Sauvages de ma rue (wildlife in my street)
The Klorane Botanical Foundation, in partnership with Tela Botanica, the French-speaking botany network, decided this year to support the “Sauvages de ma rue” (Wildlife in my street) programme, in association with the National Natural History Museum. This programme belongs to the large family of biodiversity observatories which make up Vigie-Nature (an organisation which monitors the health of nature around us by drawing on networks of volunteer naturalists and a renowned team of scientists).
These are “participative science” programmes, and they cover all the research schemes which call upon the participation of the general public.
The objectives of these programmes are:
- To collect data on the environment,
- To contribute to the preservation of biodiversity,
- To raise public awareness of environmental changes.
The “Sauvages de ma rue” (Wildlife in my street) programme
The “Sauvages de ma rue” (Wildlife in my street) programme allows people living in cities to find out more about the plant species growing in their street. The aim is to improve scientific knowledge on the distribution of plant species in cities.
The project was launched in 2011 by the National Natural History Museum in Paris.
In the light of its success, plans are being made for it to be extended to other French cities.
By following a simple procedure, city-dwellers are invited to take part in a data collection campaign involving plants which grow in cities. Their objective is to identify the plants which grow near their homes, the ones they see each day in the street (around tree trunks, on pavements, in lawns, etc.).
When they have been entered into the site http://sauvagesdemarue.mnhn.fr, the data are analysed by researchers from the National Natural History Museum in Paris. This will help to make progress on how much is known about species distribution in an urban environment, about how biodiversity functions on a city scale, and how it evolves, depending on global or local parameters such as regional climate, global warming, human actions, etc.
As such, results and recommendations will be given to citizens, observers and all players involved in the project to promote and preserve urban biodiversity. It will be surprising for city dwellers to learn about how plants seen by most as “weeds” have forgotten benefits.
Finally, it is useful to focus on the other challenge in this project, which involves arousing interest among the general public in botany, a discipline which is still too confined to professionals and amateur enthusiasts.
How to take part
1- Sign up on the site www.sauvagesdemarue.fr
2- Choose one or more streets
3- Identify plants (protocol and online tools by Tela Botanica, Flore Nationale from MNHN)
4- Enter data on the internet site.
Pharmacy support for "Sauvages de ma rue" (Wildlife in my street)
The Klorane Botanical Foundation raised the importance of the campaign in pharmacies by giving out a presentation unit with 135 small guides entitled “Taming the wildlife in my street” to over 200 pharmacist partners; each guide contained illustrations of 12 urban plants in a pocket format, which can be easily slipped into a pocket or bag.
Support from the National Natural History Museum for the commercial edition of the nationwide book "Sauvages de ma rue" (Wildlife in my street)
This work has been available in bookshops since June 2012. A special edition has been published and created for the Klorane Botanical Foundation, and will be distributed to dispensing pharmacists who partner the Klorane Botanical Foundation in the campaign.