Search and rescue
Mapping and pinpointing those habitats and plants that need protection most urgently.
Conserving plants and fungi has never been more urgent, yet the pace at which habitats are shrinking and species being lost continues to outstrip attempts to protect them.
Until that is reversed, the most effective way to protect the diversity of plants and fungi is to identify the species at greatest risk and those regions likely to lose their wild species soonest, and tackle their problems first.
Mapping the world's plant life
Mapping the distribution of the world's plant life over time plays a crucial role in Kew's plant conservation work.
Browse some of the recent maps that Kew's GIS (Global Information Systems) Unit have produced below, and find out more about how they help scientists and conservationists at Kew save plant life worldwide and share vital information with the global science community.
Plants at risk
A global analysis of extinction risk for the world's plants has revealed that the world’s plants are as threatened as mammals, with one in five of the world’s plant species threatened with extinction.
The study, entitled IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants, is a major baseline for plant conservation and is the first time that the true extent of the threat to the world’s estimated 380,000 plant species is known. Use Kew's interactive maps and charts to find out more about the state of the world's plant life.
Prioritising plant species for conservation
One way to save a plant species that is endangered in the wild is to store its seed. This gives the chance of growing new stock from the seed for reintroduction, should the plant become extinct in its natural habitat. But how do Kew’s scientists choose which plants to prioritise for seed collection?
Keep up to date with events and news from Kew
Science & Conservation news
07 Mar 2014
William Milliken, Head of Kew's Tropical America team, examines the importance of Kew's collection of over seven million herbarium specimens, and how this resource is being used to tackle the global challenges of our time.
21 Feb 2014
André Schuiteman, senior researcher in orchids at Kew, relates the discovery by the intrepid Evelyn Cheesman of one of the very few blue-flowered epiphytic orchids, Dendrobium azureum, which he recently described as a new species.
14 Feb 2014
Madeleine Groves, the CITES Implementation Officer at Kew, describes how the application of science can help combat illegal wildlife trade.
08 Nov 2012
A new study from Kew suggests that Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years.