The bush fires in Australia have had a devastating impact on the plants and animals there. Some species, such as the koala, could be threatened with extinction.
The plants have a little more protection thanks to Kew Gardens in the UK. Their Millennium Seed Bank stores almost 9,000 unique species that could be brought back to Australia if local life doesn’t flourish.
You can find over 2 billion seeds from over 190 countries stored in air-tight glass containers to grow a new generation of plants.
The Bush Fires Have Consumed an Area the Size of Greece
The Australian government calls the bush fires an ecological disaster. Some species, such as the Wollemi Pines, were able to survive the incident without much danger. Others weren’t as lucky. Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers lost 90% of its tree crop after severe damage, causing the company to suspend trading in its shares.
Kew Gardens has worked with seed banks in Australia since 2000 to share research, conservation techniques, and collection processes. This work guarantees that any species that are threatened or rare can be conserved for the future if necessary.
A total of 12,450 seed collections, all of which are saved in local seed banks, have been duplicated in the Millennium Seed Bank.
That means Australia has a pathway to recovery even if some of the worst-case scenarios occur. It may take some time for the restoration process to be complete, but the protected seeds will get us there one day.