6. Conserving Australian Plants

Aim: To contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of Australia’s plant biodiversity.


The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity recognised both the opportunity and responsibility of botanic gardens to promote public awareness of the values of natural heritage and the importance of its preservation and sustainable use and management. The Gardens achieves this through horticultural displays, indoor exhibitions, education programs, cooperation with other conservation organisations, and research into Australian plants.

The Gardens established the original national flora collection, and at a current total of around 7000 species, it remains the most comprehensive display in existence of living Australian plants. This includes some 367 rare or threatened species, of which 57 are on the national endangered list. In establishing the collections and displays, horticultural techniques have been developed that are useful in ex situ cultivation, reintroduction and population rebuilding, and vegetation restoration works. The Gardens cooperates with State and Territory conservation management authorities in a number of specific regional recovery plans, such as those concerning Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides, Grevillea iaspicula, Grevillea wilkinsonii, Hakea pulvinifera and Astrotricha roddii.

Through its collaboration with the CSIRO in the CPBR, the Gardens contributes to the assembling and updating of the inventory of Australian plant biodiversity, and to the clarification of conservation biology of the flora and vegetation.

National and Regional Roles

The Gardens gives a high priority to working cooperatively with other organisations involved in plant conservation both within Australia and overseas. It played a leading role in the establishment of Botanic Gardens Conservation International by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 1987.

The Gardens promotes the concept of a nationally integrated network of plant conservation activities, particularly by hosting the national office of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC). The integrated approach to plant conservation adopted by the ANPC draws together botanic gardens, conservation management organisations, private sector businesses and individuals committed to the conservation of rare or threatened Australian plants and plant communities.

The Gardens also contributes to a range of Commonwealth Government programs including wildlife permitting and enforcement activities, threatened species protection, and several programs within the Natural Heritage Trust, such as the National Weeds Program and Bushcare.


Management Actions


Updated 15 December, 2004 , webmaster, ANBG (anbg-info@anbg.gov.au)