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Date: 17 January 2011

The National Biodiversity Data Centre  [1] has recently launched the Crop Wild Relatives website and database  [2], which provide information on the conservation status, habitat, distribution and use of 102 important crop wild relatives growing in Ireland. “In the face of increasing genetic uniformity of our global crop species, combined with the pressures of climate change, it has never been more important to safeguard this important resource for future generations” said Dr. Úna FitzPatrick, an ecologist at the Data Centre. “Crop Wild Relatives are likely to play a significant role in securing 21st century food security, and we shouldn’t underestimate the useful traits that our wild species may have” she added. The initiative was made possible through funding provided by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, under their grant aid scheme for the Conservation of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture For more information on species included in the database click here  [3].

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