The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species sees the addition of new or updated entries of trees. More trees than ever have now been identified as threatened (www.iucnredlist.org), reaching 9,910 – representing 66% of all the trees listed on the IUCN Red List.
The latest additions to the Red List include 128 conservation assessments of trees in the family of Betulaceae. The Betulaceae, the birches, alders, hazels, hornbeams, hop hornbeams and Ostryopsis, include some commercially important timber and nut producing trees.
These assessments were undertaken by BGCI and members of the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group and have also been published in The Red List of Betulaceae. This publication is the latest in our series of red list publications and includes assessments for trees from six genera; Alnus, Betula, Carpinus, Corylus, Ostrya and Ostryopsis.
In total 17 Betulaceae trees are given a threatened rating, most of these are found in warm-temperate to tropical forests and relicts of the Arcto-Tertiary forests, on low latitude mountain ranges in Japan, Korea, south China and Taiwan, the Caucasus/Caspian region, and southeastern North America.
However, about one third are assessed as Data Deficient. This highlights the lack of information on little known species, mainly from less studied parts of the world. It also underlines the need for further field research to determine the distribution, population status and threats facing the lesser known taxa in this family.
Other threatened trees that have been added to the IUCN Red List this year, including an additional thirty Magnolia species, several new assessments of trees from Mozambique and the entire genus of Delonix.