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The New Caledonia Plants RLA: Bringing Botanists Together for the Conservation of the archipelago's Crown Jewel

Abstract : New Caledonia is a biodiversity hotspot located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, recognized for the exceptional diversity of its vascular flora, comprising over 3400 species, 75% of which are endemic. Facing the daunting challenge of its preservation and in need of robust data to prioritize conservation efforts, botanists proposed the creation of a local Red List Authority (RLA) to assess the conservation status of all plant species. After six years, the group has evaluated over 1800 taxa, including all palms, conifers and orchids. Among 1361 locally validated assessments, almost 45% of taxa were listed in threatened categories (CR, EN, VU), while 6% were listed as Data Deficient (DD) due to insufficient knowledge on threats and distribution. Our results help confirm that New Caledonian plants are threatenedby three major factors: bushfires, invasive species and nickel mining activities. Considering that these threats are expected to worsen in the future, an effective conservation of plants in New Caledonia must be urgently achieved through both the protection of habitats and the reduction of threats. Moreover, taxonomic knowledge also needs to improve for many plant groups, as issues in this field have already caused the assessment pace to slow down in recent years. The establishment of a botanical conservatory is currently being considered and would help take positive steps in those directions.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03481687
Contributor : Yannick Brohard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 2:34:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:09:51 AM

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Shankar Meyer, Philippe Birnbaum, David Bruy, Hélène Cazé, Dominique Garnier, et al.. The New Caledonia Plants RLA: Bringing Botanists Together for the Conservation of the archipelago's Crown Jewel. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier, In press, ⟨10.1016/B978-0-12-821139-7.00171-9⟩. ⟨hal-03481687⟩

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