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SE PCA Launches the Development of a Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (RSGCN) List for Southeastern Plants

The SE PCA has received funding to support the development of a RSGCN list for plants to inform and support conservation strategies, decision-making, and sustainable action for rare and threatened plants. Atlanta Botanical Garden and NatureServe are partners in this effort, which will be advised by Terwilliger Consulting, Inc. and the Wildlife Conservation section of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources. The Natural Heritage Network and the Southeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) will provide input, along with other regional botanical experts. 

The Northeast and Southeast regions of the Association of State Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) have developed RSGCN lists for animal species. These are analogous to Species of Greatest Conservation Need lists documented by states in Wildlife Action Plans. Plants are not currently represented on these RSGCN lists but are included, to varying degrees, in some State Wildlife Action Plans. Identification of highly imperiled and data deficient plant species will inform development of and inclusion of plants in 2025 State Wildlife Action Plans and identify additional regional plant conservation trends.

This project will directly enhance data, consistency, capacity, and awareness for plant conservation – both during the development process and as a result of associated research, restoration, regulatory, outreach, and leadership efforts. It will also help state agencies develop plant conservation projects that are suitable and ready for funding under the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

These are the components of the SE Plants RSGCN project:

  • Create a RSGCN list for plants in the SEAFWA region
  • Use the RSGCN list to prioritize species for status assessments & ranking updates
  • Conduct Assessments and Global Rank Reviews for 50 species
  • Provide list to partners to support proposed conservation research and actions
  • States utilize RSGCN List in Wildlife Action Plan revision/implementation