Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Israeli Teens Rescue Endangered Plant from Extinction

Rumex RothschildianusStudents at the Environmental Leadership class at Ha'kfar Hayarok High School in central Israel have been able to produce seeds for Rumex Rothschildianus, which is on Israel's endangered plants list.

Over the past few months, as part of a class science project, the students gathered a few dozen seeds of the rare plant, sprouted them in the school lab and eventually produced 100,000 seeds, effectively enabling the Rumex' re-plantation en masse.

The seeds were given to the Israel Nature and National Parks Authority (NNPA), which is now planning to plant them in its parks.

The high quantity of seeds produced has given the plant a new lease on life, and once its re-introduction to nature proves successful – which the NNPA is certain it will be – the Rumex will be safely on its way out of the endangered plants list.

The students' success has a global impact as well: Rumex Rothschildianus is indigenous to Israel and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Should the Rumex disappear from Israel's landscape, it will become extinct.

The project was part of the students' "seeds bank," created in collaboration with the NNPA and the Tel Aviv University Botanical Garden.

In view of the project's success, the Israel Nature and National Parks Authority has decided to enlist the students' help in the rescue attempts of other endangered plants. The next plant to be rescued from the threat of extinction will be the Yellow Lupin (Lupinus luteus).

Source: Ynetnews

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