THE LITHOPS RESEARCH & CONSERVATION FOUNDATION
Ever since 2012, we, Hilde and Frikkie Mouton and Roy Earlé and Janice Round, have undertaken regular field trips to different Lithops colonies in both Namibia and South Africa in pursuit of a hobby. However, it soon became clear to us all, that we could gather useful biological and ecological information when visiting these colonies particularly as there appears to be a severe lack of such information on the plants. By 2014 we had reached the conclusion that we should solidify the data gathering and conservation work done to date by forming the Lithops Research & Conservation Foundation.
The base of the Lithops Research & Conservation Foundation is at Alte Kalköfen Lodge near Bethanie in southern Namibia. Frikkie Mouton and Hilde Mouton are the owners of the Lodge and have been active Lithops enthusiasts for nearly twenty years. In addition to the Lodge owners, Roy Earlé and Janice Round spend at least three months every year at the Lodge during which time the four current members of the Foundation do most of their research work on the Lithops colonies.
The Cole Lithoparium at Alte Kalköfen Lodge houses a large collection of all of the Lithops species, subspecies and variations, as well as many other succulent plants. The Lithops collection has recently been greatly enlarged by the addition of the total collection from the late Tok Schoeman, which has now been incorporated into the only registered collection of Lithops in Namibia. The Lithops Research & Conservation Foundation also has a large collection of Lithops plants in the midlands in the United Kingdom.
Both of these collections are used as educational centres for the many tourists who visit the Cole Lithoparium at Alte Kalköfen Lodge in Namibia and for occasional visitors to the greenhouse in the UK. In addition, the collections also produce a large number of seeds every year which are then used in our conservation programmes.
Distribution and population dynamics and variation of Lithops schwantesii in Namibia.
The Foundation has set out a definite programme of biological and ecological research on individual Lithops plants in their natural habitat as well as monitoring some populations in total. Since 2014, the main research programmes have been centred around Lithops schwantesii. A total of 33 individual plants in five L.schwantesii colonies have been individually marked and are monitored regularly. Further to these focussed programmes, many colonies of all Lithops species are visited and information is then gathered on the size of the colonies and the composition of the populations.
IThe present conservation efforts of the are focussed upon the reintroduction and establishment of viable populations of two Lithops taxa in southern Namibia. The research is centred upon the best way of growing large numbers of Lithops plants in cultivation and how to prepare these plants to be replanted into their natural habitat.
Mission of the Lithops Research & Conservation Foundation
To enhance our knowledge of the biology and ecology of Lithops plants.
To use this knowledge and information to further the conservation of Lithops plants in their natural habitat.
To inform and educate all people that can assist with the research and conservation of Lithops plants.
Get in touch for more information about the Lithops Research & Conservation Foundation