UKOTs Online Herbarium
The UKOTs Online Herbarium is a species and specimens database containing plant diversity information for all UK Overseas Territories. The core of the project is a virtual herbarium which provides easy access to specimen level data that can be viewed and queried as well as links to botanical resources including species checklists.
This plant specimen, collected during project work on Montserrat, has been digitised and incorporated into the UKOTs Online Herbarium
Photo: Andrew McRobb
The UKOTs Online Herbarium project has been developed to provide easy access to UKOT plant species and specimen information to help UKOT Governments meet targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), specifically targets 1 and 2.
The overall goals of the project are:
- to database and maintain all the historical UKOT specimens in the Kew Herbarium;
- to populate the database with new information from specimens as they are accessioned into the Kew herbarium (as well as duplicates for UKOTs & appropriate regional herbaria) as a result of fieldwork in UKOTs;
- to incorporate species level data from existing information (e.g. floras and checklists) and field surveys (e.g. vegetation and species assessments) to enable red listing and production of field guides and other conservation related outputs (e.g. BVI and Montserrat Conservation Poster Series - Annex 1, 2);
- to incorporate species and specimen level information from seed collections held at the MSB and DNA collections held in the Jodrell.
The project has involved partners from many UKOTs, increased internal networks at Kew (e.g. Jodrell; MSBP; Horticulture, Kew Gardens; Herbarium, Library Art and Archives), and allowed training for students and Kew staff (e.g. UKOTs Volunteers Programme, UKOTs Interns Programme; college-based sandwich course students).
Overall, the database links multiple types of specimen records and images to species data that can be easily sorted, extracted and disseminated. The database currently holds over 17,000 specimen records from UKOTs and geographically related islands. These data are visible through BRAHMS online and will be shared with the larger Kew database, HerbCat, in the future. Both of these platforms are accessible through the World Wide Web. The database also holds species data (10,000 species names) from all the UKOTs which can be used to generate checklists, thus achieving GSPC Target 1. The database provides species data for achieving GSPC Target 2 which determines conservation status (e.g. Status Report for the British Virgin Islands’ Plant Species Red List - Annex 2).
Through the development of the database, international plant conservation networks have been developed and strengthened to address plant conservation and achieve GSPC Target 16. Between Kew and many UKOTs (e.g. BVI, TCI, Montserrat, CI, FI), the database is used to exchange information, especially relating to threatened species (e.g. Abutilon pitcairnense, Acacia anegadensis, Anogramma ascensionis, Metastelma anegadense, Calyptranthes kiaerskovii, Epidendrum montserratense, Nassauvia serpens, Phylica arborea, Rondeletia anguillensis, Rondeletia buxifolia, Sabal bermudana, Salvia caymanensis, Silene tomentosa, Spermacoce capillaris, Trochetiopsis ebenus). The database is also used within the network to provide up-to-date information for lectures to relevant project staff and students in the UKOTs (e.g. BVI, TCI).
Project partners and collaborators
Anguilla National Trust
Department of Environment, Government of Anguilla
Conservation Department, Ascension Island Government
Department of Conservation Services, Government of Bermuda
British Antarctic Survey
British Virgin Islands National Parks Trust
Chagos Conservation Trust
Cayman Islands National Trust
Department of Environment, Government of the Cayman Islands
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin
Trinity College Dublin
Department of Environment, Falkland Islands Government
Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society
Department of Environment, Government of Montserrat
Montserrat National Trust
Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, Government of St Helena
St Helena National Trust
British Antarctic Survey
South Georgia Government
South Georgia Heritage Trust
Department of Conservation, Government of Tristan da Cunha
Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, Government of TCI
Turks and Caicos National Trust
Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute
Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) - Project No. CAY402, XOT604, XOT802
Clubbe, C. & Hamilton, M., & Corcoran, M. (2010). Using the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation to Guide Conservation Implementation in the UK Overseas Territories. Kew Bulletin 65: 509-717.
Conference papers and reports
Pollard, B.P. & Clubbe, C. (2003). Status Report for the British Virgin Islands’ Plant Species Red List
UKOTs Online Herbarium poster for Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) Conference, Missouri 2011