Exciting news: The Hortis team joins Species360

Havard Ostgaard
January 13, 2023

Species360 is pleased to announce the addition of the plant collection platform Hortis to our product portfolio. Based in the UK and the Netherlands, the team developing Hortis will continue their exciting work together with the software engineers and conservation scientists at Species360.

Many botanical institutions struggle to keep up with their plant records and are unable to utilize their plant collection to its full potential. The Hortis team is rethinking how plant records can play a role not only for individual institutions but also in the context of global research and conservation efforts.

Hortis is the only cloud-based plant collection software in the market, helping users keep track of their plant collection wherever they are, using a mobile, tablet, or PC. With a contemporary software design, Hortis allows all members of the institution to easily collaborate, share and engage with their plant collection data using garden maps, capturing photos, and analyzing their plant collection data. Launched by Botanical Software in 2021, Hortis is already used on five continents, and new gardens are joining every week.

Species360 is a global non-profit organization with more than 1,300 institutional members, including zoological, aquatic, and conservation organizations worldwide. Species360 and its members curate and share animal data using the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), the world’s largest collection of data on animals living in ex situ environments.

With more than one million species at risk of extinction, a holistic approach to conservation is more critical than ever. Bringing Species360 and Hortis together is expected to strengthen both the ZIMS and Hortis solution offerings, the zoological and botanical member communities, and the collective impact on conservation.

“We believe that the management of species, both plant and animal, is essential to sustaining biodiversity. With Hortis, Species360 is pursuing a One Plan Approach to Conservation that will help promote species conservation,” said Jim Guenter, CEO, Species360. “Our combined team will provide aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and other organizations with the best possible mobile and desktop solutions for the care, conservation, and management of species.”

The announcement comes on the heels of action taken by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to encourage greater involvement by zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens in species conservation. The IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille in 2021 adopted Resolution79 to link in situ and ex situ efforts to save threatened species. The resolution calls for closer collaboration between zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens, as well as the collection of data to inform conservation efforts.

Havard Ostgaard, founder and former CEO of Botanical Software, has been named Director of Botanical Solutions, Species360. “We are very excited about our journey forward with Species360. With two in five plant species estimated to be threatened with extinction, botanic gardens and arboreta play a fundamental role in plant conservation. Together with Species360, we can make a significant impact, helping botanical institutions with their plant records and enhancing the conservation efforts of global plant biodiversity.”

The Hortis team brings a wealth of knowledge and skills which will benefit the Species360 team, especially as modernization of the ZIMS platform is underway. In addition to Havard Ostgaard, Hortis team members Dr. Waheed Arshad, Botanical Scientist, Miles Crighton, Software Engineer, and Dave Twomey, Product Designer, will join Species360.

Hortis + Species360 webinar

On February 1st, we held a webinar to help institutions learn more about Hortis and about our plans for the future with Species360. You can watch a recording of the webinar below:

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