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.  

iNaturalist Training

In the run up to the Great Southern Bioblitz

22-25 October 2021

(every Wednesday at 7pm)

The weekly topics being covered are:


1 September Signing up and setting up
8 September Using Explore to discover your area
15 September Uploading observations on your computer
22 September Uploading observations on your smartphone
29 September Planning your Great Southern Bioblitz
06 October Using the ID curation tool
13 October CREW programme specific session
20 October Contributing to Habitats, VegMap, Invasive Alien Species, RedList projects

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.  

Conservation Programme 




Latest Conservation News

BotSoc Webinar: Stewardship and pastoral herding
10 golden rules of ecological restoration
Celebrate succulents at the Calitzdorp Vetplantfees this September
Women’s Day: Kaveesha Naicker, CREW KZN  Node Project Officer
BotSoc Webinar: Alien Invasive Species
How your photos could help save an ecosystem
BotSoc Webinar: South Africa’s Medicinal Plants
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Monday to Friday 08h30 to 16h00. Closed on weekends and public holidays.

Call Us

+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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