Carnivorous Plant Specialist Group - CPSG

Rosemary Simpson (
Wed, 31 May 1995 18:14:07 +0100

IUCN Species Survival Commission Carnivorous Plant Specialist Group
a note by Rosemary Simpson and Madeleine Groves

The extent of the popularity enjoyed by carnivorous plants today is
demonstrated by the existence of over eight societies worldwide,
dedicated to the study of this group of plants. However, it also has to
be noted that the extent to which many populations have, and will,
decline in number and integrity increases daily due to the continuing
loss of key habitat sites and unsustainable trade.

In response to this all too familiar situation, IUCN - the World Conservation
Union (based in Switzerland) and its Species Survival Commission have
established a number of Specialist Groups for plants and animals. These
groups are not meant to take the place of existing societies and
international bodies, but to complement their work and unite all interested
parties in order to improve the conservation and study of the plant or animal
group in question.

The CPSG was first established in 1987 by Professor G.Ll. Lucas (Royal
Botanic Gardens, Kew). It them comprised six members, with Martin Cheek
(RBG, Kew) initially as a convenor and later as chair in 1990. In 1994,
Martin handed over the reins of the group to to Bertrand von Arx
(Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Geneve, Switzerland).
The first meeting to establish the way forward took place on June 3, 1994
at RBG, Kew. Present were the Chair Bertrand von Arx, Madeleine Groves
and Mike Read (Fauna and Flora International FFI -formerly the Fauna and
Flora Preservation Society FFPS) and Rosemary Simpson. The main topics
discussed were the organisation and expansion of the CPSG,
communication between members, and the production of an Action Plan for
carnivorous plants. Production of a newsletter, establishment of mailing
lists, and possible bibliographies were also highlighted. 'Carnivorous Plant
Specialist Group News' the first issue of the group's newsletter, was
produced in 1994 and distributed as part of the membership recruitment
campaign. (The second issue is just out). It was intended that this
newsletter be a medium through which topics can be raised and
communicated throughout the CPSG and other interested parties. In the
first issue, the purpose role, and responisbilities of the CPSG were
presented. These are listed below.

Purpose of the CPSG -
The purpose of the CPSG is to bring together people with specialist
knowledge in areas such as taxomomy, distribution, ecology, trade, etc.,
including threats to existing populations in the wild and trade on national
and international levels to facilitate and coordinate action leading to

Role and Responsibilities of the CPSG -
. Review the conservation status of carnivorous plants

. Prioritize research needs and requirements

. Promote the implementation of research, conservation and management

. Publicize the status and conservation needs of carnivorous plants
through newsletters, scientific papers and meetings

. Develop conservation strategies, an Action Plan, and projects to be
carried out by appropriate organizations.

Presently there are 20 members spread throughout the world and we are
currently in the process of looking at projects through which the CPSG can
pool its resources.

In the second issue of 'CPSG News' Madeleine Groves has presented a
summary of a meeting jointly hosted by Fauna and Flora International and
the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 1994 on 'Sarracenia - a review of
Conservation in the South Eastern States of America'. In addition to this
issue concentrates on the Action Plan for cps and a draft format is
presented. This Action Plan will not be another carnivorous plant book! It
is an opportunity to work together to conserve cps world-wide and tap into
the knowledge of all those involved in carnivorous plant trade,
conservation, research and education.

Already some of the ground work for the AP has been carried out. During
1992-93 Madeleine Groves carried out a project on Sarracenia
conservation based at Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Atlanta, USA. In
addition, the 'Pitchers in Trade' report published in 1994 by the Royal
Botanic Gardens, Kew, presents a review of three genera - Sarracenia,
Darlingtonia and Heliamphora and both projects form the basis on which the
Action Plan can be established.

What is an Action Plan you may well ask or you may already know?

For those who are not familiar with the term Action Plan it is an
authoritative document on the status of different species in a taxonomic
group, a review of the existing information on those species and
recommendations on the principle actions that are needed to ensure thier
long-term conservation, as well as a means to catalyse specific actions to
this purpose. APs are continually under revision. Progress assessments
are made of the implementation of the recommendations originally presented
in the AP thereby allowing informed decisions to be made on the
conservation of the species. The may also be useful documents when
seeking funding for projects. Your comments on the contents and layout
are most welcome.

Action Plan for Carnivorous Plants Draft Format:
As a result of discussions the following has been proposed

Action Plan layout -
. The AP will be produced oin two formats A4 and American format.
. It will be available in English, French and Spanish.
. It will be producte on single pages, bound in a folder so that updates and
alterations can easily be made at a later date.

Contents of Action Plan -
The emphasis of this plan is to stimulate the conservation of cps. Thus
each section will concentrate on making recommendations and highlighting
action points necessary to achieve this goal.

1. Preface - a brief outline on the development and structure of the
and the Action Plan, and the roles they will play in future
conservation of cps.

2. Introduction - a brief introduction to cps.

3. Taxonomic Groups - a brief overview of cp families.

4. Legislation (domestic/international) - each section will cover
legislation, identify gaps/loopholes.
4.1 Domestic
4.1.1 Europe 4.1.2 North America 4.1.3 Central & South
America 4.1.4 Australasia 4.1.5 Asia/South East Asia/Far East
4.1.6 Africa
4.2 International legislation

5. Threats - in general

6. Trade (domestic/international) - each section will cover trade
practices/trends of past, present and future, identificatio of the
mfajor species in trade and threats of unsustainable trade on
populations and habitats. (These will be treated under the same
headings as outlined 4.1 to 4.2).

7. Conservation
7.1 In-situ conservation - conservation projects
7.2 Ex-situ conservation - conservation projects

8. Propagation - rather than describing in detail every propagation
technique available, this chapter will link up with the trade and
legislation chapters and concentrating on identifying major propagation
projects and their association with conservation.
8.1 Ex-situ propagation projects
8.2 In-situ propagation projects
8.3 Nurseries
8.4 Techniques bibliiography

9. Plant/Animal associations
9.1 Major studies - past, present, future.
9.2 Threats

10. Regionals Sections - a brief overview of important carnivorous
regions. These will prove useful when fund-raising with these
10.1 Europe 10.2 North America 10.3 Central and South America 10.4
Australasia 10.5 Asia/South East Asia/Far East 10.6 Africa

11. Education - this section will highlight education projects
with cps.

12. Proposals for new projects

13. Conclusion
13.1 Summary of major action points
13.2 Code of conduct

14. Bibliography

15. Appendices
15..1 Update on cp societies 15.2 Funding
15.2.1 Funding for CPSG 15.2.2 Action Plan Budget 15.2.3
Fund-raising - invitation to all members and contact to
contribute to fund-raising.
15.3 CPSG Members and cotacts list 15.4 Meetings - regional and

As well as the above major project the CPSG is also currently looking into
assessing the priorities of a Sarracenia leucophylla project and one on
Nepenthes. More news about these at a later date.

If you want further information on CPSG please one of the following:

CPSG Secretariat: Madeleine Groves, Flora and Fauna International (FFI),
Great Eastern House, Tenison Road,
(FFI will be relocating to the above address from June 7 1995
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 461 471 Fax: +44 (0) 1223 461 481

CPSG News Editor: Rosemary Simpson,
Conventions and Policy Section (CAPS)
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond, SURREY TW9 3AB, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 181 332 5723 Fax: +44 (0) 181 332 5757

Chairperson: Bertrand von Arx,
Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la
Ville de
C.P. 60, CH-1292 Chambesy, Switzerland

Tel: +41 22 732 6969 Fax: +41 22 738 4597

Chair of CPSG: Bertrand von Arx