Center for Species Survival: Trees
The Morton Arboretum, through a partnership with the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has established The Center for Species Survival: Trees—a hub for coordinated action to conserve tree species around the world. It is the only IUCN SSC Center for Species Survival to focus specifically on trees, and one of only five Centers for Species Survival in North America.
The center is part of the Arboretum’s Global Tree Conservation Program, which facilitates partnerships with multiple organizations and stakeholders around the world to catalyze conservation efforts in priority biodiversity hotspots. The Morton Arboretum is one of the world’s most important tree-focused public gardens, conducting extensive research and hosting a comprehensive education program that supports center activities.
The Center for Species Survival addresses the urgent need to make trees a priority in addressing the global biodiversity crisis. Trees are the scaffolding of forest ecosystems, supporting much of the world’s biodiversity and the livelihoods of millions of people. Of the world’s 60,000 tree species, 17,500 (nearly 30%) are threatened with extinction — more than double the combined number of globally threatened mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Activities at the center aim to improve data and knowledge about the biodiversity crisis through assessments of threats to trees, building conservation capacity in biodiverse regions such as Mesoamerica and southeast Asia. Its work encourages connections between researchers and conservation practitioners, convenes networks of institutions and other stakeholders that can act for trees, and raises public awareness of the importance of and risks to trees. Goals include expanding knowledge and expertise among researchers and conservation practitioners in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where most threatened tree species grow and supporting communities through sustainable livelihoods.
Chicago: A Global Hub for Species Conservation
The Arboretum’s Center for Species Survival: Trees, together with the Shedd Aquarium’s Center for Species Survival: Freshwater, is making Chicago a global hub for species conservation.
The Center for Species Survival is being funded by the Walder Foundation, a private family foundation based in Skokie, Illinois, focused in part on funding work in environmental sustainability.