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IUCN Red List assessment and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation: taxonomists must act now

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The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) sets a series of ambitious targets for 2010 to stem the loss of plant diversity. Target 2 calls for a preliminary assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, at national, regional and international levels, but with less than 3% of global diversity assessed to date, the process must be greatly accelerated. This can best be done by mobilizing plant taxonomists to identify species that are threatened (or potentially threatened) using available distribution data from herbaria and other sources, and by including preliminary IUCN Red List assessments in all their taxonomic works. Emphasis should be placed on rare taxa with restricted ranges, which are the most likely to be at risk. Sufficient data are available for preliminary assessment of nearly all species, thereby limiting the number that must be relegated to "data deficient" status (DD). The taxonomic community can play a unique role in fulfilling the GSPC goals, but we must act quickly.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Université de Neuchâtel, Laboratoire de Botanique Evolutive, Case Postale 2, 2007 Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166, U.S.A. 2: Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166, U.S.A.

Publication date: 01 November 2005

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