The Threatened Plants Project
The Threatened Plants Project was a 5 year BSBI voluntary initiative to learn more about ‘threatened’ species covered by the new British Red List. We are focusing on widespread species that have been classified as threatened for the first time, mainly because the 2002 Atlas showed them to have undergone rapid declines. For most we have very little information on their distribution, ecology and reasons for decline.
1. To collate detailed distribution records so that we can produce better maps for each species;
2. To carry out detailed surveys of a random sample of populations across Great Britain and Ireland so we can improve or understanding of their ecology and reasons for decline.
What do the results tell us?
The information collected for this project allows us to do much more than plot dots on maps. Surveyors record all sorts of additional information that is vital to improving our understanding of their ecological and management needs as well as responses to land use and environmental change. The recording form opposite asks for information on population sizes, extent, habitats, associated species, as well as management and threats. A novel feature of this project is the submission of negative (null) records, as for many species these are often even more informative than positive finds, especially where we are struggling to understand the reasons for decline. Good examples so far include upland species such as Crepis mollis and Sibbaldia procumbens which may be over-looked rather than declining.