The California Lichen Society partners with the California Native Plant Society to promote rare lichen conservation
Thanks to the generosity of many California Lichen Society (CALS) members and a grant from the Mead Foundation, we met our goal of $5,000 needed to put rare lichens into the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants (Inventory). We are very excited to see this project come to fruition.
The CALS Conservation Committee strives to increase awareness of lichen conservation in California. It has developed a rigorous one-year sponsorship process for assigning rarity rankings to lichens. These methods result in strongly-justified decisions for lichen conservation. Nine California lichens have already received a rarity ranking and there are over 100 additional candidates in need of review.
CNPS strongly supports CALS in our effort to increase the visibility and recognition of rare California lichens. That is why we have partnered on a project which will add rare lichens to the CNPS Inventory. The Inventory is an online database (http://www.rareplants.cnps.org) created to promote rare plant conservation. It is the go-to database if you are looking for information about rare plant species, whether you are a naturalist, conservationist, government agency, or a contractor working on environmental permitting. The Inventory will give invaluable exposure to lichens and provide a platform for education and awareness about lichen conservation.
In order to add lichens to the Inventory, the existing database and website need to be modified to accommodate new, lichen-specific data fields and data categories. The one-time cost of $5,000 was needed to make these modifications and input the lichen data. Ongoing maintenance and updates to the database are estimated at $1,700 annually. Our partner, CNPS, has committed to an in-kind contribution to cover all annual maintenance and update costs for the long-term. Once the project is complete, information about California’s rare lichens will be easily accessible to amateur naturalists, professional biologists, and interested citizens using the Inventory. We’ll let you know when you can search the Inventory for your favorite rare lichen!