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Launching the 1000 Species Project in 2012

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has provided fieldwork funds to launch the first collecting season of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership’s 1000 Species Project. The purpose of the MSBP-ASBP Fieldwork Fund is to support this national work which will result in high quality conservation seed collections of species which are endemic, endangered and/or of economic value that do not exist within Australian collections or the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. In addition, part of these collections will undergo germination testing to ensure collections can be used in the future to grow living plants. This knowledge is crucial for future plant conservation and restoration activities. Part of each seed collection will be stored at the Millennium Seed Bank which will provide long-term storage to international standards. The other part of each seed collection will be kept in one of nine of Australia’s seed conservation banks and may be used for any aspect of plant conservation, research, species re-introduction or habitat restoration. During the 2012/2013 collecting season for the 1000 Species Project, partners across Australia will be making collections in a diverse range of regions and habitats including the Eyre Peninsula, Norfolk Island, wheatbelt regions, as well as in alpine and sub-alpine, rainforest and heathland habitats. These efforts by the Australian Seed Bank Partnership will make a substantial contribution to Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation by bringing into ex situ conservation plant species which have not already been conserved.