BOTANIC GARDEN CURATOR CONSERVES CARIBBEAN SUCCULENTS

Gibraltar Botanic Gardens Curator, Andrew Gdaniec recently returned from a trip to the British Virgin Islands where he was visiting to advise on the conservation of native succulent plants. With the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens’ vast experience in the cultivation of succulent plants, Andrew offered advice and training in improving collections for conservation, growing media and propagation, along with a team from Kew Gardens. He spent time training staff at the J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens, helping to establish an ex situ conservation programme for the British Virgin Islands’ succulents. In the Caribbean, these plants face a number of threats including habitat loss and exotic insect pests. For this reason conservation efforts are extremely important for their survival.

During his time in BVI, Andrew carried out fieldwork to help him better understand the plant’s growing conditions. The visit was part-sponsored by the British Cactus & Succulent Society (BCSS). It was first discussed during the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum’s (UKOTCF) 2015 Conference in Gibraltar last summer, to complement the work that is being carried out by the Royal Botanic Garden Kew’s UKOTs team.