NatureServe Network’s Van Tour documents plants and animals at risk near you

Introducing North America’s most endangered species and the scientists working to save them

NatureServe Network Van Tour Route Map

The map below shows the NatureServe network programs; participating members from the United States are shown in light green and those from Canada are shown in light blue. Darker shades of these colors denote states or provinces that have already been visited on the Van Tour. The orange markers indicate the locations of field sites visited in those states or provinces. The oversized marker shows Van Humboldt’s current location.

Adirondacks High Peaks Wilderness Tour

Dr. Sean T. O’Brien joins the New York Natural Heritage Program on a biodiversity tour of the Adirondacks High Peaks Wilderness.

Dr. Sean T. O’Brien joins the New York City Natural Heritage Program for a biodiversity tour of the Adirondacks High Peaks Wilderness.

Washington, DC, April 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — For nearly 50 years, NatureServe has been the authoritative source for biodiversity data across North America. This Earth Month, its President and CEO, Dr. Sean T. O’Brien, is showing the world why it matters by highlighting conservation efforts for endangered species across the continent.

NatureServe is the central coordinating agency for a network of over 60 programs across North America. Together, NatureServe and the network of member programs are dedicated to creating, collecting and analyzing biodiversity information to help manage, protect, restore and conserve our natural heritage. To better understand local biodiversity conservation in North America, Sean embarked on NatureServe Network Van Tour: an expedition that sheds light on how data is used to maintain biodiversity through technology, science, collaboration and local expertise.

Traveling in a motorhome named Van Humboldt (after naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt), Sean visits natural heritage programs and conservation data centers across the United States and Canada. Van Humboldt brings Sean to key ecosystems that are home to rare and endangered species and the scientists who study them. The tour provides a unique opportunity to assess the relationships between people and the natural environment and to connect science with stories about biodiversity conservation in North America. To date, Sean has visited 23 member programs in 20 US states and two Canadian provinces. The current leg of the tour includes visits to 12 US states and three Canadian provinces.

“Connected habitats support wildlife resilience. In the face of a changing environment, connectivity within the NatureServe network encourages the sharing of ideas and information that results in better science and better outcomes for nature,” said Dr. O’Brien.

Sean joins experts in the field from the NatureServe network and partners to research examples of species at risk living in diverse ecosystems across the country and the ongoing efforts to protect them. The NatureServe Network works with community groups and conservation organizations, as well as state and federal partners, to develop actionable and effective conservation plans. For example, the Oregon Center for Biodiversity Information works with community volunteers and the United States Forest Service to manage the habitat of snowy plover, a globally endangered species; while the California Natural Diversity Database works with The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, Trout Unlimited, and many other state and municipal agencies to jointly manage a large area of ​​the Central Valley for the conservation of species and habitats at risk.

Despite the many challenges to biodiversity conservation, the Van Tour documents examples of how data collected by the NatureServe network is used to help prioritize plants, animals and ecosystems for protection. For example, Network scientists have shown how data facilitates the conservation of areas that are home to globally endangered species, such as the curly fern in New Jersey and alligator snapping turtle in Alabama. They highlighted examples of species that are endemic to certain regions (i.e. found nowhere else on Earth), including Venus Flytrap and persistent trill. Sean was also introduced to several species that were only recently discovered and are considered new to science, including a acorn street in Tennessee and sickle knight fish in Georgia.

“On the Van Tour, I witnessed the passion and dedication with which each program operates,” said Dr. O’Brien. I am constantly impressed by the optimism expressed by field scientists and conservation professionals who work daily with some of the most endangered species on the planet but who remain hopeful for the future of conservation and the perseverance of biodiversity. .

You can follow the route of the NatureServe Van Tour network by visiting its home pagewhich is related to a lawsuit Blog and a summary tour video.


CONTACT: Samantha Tranfa NatureServe 9546552984 [email protected]