Know, grow, protect and enjoy South Africa's indigenous plants

Our Conservation Work

BotSoc champions biodiversity conservation in South Africa to protect our extraordinary plant diversity and ecosystems. 

Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) Programme

South Africa’s conservation community is a world leader in harnessing the power of citizen scientists to drive successful conservation initiatives and a prime example is the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers Project (CREW). This programme was initially founded in 2003, inspired by the Protea Atlas Project. CREW is based at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and supported by the Botanical Society.  

Citizen scientists

CREW’s nationwide network of citizen scientists collect data on plant species of conservation concern to assist conservation planning and action, as well as engaging with key landowners and generating interest for special plants. There have been 35 CREW groups across the country involving more than 900 citizen scientists, with a significant proportion being BotSoc members. These numbers fluctuate due to the voluntary nature of citizen science. CREW’s work mainly targets sites outside South Africa’s network of formal protected areas.  


Are you ready to join the City Nature Challenge 2022?


Become a citizen scientist for a few days – by joining the City Nature Challenge, from 29 April to 2 May. Over those 4 days, find and photograph the wildlife where you live, and upload it to iNaturalist. Your sightings could help your city or region to win the challenge, by logging the most observation, or by having the most diversity.

Almost all the BotSoc branches are participating this year – so be sure to find out where they’ll be and join the fun. Remember to find the project you’ll be contributing to on iNat (for example, City Nature Challenge 2022: Overstrand), and log your observations there. If your region is not participating, not to worry: You can still join the City Nature Challenge 2022: Global Project, for your observations to be included.

For more information about the City Nature Challenge, head on over to their website:

More information about the iNaturalist citizen science platform:

BotSoc City Nature Challenge
Membership competition

The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc) is giving away 10 free BotSoc memberships.

Here are our terms and conditions for the competition:

1. You must be between the ages of 18 and 25 to enter the competition.
2. You must have participated in the 2022 City Nature Challenge.
3. The competition closes on Monday 9 May 2022.
4. BotSoc will award the prizes to young people with the most observations in the City Nature Challenge.
5. The winner will be announced on 10 May 2022.
6. The prize is one of 10 BotSoc memberships.
7. The BotSoc team decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
8. We reserve the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions.
9. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
10. We reserve the right to delete and remove any inappropriate comments on social media, and to ban individuals who may leave inappropriate comments.
11. Prize cannot be exchanged for money.
12. The winner will receive a direct message via the social media platform they entered on.
13. Prize collection will be arranged with the BotSoc administration team.
14. We acknowledge that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

City Nature Challenge 2022 | Resources

Founded within the Cape Floristic Region, CREW expanded to include nodes in the summer rainfall region and in the Eastern Cape and BotSoc will be backing the development of at least one new node in the near future. These nodes assist CREW volunteer groups by offering resources, training courses, workshops and collaboration with local conservation agencies. SANBI Red List scientists use data collected by CREW groups to assess the conservation status of South African flora. This is then used to guide policy and landuse planning.  

International recognition of the achievements of the CREW programme resulted in the funding of four CREW interns through the Groen Sebenza Programme, funded through the Presidential Budget at the time. Funding was disbursed to SANBI to roll out as part of the Green Jobs Fund. BotSoc then retained the interns for a further two years, during which time these interns were recruited by SANBI.

The BotSoc Conservation Programme is working closely with CREW to support botanical citizen science work across the country in priority areas and in close cooperation with Branches.  

Latest CREW News

The land of magic: The perfect destination for this plant get-together
People for plants: Meet these four incredible BotSoc volunteers
BotSoc Webinar: Great Southern Bioblitz
Women’s Day: Kaveesha Naicker, CREW KZN  Node Project Officer
Inspiring a community of young plant lovers
City Nature Challenge 2021: Unleash your inner citizen scientist
​​First-hand account of this Gauteng CREW field trip
Citizen science at home: How to join the City Nature Challenge

Conservation Programme 





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+27 (0) 21 797 2090

Or contact us by sending a Whatsapp message to +27 65 922 6163 during our office hours.






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