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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:

  1. to database and maintain all the historical UKOT specimens in the Kew Herbarium;
  2. 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;
  3. 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);
  4. 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 Territory

British Antarctic Survey

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands National Parks Trust

British Indian Ocean Territory

Chagos Conservation Trust

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands National Trust
Department of Environment, Government of the Cayman Islands
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park


National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin

Trinity College Dublin

Falklands Islands

Department of Environment, Falkland Islands Government
Falklands Conservation


Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society


Department of Environment, Government of Montserrat
Montserrat National Trust


Pitcairn Government

St Helena

Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, Government of St Helena
St Helena National Trust

South Georgia

British Antarctic Survey
South Georgia Government
South Georgia Heritage Trust

Tristan da Cunha

Department of Conservation, Government of Tristan da Cunha

Turks and Caicos Islands

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

Project funders


Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) - Project No. CAY402, XOT604, XOT802

Annex material

Published paper

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

UKOTs Online Herbarium poster for Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) Conference, Missouri 2011

Other materials

BVI Conservation Poster Series: Acacia anegadensisMetastelma anegadenseScaevola sericea leaflet, Scaevola sericea poster  

Montserrat Conservation Poster Series: endemics and invasives