Chile IN PICTURES: A conservation adventure
In March 2009 plant collectors from the UK and Chile set off to hunt for rare and endangered species with the vision of conserving these species for the future.
They collected 95 species - made up of over 500,000 seeds - that will join seed collections at the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK and the INIA Seed Bank in Chile.
All images courtesy of Jo Wenham, Plant Propagation and Conservation Manager, Wakehurst Place, Kew.
The team hunting for specimens by boat in a fjord
Jo Wenham gathering data about native Chilean plants
Collecting seed from pampas grass
Fuchsia magellanica, found wild in Chile, has become popular in cultivation
Stands of monkey puzzle trees grace the skyline in Chile
Monkey puzzles are listed as vulnerable on the Red List of threatened species
It is said there are more ornamental monkey puzzles in the UK than remain wild in Chile
The male cones of a monkey puzzle tree
The town of Chaitén was all but destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 2008
Sea lions watched the team collect seed from the fjords
Smoking volcanoes, devastated towns, leech infested forests, endless breathtaking landscapes, and the beautiful but often highly endangered plant species of South America greeted the team from Wakehurst Place, Kew’s country estate in West Sussex, the Forestry Commission's Bedgebury Pinetum and Westonbirt Arboretum.
Described by Raquel Nunez, of the World Rainforest Movement, as "beautiful" but "seemingly destined to suffer in life" the Atlantic Forest of Misiones in Argentina retains one of the largest fractions of this threatened ecosystem.
Liverpool based Landlife have been transforming landscapes that many other organisations wouldn't go near for many years. Last week we heard from Richard Scott but today just enjoy some pictures of their work, which has seen them enrich lives from Liverpool to China to Chernobyl.
A few days ago Plant Talk reported from the Mau Forest in Kenya as the Kenyan Government, in partnership with UNEP, appealed for funds to help save their largest forest. These photos show exactly why that appeal was made: this is forest degradation on a huge scale, threatening not only the plants and animals but also the human inhabitants.