Regional and Global Contributions

As part of the Preserve’s mission to showcase the flora of the Bahamas in its living collection, expeditions are organised to islands to collect seeds and whole specimens. There is a prioritised collections policy and an accessioning program that tracks the collections over time. The current number of species represented within the living collection is 410, the majority of which naturally occur at the Preserve. The main priority for living collections is Bahamian endemic plant species and representatives of each genus and family.

Global Strategy for
Plant Conservation

With Dr Freid’s guidance, the Levy Preserve and the Bahamas National Trust have been working toward fulfilling the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)  under The Bahamas’ commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The GSPC is a plan to conserve the world’s most threatened plant species by the year 2020.

Botanical Gardens Conservation International

The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is a member of Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), a global plant conservation network representing 500 botanic gardens in more than 100 countries, including the largest and most influential gardens in the sector. The Levy Preserve has received accreditation as a Botanical Garden and as a Conservation Practitioner through BGCI.

BGCI Conservation Practioner Logo
In August 2018 Dr Freid participated in a Global Partnership for Plant Conservation congress in Cape Town, South Africa. This congress brought Botanical Gardens from around the world to talk and discuss conservation strategies. The Levy Preserve was the only garden representing the entire Caribbean region.

Botanical Bridges

As part of BGCI, there is a regional Caribbean and Central America Botanical Gardens group called Botanical Bridges. Starting in 1999 it has grown and now has regular biennial congresses that the Levy Preserve participated in (2016, 2018 and 2022). On November 14-18th, 2022 the Levy Preserve hosted the 2022 Botanical Bridges congress bringing 55 participants from 26 organisations and 11 different countries and territories to Eleuthera to participate in three days of talks and discussions.

Learn more about the 2022
Botanical Bridges hosted at The Preserve.

Red Listing

Target 2 of the GSPC calls for “An assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, as far as possible, to guide conservation action”

Until recently Red Listing was challenging for The Bahamas to conduct, as there was a lack of trained expertise in how to actually conduct the process. To remediate this, The Levy Preserve and The Bahamas National Trust hosted a Red List training workshop in Nassau in November 2018. It was supported by Botanical Gardens Conservation International and the Missouri Botanical Garden as partners in the training.

It was a weeklong and had 22 participants including 13 Bahamians from The BNT, the Department of Marine Resources, DEPP and Forestry. It also included Botanists from 7 other countries from around the Caribbean and while it was taught by two botanists the training is not kingdom specific and all of the types of data and analysis needed for plants are the same as for animals and fungi.

In the Spring of 2019, The Levy Preserve attended a Red List workshop at the National Botanical Garden of Cuba in Havana. There, we focused on Bahama/Cuba endemics identifying 44 species shared only between the Bahamas and Cuba that needed additional work. This in turn led to a September 2019 workshop, hosted at the Levy Preserve that focused entirely on the Bahama/Cuba endemics. We assessed 26 species that have been accepted for publication on the Red List.

Global Tree Assessment

The Red Listing focus has primarily been on Bahamian species but given the nature of regional distributions of many species, we have assisted in Red List assessments of trees as part of the Global Tree Assessment

This project is working to complete conservation assessments of all of the world’s ~39,000 tree species. The Levy Preserve has completed over 100 regional tree assessments.

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