Slide 15: Cost of gene/ seed banking
Gene and seed banking are possibly less expensive in the long run, but should only be resorted to as a final option, since the biodiversity conserved no longer interacts with the environment, and the entire ecosystem may collapse. The costs for this process are as follows:
The average cost of recording and collecting a species for seed banking are approximately R1230, with an associated cost of R10 per seedling for those species re-established in the wilderness or plantations. Gene banking is considerably cheaper, with a consumable cost of R150 per species, but the genetic fingerprinting process is somewhat more expensive, at R200 per fingerprint. However, the start-up costs of genetic fingerprinting are relatively high, with an ultracentrifuge weighing in at R422 000, a -80°C freezer costing R80 000, and a DNA bank manager costing on average R70 000. This means that gene banking must be seen as essential before it is embarked upon, and requires very long term funding.