A private non-profit organization, The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and long-term management of biodiversity on a regional basis, and to the prevention of regional extinctions of rare plants, animals and ecosystems.
Founded in 1984, IRC has spent nearly three decades developing an innovative idea of conservation that seeks to protect and restore viable populations of all plant and animal species within a region, rather than simply focusing on charismatic animals or plants with narrow global ranges. Since 1994, we have been working on this in South Florida, developing and testing methods to see how this goal might be accomplished. Some highlights from the last 20 years:
- The Floristic Inventory of South Florida (FISF), which to date has compiled data on nearly 2,500 species of plants in more than 400 conservation areas. The results of the FISF are published online.
- IRC’s critically acclaimed book Rare Plants of South Florida: Their History, Conservation, and Restoration.
- The development of online tools such as Natives For Your Neighborhood.
- The restoration of ecosystems and rare species throughout South Florida and the Florida Keys.
- Expansion of our regional conservation models in the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Mexico.
Read the expanded history of IRC since 1981.
Activities and Support
Government: IRC conducts research with and provides conservation services to the US National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Upland Invasive Plant Management Program.
Non Profits: IRC collaborates with other non-profit conservation groups. This has included Tropical Audubon Society, Florida Native Plant Society, and Society for Ecological Restoration.
General Public: IRC provides educational tools and programs to the general public and private owners of conservation lands.
Support and Funding: Major grant support for IRC programs has been awarded by the Steve Arrowsmith Fund, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Elizabeth Ordway Dunn Foundation.
Please visit IRC's Programs page to learn more about our work. Also, see our projects, publications and presentations pages for more details about our activities.
Staff and Board
For more information about who makes up IRC, please visit our staff page and read more about our Board of Directors.