Small Collections Grant

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Preservation of the endangered biological heritage of the Herbarium PORT, BioCentro-UNELLEZ, Venezuela

Santos Miguel Nino


Digitally image, Process backlog, Ship, Conserve

Cost: $


IH Code



General Objective:
Preserve the existing biological heritage in the Port herbarium that is currently at risk of damage due to lack of supplies for its maintenance

Specific Objectives
Digitize key specimens from the collection whose risk of damage is greater when insects and fungi attack.
Exchange plants at critical risk for attack by insects and fungi with other herbaria in the world to safeguard the existing biological heritage.
Process accumulated samples into the formal herbarium collection.


The digitalization will be carried out by means of a high-resolution Epson scanner that the Herbarium already has but that is out of use due to lack of maintenance. After the scanner is again operational we will scan the non-digitized Type collections and also, those families in critical danger of attack by insects and fungi, for example Apocynaceae, Begoniaceae, Bignoniaceae and Cucurbitaceae. The goal is to digitize at least 3000 specimens and once digitized, the shelves housing these families can be sealed tightly to prevent the entry of insects.

Critically endangered type specimens and important collections from the Andean region of Venezuela will be sent to the US Herbarium in Washington DC and from there will be sent to specialists from other herbaria such as MO and NY. The shipment will be made from Arauca-Colombia, as the shipping system in Venezuela does not work and there is a high risk of losing the specimens. Most of the samples will be sent as loans to be returned to PORT once the country's situation improves. However, duplicates will be sent as exchange.

The crisis in Venezuela has made it impossible to incorporate specimens into the collection and about 15,000 numbers of different collectors have already been accumulated. These plants in newspapers are at greater risk of attack by insects and become sources of contamination, so once we obtain the materials needed to mount the plant specimens, they will be processed as quickly as possible. This will necessitat


1. Digitize 3000 specimens from the collection, including scanner maintenance, purchase and installation of light bulbs to illuminate the work area, purchase of hard disk and PC.
Date: February-June 2020
2. Exchange of plants, includes: specimen processing, obtention of legal permits, sealing shelves and traveling (12 hours round trip) by land from Guanare (Venezuela) to Arauca-Colombia to mail specimens from Colombia to the US Herbarium in Washington DC, at least 450 samples of plants from Venezuela will be sent.
Date: July-August-2020
3. Processing and incorporating accumulated samples into the collection, this includes: purchase of materials (Cardboards, paper, glue, illuminated magnifying glass), hiring of assistants, assembly of plants, incorporation to database and preliminary study.
Date: February-August-2020.

Referee 1:

Monica Carlsen-Krause

Referee 2:

Referee name

Scoring Rubric

Your name:

Collection Improvement/Maintenance


1.  Contribution to the generation of digital herbarium data (digitization: data entry, setting up database structure, purchasing equipment).

2.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (processing of backlog).

3.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (shipping endangered collection to another herbarium).

4. Contribution towards improving conservation status of specimens in herbarium (better folders, protecting covers, mounting paper, labeling, etc.).

This proposal scores:


IAPT community building


5.  Herbarium's potential for success.

6.  Perceived need, extent to which the project will benefit from IAPT funding.
7. Sharing specimens with other herbaria.

This proposal scores:


Broader Impacts

8. The project will yield durable benefits (specimens, digitized metadata, databases, websites).

9. The proposed project involves outreach/mentoring and broad dissemination.

This proposal scores:


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