An up-to-date assessment of the conservation status of all South African species
Contributors: L. von Staden & D. Raimondo
South Africa achieved Target 2 in 2009 with the completion of a comprehensive national plant Red List (Raimondo et al. 2009), a global first for a mega-diverse country (Raimondo et al. 2013). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria version 3.1 were used in the assessment www.iucnredlist.org.
In South Africa, the conservation statuses of plant species guide a wide range of conservation interventions, such as land-use decision-making and conservation, and protected area expansion plans. It is therefore a national priority to ensure that the Red List remains up to date. The national Red List is maintained by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), and updates are published annually on the national Red List website (redlist.sanbi.org).
Conservation assessments are updated annually based on data received from a network of botanists including ± 40 professional botanists and ± 500 citizen scientists involved in the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) programme. Updated assessments are available on the National Red List Website: redlist.sanbi.org.
Target 2 outcomes for 2020
2.1. Red List maintained and updated with all newly described species assessed.
2.2. Species from priority areas under imminent threat reassessed.
The first comprehensive Red List completed between 2004 and 2009 was achieved with funding from the Norwegian Ministry, which allowed five full-time scientists to be employed by SANBI to work in collaboration with South Africa’s 150 botanists. Since 2009 South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) continues to support one full-time Red List Scientist to keep the Red List updated. As there are too many plant species in South Africa for one individual to keep the list updated, species for reassessment are prioritised. Priority species for Red List assessments are: newly described species, species with new field information and species concentrated in areas under imminent threat.
|Target 2: An up-to-date assessment of the conservation status of all South African species|
|2.1. Red List maintained and updated with all newly described species assessed.||2.1.1. Species with new field monitoring information from the CREW programme and independent botanical consultants reassessed.||
2.1. SANBI’s Threatened Species Programme Red List Scientists.
|Annual update of the Red List produced online.|
|2.1.2. All newly described species assessed within two years of description.|
|2.2. Species from priority areas under imminent threat reassessed.||2.2. Areas of country to reassess based on emerging threats prioritised.||
2.2. SANBI’s Threatened Species Programme Red List Scientists.
|Species from one area under imminent threat reassessed annually.|