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Rare Nepenthes project

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Stewart McPherson, well known for his magnificent books on carnivorous plants, has taken the initiative to form the Ark of Life Foundation. This non-profit foundation will initiate projects to preserve and protect genetic bloodlines of endangered species in cultivation.

The first of these projects has just started. The Rare Nepenthes Collection Project aims to ensure the continuing existence of the four most endangered species of Nepenthes.

These species are: Nepenthes aristolochioides, Nepenthes clipeata, Nepenthes khasiana and Nepenthes rigidifolia. The project will try to preserve all known ex situ lineages and obtain genetic material not yet in cultivation. It will also seek extension of participants both in this plants homelands and abroad en try to raise awareness to the threats to this species and their habitats. Plants produced by this project will be used for research and hopefully reintroduction to their natural habitat.

This project is a joined operation between the Ark of Life Foundation, the ICPS and the Botanical gardens of Leiden (NL), where this collection will be housed. Last August, during the ICPS conference at Leiden the project agreement was signed.

At this time the website of this project, www.arkoflife.net is not on line yet as people are still working hard to finish it. As soon as it will be on line we will let everyone know.

Attached is a picture of the signing of the project agreement. The picture was taken by Mr. Art Vogel of the Botanical gardens.

Left to right:

Paul Kessler, Director of the Botanical gardens of Leiden, Stewart McPherson, Director Ark of Life Foundation and Marcel van den Broek, Vice President ICPS


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This is a very, very much needed project to be also considered, not just in Nepenthes, but all remaining species in our fragile ecosystems all over the planet. This is a good step forward. The other almost even more important, to not only raise awareness about, but to actually save, the intimate interactions among groups of "glamorous" and non-glamorous species. Every living thing on the planet needs one another like bricks of a house needs one another in order to suppot the whole structure itself. Why only save a few bricks if the whole house is in the verge of collapse.....


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Fantastic news. I am glad to see the interest and initiative to protect those wonderful nepenthes species. I wish the project tremendous success and will be looking forward to hear more about their work.

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I think you mean N. rajah not rigidifolia!

Thats what Stewart said at the ICPS.

Great Project, let's hope that it will work!

Best regards,


Hi Paul,

No, rigidifolia is correct. Stew did speak say a few words about rajah but while it is one of the species on list 1 of CITES the wild population is relatively well protected thanks to the efforts of the local park wardens.

rigidifolia on the other hand is much more under treath.

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Good to hear that something may be about to be done. I await more detailed information with great interest.

While ex-situ conservation can have its place, the real effort MUST go into save habitats and everything that lives there, as has been mentioned.

But it is good to hear that at long last something is gonna be done to try and save Nepenthes clipeata, as the 'so called' clipeata survival project, is one of the biggest jokes around.

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I hope the project can make projects to protect species like N. klossii, N. macrophylla (the type specimens), N. edwardsiana, N. rajah, villosa from Mt. Tumbuyukon.

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  • 7 years later...

Hi Mathias,


As Stewart has so little time we are re-setting things as a foundation in The Netherlands with an actual international board running things (as opposed to a not for profit organization with only Stewart on the books).

Basically we are already a foundation (notary work is done).

Right now the bank is checking the identification papers of the first 3 board members (Tim Bailey, John v.d. Werf and myself, others have agreed to join the board and will be added when things are running) so an actual bank account will be available and not just a paypal account linked to Stewart.

With that Chambe of commerce can be completed.

After that...we need to reactivate the dead website. It was frozen after many hacks, so we need to rebuilt that more strong.

When that works I can meet the requirements for Charity status and we are off again.


For the moment the plants in Leiden are doing well and we had some additions since this last post.

Check out our Facebook page for that :yes:https://www.facebook.com/Ark-of-Life-147726941956397/

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  • 5 months later...

A small status update on the Ark of Life.: After the notaty work and the registration at the chamber of commerce, we now have a Dutch bank account opened . So next step is to ressurrect the website to enable to us to get the charity status

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