Australian National Botanic Gardens

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Tom North, manager of the Gardens’ National Seed Bank said the NSB has been working in Kakadu National Park to safeguard its threatened trees.

“Our field work to date has targeted 29 tree species in the Northern Territory for collection, out of 306 tree species threatened with extinction nationally. This effort focusses on species new to conservation seed banking, in an area that has had minimal previous plant conservation focus.”

The seed bank conducted earlier fieldwork for the project in October 2016, collecting across Victoria River Downs and Gregory National Park in conjunction with George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, as well as in Kakadu National Park. Another trip to Kakadu in May 2017 coincided with the end of the wet season to collect seeds from species seasonally available at that time.

“The remoteness of some of the targeted species means that it’s difficult to monitor whether there is actually seed available and ready to be collected at any given time. We rely on voucher specimens held in herbaria for researching the flowering and fruiting times to gauge the best time for collection trips.”

We have been well supported on collection trips by staff from George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Kakadu National Park, Australian National Botanic Gardens Living Collections and the NSB Seedy Volunteers.

We are very close to our final target and will finish with a final trip to Kakadu in early October.