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Puerto Rico manjack (PR), Black sage (BVI) (Cordia rupicola)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 1225527

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 1225527) - Puerto Rico manjack (PR), Black sage (BVI) - Awarded $4,000 on October 17, 2012

The project focused on field survey of the Critically Endangered plant, Cordia rupicola, a member of the Boraginaceae family. The species is currently known to occur on three islands in the Caribbean Biodiversity Hotspot: Puerto Rico, Vieques and Anegada. Development and other anthropogenic factors are causing habitat fragmentation and degradation. Very little is known about the species biology and there have been no studies undertaken to determine the genetic diversity of the species in the wild. There are a few ex-situ collections in existence; however, most are derived from material collected on Anegada.

The project carried out botanical surveys to:
• Identify new populations of the target species through ground-truthing of suitable sites identified using satellite imagery, historic herbarium specimens and modern field data
• Make seed collections for ex-situ conservation of the species
• Collect DNA samples for population genetics analysis
• Record data relating to habitat conditions and threats to the species survival
• Observe pollination and seed dispersal events

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's UK Overseas Territories Programme are working together with British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican partners to conserve the species through in-situ and ex-situ measures.

Project collaborators:

British Virgin Islands
o BVI National Parks Trust;
o Fort Worth Zoo, USA

Puerto Rico
o Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources;
o US Fish and Wildlife Service;
o US Forest Service, International Institute for Tropical Forestry


Project 1225527 location - Puerto Rico, North America