Ex Situ Conservation
Ex situ conservation is when you conserve something away from its original/natural environment. This is different from in situ conservation, where conservation is carried out in the original environment. So, if you create a nature reserve around a group of group of trees this is in situ conservation, but if you collect some seeds from the trees and grow them in a botanic garden this is ex situ conservation.
Ex situ conservation provides a solution when in situ conservation is not possible. By keeping ex situ collections of rare and endangered species in many different protected places we are helping to ensure the survival of those species. These collections allow conservation organisations to propagate and then reintroduce plants into their native environment if desired. They also provide a “back up” plan if the plant becomes extinct in the wild. The same system is used to conserve animals – think of pandas being kept and bred in various zoos around the world.
At Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden our ex situ conservation efforts are focused on Dipterocarp trees, as well as Rosewood (Dalbergia conchinchinensis). These trees are either endangered or critically endangered in the wild. We are working with regional partners on a programme to best conserve these species at botanic gardens in South East Asia.
Some rare gingers and orchids are also propagated and conserved at Pha Tad Ke. We hope to learn more about these poorly understood species as part of our conservation programme.