Small Collections Grant

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Towards a Flora of the Natural National Park Farallones de Cali, Colombia

Alejandro Zuluaga


Database, Digitally image, Process backlog

Cost: $



Universidad del Valle


General Objective
To process, include, database and photograph collections of vascular plants from the National Natural Park Farallones de Cali at the CUVC herbarium.

Specific Objectives
1. Increase the herbarium database by adding 3000 records from the National Natural Park Farallones de Cali.
2. To increase the herbarium collection by adding 1000 specimens from National Natural Park Farallones de Cali.
3. To train undergrad students in the process of mounting, databasing and photographing herbarium specimens.


Most of the records about Valle del Cuaca department flora are at The Universidad del Valle Herbarium (CUVC), which has around 75.000 specimens, including algae, lichens, bryophytes and vascular plants. However, we estimate around 30.000 unprocessed and unmounted specimens. Our work has focused mainly on the study of the relictual flora of the dry forest in the geographic Valley of the Cauca river, one of the most endangered ecosystems in Colombia, but CUVC has accumulated important collections from regions like the National Natural Park Farallones de Cali. This park has 192,429 hectares (9% of the total area of the Department) has shown to be one of the most diverse and less known areas in Colombia.

Between 2016 and 2018 we started the digitization of the CUVC collections. However, our herbarium only has three staff, including the director, therefore most of the work is done by undergrad and grad students pay from grants like this one. For this project, we have already organized ca. 2000 unprocessed collections from Farallones de Cali, and we estimate there are at least 3000 already included in the collection but not database. These collections are organized by families and some have been curated by specialists which has allowed us to identify several new records for the department and Colombia. We will trained two undergrads to mount, digitize and photograph 1000 of these unprocessed specimens and to digitize 2000 additional specimens from this region.


This project goal is to help us towards a preliminary checklist of the flora of the most important protected area of the Valle del Cauca department, the National Natural Park Farallones de Cali. The activities are planned to be carry out during one year.

Months 1-3
We have already located 2000 unprocessed collections from the National Park, many of them are already. During the first three months we will organize and select the unprocessed specimens to be mounted, photographed and database.

Months 3-7
During months 3 to 7 we will mount, photograph and database the 1000 new specimens to be included in the collection of the herbarium CUVC.

Months 6-12
Finally, we estimate there are about 3000 collections from the National Park already included in the general collection but not databased. During the last 6 months of the project we will locate and digitize these specimens from the National Natural Park Farallones de Cali.

Referee 1:

Camila Pizano

Referee 2:

Dairon Cardenas

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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