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Monday, April 9 • 10:30am - 10:45am
SYMPOSIA-01: Putting Collaboration to Work: Long-term Monitoring and Conservation of Rare Plants and Fungi in the Chicago Wilderness

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AUTHORS: Rachel Goad, Chicago Botanic Garden

ABSTRACT: Rare native plants are important contributors to biodiversity, but they are threatened by local and regional factors such as habitat loss, invasive species, altered disturbance regimes, and climatic change. A rich array of rare plant species persists in the tri-state Chicago region despite extensive urbanization, due in large part to long-term, collaborative conservation efforts. Plants of Concern is a monitoring program in the Chicago region that engages volunteer citizen scientists in tracking rare native plant species and quantifying threats to their populations. The data collected is submitted to landowners and decision makers for use in conservation planning, and is analyzed by partner researchers. Across 17 years, this program has targeted a broad suite of suite of species, made significant strides towards understanding their trends and threats, and engaged hundreds of volunteers in this effort. Extensive collaboration with landowners, agencies, researchers, and individuals has facilitated the success of the program. From its inception, Plants of Concern has addressed needs identified by the Chicago Wilderness consortium, and has recently been a driving force behind a Chicago Wilderness effort to prioritize plant and fungal species for conservation action. This region-wide effort aims to identify a small suite of species and engage partners in developing collaborative work plans to advance their conservation. Selected species represent important landscapes and stories of the region, and planned action should benefit a larger suite of species. These efforts illustrate the potential of regional collaboration to advance meaningful biological conservation.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:30am - 10:45am CDT
Hancock Parlor

Attendees (5)