of native species nurseries in mitigating threats from invasive species: case studies from UK Overseas TerritoriesProceedings of the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress, June 2010
UKOTs blog post (January 2011): Rediscovering the comb fern in the Falkland Islands.
UKOTs blog post (February 2011): Propagating unique Falkland Islands plants.
UKOTs blog post (April 2011) Restoring cleared minefields in the Falkland Islands
Plantago moorei species page