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Seed collecting in the Northern Territory

During May the steering committee of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership met at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens in the Northern Territory for our annual face to face meeting. Partners from across Australia’s conservation and restoration seed banks spent two days evaluating projects from the past 12 months and workshopping priorities for the years ahead. 

Jacquemontia sp. Douglas Daly collected near the Stuart Highway at the turn-off to Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory. Image: D Wrigley

It was identified that collecting genetically diverse and representative collections from Australia’s endemic and threatened species should continue to be a priority for the Partnership. Other areas of interest include improved data management, continuing to contribute to guidelines and standards and better links across the various sectors involved in seed conservation including restoration, agriculture and cultural seed banking. Further consultation will occur across the partner institutions to ensure we are continuing to recognise and address the most suitable priorities for contributing to the conservation of Australia’s native flora.

The dehiscent fruit of Helicteres tenuipila with seed still available for collections. This collection was made from a small population within Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory. Image: D Wrigley

The dehiscent fruit of Helicteres tenuipila with seed still available for collections. This collection was made from a small population within Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory. Image: D Wrigley

Dr Elinor Breman from the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership also attended the meeting to provide an international perspective and explore future opportunities for seed conservation and collaboration between MSBP partners throughout the Asia-Pacific region. 
 

Acacia tolmerensis collected from Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory. This collection was made with support from the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership's Global Trees Seed Bank Project. This individual was being used by Green Ants, Oecophylla smaragdina to make a nest. Image: D Wrigley

Acacia tolmerensis collected from Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory. This collection was made with support from the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership's Global Trees Seed Bank Project. This individual was being used by Green Ants, Oecophylla smaragdina to make a nest. Image: D Wrigley.

Following the meeting, the Director of the GBDBG, five of the Partners, Dr Breman and the ASBP National Coordinator assisted the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens Seed Bank Manager to make collections from four species in Litchfield National Park. The species secured included Jacquemontia sp. Douglas Daly, Patersonia macrantha, Acacia tolmerensis and Helicteres tenuipila. Each of these collections will be processed and stored in the seed bank at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens as an insurance against the loss of species in-situ. They will also be available for use if required for future restoration or research needs.