10,487 Plant Species Threatened with Extinction
The IUCN or International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List was recently updated and now lists some 19,374 while 10,487 of these species are threatened with extinction. The IUCN Red List is an ongoing monitoring service that assesses the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties and subpopulations on a global scale. It has been doing so for the past 50 years. The IUCN works with several other agencies to promote conservation. The Red List includes life that is Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Extinct and Extinct in the Wild. The species status is based on scientific data and not politics.
This is a large number of plants headed for extinction but it does not include all endangered plants simply because not all species have been assessed. Only 6% of the world flora has been assessed.
The majority of the Magnolia plant species are endangered in the wild. Magnolias are commonly cultivated in nurseries but this represents very small populations.
Wollemi Pine Threatened
The Australian Wollemi Pine tree is threatened with extinction. There are only 40 adult trees and 200 seedlings known to man in Australia. The Wollemi Pine grows in the deep canyons of the Australian rainforest. It can reach 120 feet in height. It is a truly majestic beauty.
The greatest threat to the Wollemi Pine is human activity. Humans bring disease, weeds, destruction via trampling of seedlings and starting fires.
Davies Waxflower Threatened
The Australian Davie’s Waxflower is a small tree that grows to about 16 feet with fine leaves. It produces beautiful cream colored flowers in spring and summer. It is mostly found in Tasmania. It was thought to have been extinct until discovered in 1990. It frequently grows in the flood zone near the Eucalyptus woodland.
Most Davie’s Waxflowers grow on private land pastures. The threat comes from cattle trampling the seedlings. Another threat is root rot fungi which is aggravated by soil movement such as that caused by farming and cattle.
So what is being done to help save the Davie’s Waxflower? It is being planted in wild areas and private gardens. Some areas with Waxflower specimens are being fenced off.