By: Douglas Gibbs(Author), David Chamberlain(Author), George Argent(Author)
128 pages, colour photos, colour maps, colour distribution maps
A quarter of the world's rhododendrons are threatened with extinction in the wild. The Red List of Rhododendrons published jointly by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, in June 2011 identifies 317 rhododendrons as being in danger of extinction, out of a global total of 1157 taxa evaluated. The members of the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group, for which BGCI provides the Secretariat, and rhododendron experts around the world contributed much of the information for this Red List report.
Based on the information presented in the Red List report, urgent attention is required for the 76 rhododendrons considered to be at most risk of extinction (Endangered or Critically Endangered) according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.
Some of these are reduced to a handful of individuals in the wild and it would be a tragedy if such species are needlessly lost. It is clearly important that all Critically Endangered (CR) and Endangered (EN) taxa are represented in well-managed ex situ collections as an insurance policy for the future and in support of Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. At the same time habitat protection and restoration should be reviewed and mechanisms put in place for local people to be involved in and benefit from the in situ conservation and management of these important species.
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