The Manitoba Museum – Saving a Species
Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson, Curator of Botany, and Melissa Pearn, Curatorial Assistant, The Manitoba Museum.
When a species becomes endangered, scientists often work to determine how to save it from extinction. I’m here at Spruce Woods Provincial Park with Dr. Diana Robson from the Manitoba Museum, to learn more about what scientists do to help save rare plants.
So Dr. Robson, which species are you currently studying?
I’m studying a rare plant called Hairy Prairie-clover and it only grows in mixed-grass prairie areas that have some active sand dunes in them.
Is this it?
Yes, that’s it right there. It’s got very fuzzy leaves and it’s got quite beautiful lilac flowers on it.
Do you know which species are its pollinators?
Well, that was the interesting thing. Nobody had actually recorded which insects pollinated this plant up until fairly recently. I’ve discovered that it’s actually visited by a really wide range of bees and wasps and hoverflies and even butterflies. This kind of information is very important for preparing conservation plans for rare plants because you need to know how organisms interact with other organisms in their environment.
So how will the information that you’re collecting help to conserve this species?
Well, scientists have to prepare a recovery plan for every species that’s endangered, and this plan basically sums up all of the information that scientists know about the plant and it also makes recommendations for how land managers can change their practices to help protect the plant.
That’s really interesting. Thank you for sharing your research with us.
Thanks for talking to me.