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There are many ways that the undertakings of the Arboretum accomplish the goals of conservation. An effective way for us to achieve this is by aligning our efforts with those of an international community of public gardens. Groups like American Public Gardens, the Association of Public Gardens of America (APGA) and North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) are at the forefront of many "green" initiatives concerning conservation, sustainability and public education. One of the primary goals is to identify all plant species and preserve them in collections and whenever possible, in a natural setting. Through this work, the Earth's loss of plant species could be slowed and eventually halted.
Biodiversity is arguably the greatest treasure of our natural world. By these standards Alabama ranks among the richest lands in the temperate zone. Our mussels and fish have earned us the rank of #1 in the nation for freshwater biodiversity. In the web of life that covers our state you will also find an impressive diversity of amphibians, reptiles and birds. Alabama is ranked #5 in the nation for overall biodiversity. We are ranked #9 in the U. S. for plant diversity, and this is certainly represented in the hundreds of native woody plants you will find within the borders of the Arboretum. These rankings are by no means set in stone and they are subject to changes in taxonomy, identification of new species and of course extinction. Alabama ranks #3 in the nation in terms of species extinction, primarily due to human impacts on our waterways and the freshwater biodiversity they support.