ABS & Its Conservation Initiatives
Species begonias have evolved on their own over many years, to adapt to the specific natural habitat where they live. Unfortunately, because of worldwide impacts such as global climate change and deforestation, Begonia species are increasingly vulnerable in their native habitats. Further, some species are at risk due to “poaching” of these remarkable begonias for sales to collectors. All of this makes it difficult, or impossible, for species to repopulate, and place these begonias in a vulnerable or endangered conservation status.
As researchers make field expeditions to study begonias, they witness first-hand the destruction of natural habitats.
There are several ways to learn about the vulnerability of Begonia species. A great place to start is the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which publishes the Red List of Threatened Species and categorizes vulnerability of species.
ABS Efforts to support Conservation of Endangered Species
ABS, through its membership, generous volunteer work, and financial donations, supports conservation efforts worldwide to research Begonia species, including identifying conservation issues impacting Begonia species.
ABS provides grants for a range of conservation initiatives, from supporting field expeditions of Begonia researchers to supporting the efforts of botanical gardens to grow Begonia species outside of their natural habitats (ex situ), such as that done by the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden and its Begonia Species Bank, the largest Begonia collection in North America.
How can you, or your branch, be a part of this effort?
One simple and easy way to play a part is to Donate to the American Begonia Society’s diverse efforts towards conservation.
There are also other ways YOU can participate in, and support conservation:
- Read and learn about Begonia species and consider helping these stunning plants continue to grow into the future, should they disappear in their natural habitats.
- Save Our Species is a program that encourages all ABS members, especially those new to growing Begonia species, to participate, learn how to grow and care for them, and enjoy the beauty of these begonias.
- Seeds for Conservation is a program led by ABS members to grow and produce seed of endangered species.
- Join one of our local branches and benefit from their educational programs and publications offered by the American Begonia Society.
- Attend our Annual Convention to meet others who are interested in begonias, and conservation.
- Learn more about where Begonia species are found in nature and about those researching and monitoring the environments.
- Read our ABS member publication The Begonian.
- As a member of ABS, you can purchase Begonia seeds through our Clayton M. Kelly Seed Fund.