Name a New Species of Iris - bidding from R55000!

Imagine having a whole species named after you or someone special in your life - a gift that would be very hard to beat!

Funds raised by the auction will go to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), working with Table Mountain Fund's Fynbos Land Protection Campaign to protect and restore the threatened Fynbos of Table Mountain and the Cape. A worthy cause as this natural area is as Times Live reports:

“…one of the most biologically rich but threatened places on earth.”

Strauss & Co, a leading fine art auction house in South Africa, is auctioning the rights to name this rare and endangered iris online. The blue iris recently discovered on the west coast near Saldanha in South Africa will be named after the highest bidder, establishing an innovative new fund raising technique!

According to Stephen Welz, managing director of Strauss & Co the auction for naming rights:

“gives the bidder the chance to immortalise their loved one by naming an entire species after them,”

Iris photo by WWF Table Mountain Fund

Dr John Manning of the South African National Biodiversity Institute will be formally naming and describing the species. This eminent plant taxonomist has handed the naming rights for the delicate iris species to the WWF Table Mountain Fund.

The March closing of the online auction for naming rights will be marked by a charity dinner. Guests at the charity event will be able to bid for naming rights. The highest bidder will receive not only the naming rights to this new iris, but also the original botanical illustration of this special flower.

This auction marks a new approach to fund raising as well as for naming species as Strauss & Co points out:

“In the past newly discovered species were named after royalty, patrons of science, and even the explorers themselves, such as the Queen Victoria crowned pigeon, Rothschild’s giraffe and Roosevelt’s elk."

Read about the auction for naming rights of the iris on the WWF website.

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